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Can businesses save money with private jet charter?


For a business, there can be a number of advantages of hiring a private jet for top-level executives, from privacy to increased job satisfaction. But flying by private jet may also offer an unexpected financial benefit. It is possible that the time saved by flying privately, offset against the amount paid to a top-level executive per hour, cancels out the cost of chartering an aircraft.

In the following case studies involving the CEOs of four large companies and the routes they are likely to take, we compared the relative costs of flying by private jet versus flying commercial. Prices and travel times were calculated using the fastest business class flight available on Skyscanner at the time of writing. We mapped the route each CEO might take, including flight numbers, and calculated any savings in time as well as money. For the purposes of the calculation, we estimate that a CEO works 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, making a total yearly workload of 2,080 hours.

1. John Hammergren of McKesson Corporation

Downtown San Francisco from a helicopter
Downtown San Francisco from a helicopter
Old town Quebec
Old town Quebec

Head office: San Francisco, California
Annual salary: $131.2 million (estimated hourly rate: $63,077)
Traveling to: McKesson Canada, Quebec

John Hammergren is the CEO of pharmaceutical giant McKesson Corporation. On a salary of $131.2 million a year, he is the highest paid CEO in the USA. Based in San Francisco, it is likely that Hammergren regularly visits McKesson Canada, which is headquartered in Quebec. We worked out how much time could be saved by flying Hammergren to Quebec by private jet instead of commercial, then used his hourly salary to calculate how much money this extra time on the ground was worth.

Commercial flight

  • Route: San Francisco - Toronto - Quebec
  • Flight: Air Canada AC738 from San Francisco to Toronto, 11:55-19:30 (4h 35)
  • Connect in airport (1h 20)
  • Flight: Air Canada AC8926 from Toronto to Quebec, 20:50-22:30 (1h 40)
  • Wait time at airports: 3h
  • Total travel time: 10h 35

Private jet charter

  • Route: Direct from San Francisco - Quebec
  • Aircraft: Nine-seat Citation Sovereign (2007)
  • Total travel time: 5h 5
  • Price: $36,333

Comparison

  • Time saved by flying private: 5h 30
  • Money saved by flying private: $310,590

2. Thomas Rutledge of Charter Communications

Waterfront condos in Stamford, Connecticut
Waterfront condos in Stamford, Connecticut
St Louis, Missouri at dusk
St Louis, Missouri at dusk

Head office: Stamford, Connecticut
Annual salary: $98 million (estimated hourly rate: $47,115)
Traveling to: Offices in St Louis, Missouri

Next on the list is Thomas Rutledge, CEO of telecommunications giant Charter Communications. Its head office is located in Stamford, Connecticut, but many of the company's operations take place in St Louis, Missouri. To travel from St Louis to Stamford on a commercial flight, Rutledge would need to take three domestic connecting flights.

Commercial flight

  • Route: St Louis - Atlanta - Detroit - Connecticut
  • Flight: Delta DL82 from St Louis to Atlanta, 11:33-13:07 (1h 34)
  • Connect in airport (0h 53)
  • Flight: Delta DL902 from Atlanta to Detroit, 15:00-16:59 (1h 59)
  • Connect in airport (0h 46)
  • Flight: Delta DL1948 from Detroit to Connecticut, 17:45-19:30 (1h 45)
  • Wait time at airports: 1h
  • Total travel time: 7h 57

Private jet charter

  • Route: Direct from St Louis to Hartford, Connecticut
  • Aircraft: Eight-seat Learjet 75 (2015)
  • Total travel time: 2h 5
  • Price: $18,338

Comparison

  • Time saved by flying private: 5h 52
  • Money saved by flying private: $258,072

3. Leslie Moonves of CBS Corporation

Downtown New York from a helicopter
Downtown New York from a helicopter
Singapore at dusk
Singapore at dusk

Head office: New York City, New York
Annual salary: $68.6 million (estimated hourly rate: $32,981)
Traveling to: CBS Interactive Singapore

Leslie Moonves heads up media giant CBS Corporation. Overseeing global franchises around the world, his schedule must involve frequent long-haul flights, including to the CBS Interactive office in Singapore. With a flight time of nearly 21 hours and a cost of almost $16,000 when flying business class, chartering a private jet makes much more sense.

Commercial Airline

  • Route: New York - Milan - Singapore
  • Flight: Emirates EK206 from New York to Milan, 22:20-12:15 (+1) (7h 55)
  • Connect in airport (0h 45)
  • Flight: Singapore Airlines SQ367 from Milan to Singapore, 13:00-07:00 (+1)(12h)
  • Wait time at airports: 3h
  • Total travel time: 23h 40

Private Jet Charter

  • Route: Direct from New York to Singapore
  • Aircraft: 13-seat Gulfstream G650 (2015)
  • Total travel time: 18h 10, including fuel stop
  • Price: $197,489

Comparison

  • Time saved by flying private: 5h 30
  • Money saved by flying private: $16,886

4. Ralph Lauren of Ralph Lauren

New York bathed in early morning light
New York bathed in early morning light
Geneva under a full moon
Geneva under a full moon

Head office: New York City, New York

Annual salary: $66.7 million (estimated hourly rate: $32,067)

Traveling to: Ralph Lauren, Geneva, Switzerland

Fashion legend Ralph Lauren heads up his namesake fashion and lifestyle franchise, which is worth over $5.7 billion. Chartering a private jet during key industry events such as New York or Paris Fashion Weeks is a no-brainer, but what if he wanted to make a one-off trip to Ralph Lauren’s European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland?

Commercial Airline

  • Route: Direct from New York - Geneva
  • Flight: United Airlines UA956 from New York to Geneva, 17:55-07:45 (+1) (7h 50)
  • Wait time at airports: 3h
  • Total travel time: 10h 50

Private Jet Charter

  • Route: Direct from New York to Geneva
  • Aircraft: 16-seat Gulfstream G-IV (1991, refurbished in 2015)
  • Total travel time: 6h 55
  • Price: $78,440

Comparison

  • Time saved by flying private: 58 min
  • Money saved by flying private: $47,073

In these four case studies, a significant amount of time was saved in CEOs’ schedules by flying by private jet charter. These time savings ranged from just under an hour for fashion CEO Ralph Lauren on a New York to Geneva flight, to almost six hours for Charter Communications chief Thomas Rutledge when traveling from Stamford, Connecticut to St Louis, Missouri. Due to the high monetary value of the CEOs’ time, this translated to a direct cost saving for each company in terms of the salary they were paying while their exec was in the air. Factoring in the cost of private jet charter, these savings totalled: $310,590 for the McKesson Corporation, $258,072 for Charter Communications, $16,886 for CBS Corporation and $47,073 for Ralph Lauren. So for each company, flying the CEO by private jet charter was more cost-effective than using a commercial airline.

To discover whether your company could save time and money by chartering a private jet, get an instant estimated cost for your bespoke journey and compare aircraft models with our private jet prices tool. Or contact us to discuss your upcoming trip and private jet charter needs.

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