I was reading an article the other day that mentioned many smaller private jets are more efficient, faster, can climb quicker and land with less space than larger commercial aircraft. Some of the obvious metrics make sense such as shorter landing distances, but the efficiency peaked my curiosity.

I am basically asking what is the cost difference or cost per seat mile difference in say a a Boeing 737 vs a smaller often private jet, say an Embraer Legacy 600 or similar with its maximum seat capacity setup.

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    $\begingroup$ They've been making 737's since 1966 and efficiency has changed dramatically between the various generations. If you're referring to current generation 737's, you may want to be more specific. Not all 737's are the same size either. $\endgroup$ – Bret Copeland Aug 13 '14 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ AirAsia has the lowest unit cost of any airline, at US$0.023 per available seat kilometers (ASK) and a passenger break-even load factor of 52%. That's on a fleet of mainly A320-200s. $\endgroup$ – dodgy_coder Aug 14 '14 at 0:47
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    $\begingroup$ Regarding private jets, here's an article about the fare price comparison of a private jet vs easyJet - it looks like only when its on an 'empty leg' that the private jet can be fare price competitive to the customer. $\endgroup$ – dodgy_coder Aug 14 '14 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ Are you referring to the maximum seats that would be allowed for the standard "private jet" interior, or how many that jet would fit in an airline-style configuration? $\endgroup$ – Qantas 94 Heavy Aug 14 '14 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ I was referring to a comfortable but max amount of seats in a private jet ie. no couches/bars etc seen on celebrity planes. $\endgroup$ – Shaun Aug 14 '14 at 14:06

I did some basic math to figure it out in terms of current gas prices. I got that a private jet is about 6x more expensive. Keep in mind it is probably more in reality because these jets aren't being used as much as an airliner so the rental price will be higher as well as the fuel. But like I said, this was just an estimate based on current fuel prices and performance of an airliner vs a private jet, to give you an idea of the cost difference.

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    $\begingroup$ Good illustration right here. It's basically like comparing private cars to mass transit. Mass transit always wins in efficiency, but not always (or even usually) in convenience. $\endgroup$ – Ralgha Aug 14 '14 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ By the way, that fuel price for the airlines is WAY too high, and even private jets usually buy contract fuel and get fuel at cheaper locations than LAX. Airlines buy is such bulk though that they won't be paying anywhere near that, which gives them an even bigger advantage. $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Aug 14 '14 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. That is what I was asking for. Since I don't know were you got the gal/min cost from, if we changed it to 14 passengers and 600mph what would that be? Not concerned with the accuracy of gas price at the moment this is more for comparison at any gas price. $\endgroup$ – Shaun Aug 15 '14 at 2:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Lnafziger if any thing, airlines should be able to get fuel cheaper due to futures contracts and economies of scale... $\endgroup$ – RoboKaren Aug 15 '14 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ @robokaren That's what I was saying in my comment! :-) $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Aug 15 '14 at 17:01

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