In the USA, there is a bit of political theater going on as President Obama has repeatedly called people earning as little as $250,000 a year “jet owners.” However, does President Obama’s numbers really add up? In other words, could someone earning $250,000 a year really afford to own, operate or charter their own private jet?
The Wall Street Journal’s Robert Frank and Kelsey Hubbard recently sat down and gave a reality check about the level of income it really takes to become a true jetsetter.
Specifically, the pair noted that a good private jet will cost $5 million to purchase – unless you go for a scaled down version for a few hundred thousand dollars. However, they also noted that it will typically cost $500,000 to $1 million a year just to operate a private jet. This means that a private jet owner will probably need at least $10 million in income per year to afford to become a jet setting jet owner.
Moreover, it was noted that the cheapest rate to charter a private jet from New York to Florida was $3,000 an hour – starting from the moment you board. Hence, a round-trip flight from New York to Palm Beach Florida would probably cost at least $20,ooo or one-tenth of the income of someone earning only $250,000 a year.
In other words, owing and chartering a private jet is really just an option for a very small and elite group of wealthy individuals in our society – not those earning “merely” $250,000 a year.