Private planes generally travel between 100 – 150 km/h faster than commercial planes, though it can very much vary by the type of plane.

This higher speed is mostly due to private planes flying at higher altitudes and carrying less weight.

The exact speed of either a private, or commercial plane mostly depends on the plane’s model and size. But most private planes used for business and luxury travel are faster than most commercial planes.

Private planes also take full advantage of their faster speeds, since their wealthier customers who very much believe that time is more valuable money, value shorter travel times.

Private jets cost anywhere between $3 to $660 million, with used models often costing significantly less.

Private Jets Aren’t That Much Faster Than Commercial Planes

A private jet flies between 100-150 km/h faster than a commercial plane on average.

Exactly how much faster a private jet flies than a commercial plane depends on factors like flight paths, weather conditions, and the aircraft model.

On average, private planes fly between 600 km/h and 1,100 km/h. In contrast, commercial planes fly between 750 km/h and 900 km/h.

For example, the Boeing 737 has an average cruise speed of 933 km/h or 580 mph, and the Airbus A380 cruises at 903 km/h or 561 mph on average. 

Private jets also spend less time waiting to take off and land than commercial planes due to their smaller size and private terminals (Fixed-Base Operators), which is another reason why private jets land at their destination more quickly.

Private Jets Are Lighter and Can Fly Higher Than Commercial Planes

One of the key differences between jets and planes, is that private jets are faster than commercial planes because they’re lighter and fly higher than commercial planes.

Flying at higher altitudes lets them reach their destination faster, and carrying less cargo lets them cruise faster.

Also, private planes have less rigorous regulations than commercial planes.

So, the former fly with fewer constraints than the latter. 

Why Are Private Jets Faster Than Commercial Planes?

Private jets fly faster than commercial planes to reach their destinations faster.

Weighing less and flying higher lets private planes fly faster. Having fewer regulations also helps them fly faster.

So, private planes take full advantage of these facts to deliver passengers to their destinations faster. 

Private planes are almost exclusively used by the world’s wealthiest elite.

So their passengers and customers also value reaching destinations faster., which means that private plane companies are fully incentivized to minimize travel time on charter flights.

Only One Private Jet Can Fly Faster Than the Speed of Sound

The Global 8000 is currently the only plane that supposedly flies faster than the speed of sound, which is Mach 1.0.

But, it’s not yet commercially available.

Most planes cannot fly faster than the speed of sound because of structural and fuel limitations. 

The Cessna Citation X, which was introduced in 1996, is limited to Mach 0.92 and has broken many speed records, yet is still limited to Mach 0.935

Flying on a Private Jet Can Be Very Expensive

Private planes don’t have different seat classes like commercial ones.

Instead, private planes charge by flight hours, ranging from anywhere between $1,200 and $15,000 per flight hour. 

In contrast, the average domestic US flights cost $330 for roundtrips for economy seats, while business and first-class seats cost between $1,300 and $6,000. 

Of course, the exact cost of a commercial flight depends heavily on the flight’s destination and time of year.

Commercial air travel costs the most when flying to popular destinations during tourist seasons, like LA during the summer. 

Private Jets Have Excellent Range

A private jet’s range depends entirely on its size and class, with smaller private planes flying the shortest distances, while larger ones flying the greatest distances. 

For most private planes, that equals between 2,000 to 3,000 nautical miles, though an ultra-long range heavy jet can fly as far as 6,000 nautical miles without having to be refueled.

These are the average range figures for each class of private jet:

  • Very light jets: 1,200 nautical miles
  • Small jets: 1,500 nautical miles 
  • Super light jets: 2,000 nautical miles
  • Midsize cabin jets: 2,500 nautical miles 
  • Super midsize cabin jets: 2,750-3,000 nautical miles 
  • Heavy jets: 3,500 nautical miles 
  • Ultra-long-range heavy jets: 6,000 nautical miles

The Cost of a Private Jet Can Vary Wildly

A new private jet costs anywhere between $3 and $660 million, depending on its size, model, and amenities.

Used private jets cost significantly less, especially the cost of Learjets that can be as low as $250,000 used. 

Used private jets can still be very expensive, though, costing in the tens of millions of dollars.

Private Jets Are Statistically Less Safe Than Commercial Planes

Private jets are less safe than commercial ones – at least comparatively. 

Both types of air travel are extremely safe overall, but over the past 20 years, private aircraft have shown to have a higher probability of crashing, though this includes all sizes of private planes.

Generally, the smaller the plane, the more dangerous it is to fly.

Private Jets Can Still Get Delayed

Private jets can get delayed because of bad weather, technical issues, lack of personnel, or fuel shortages.

They won’t get delayed for many of the same reasons as commercial planes, like delayed arrival at the terminal or malfunctioning booking systems. 

In conclusion:

  • Private planes are faster than commercial ones, between 100-150 km/h faster.
  • Private planes fly at higher altitudes and weigh less than commercial planes. So they’re able to reach destinations faster.
  • As the wealthier passengers of private planes value shorter travel times, private plane companies have every incentive to fly faster.
  • Most private planes can fly between 2,000 and 3,000 nautical miles before refueling.
  • Depending on the model, a private plane can cost anywhere between $3 million and $660 million, though used models can cost significantly less.
  • When compared with commercial planes, the statistics show that private planes are comparatively less safe.

Helen Krasner holds a PPL(A), with 15 years experience flying fixed-wing aircraft; a PPL(H), with 13 years experience flying helicopters; and a CPL(H), Helicopter Instructor Rating, with 12 years working as a helicopter instructor.

Helen is an accomplished aviation writer with 12 years of experience, having authored several books and published numerous articles while also serving as the Editor of the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association) newsletter, with her excellent work having been recognized with her nomination of the “Aviation Journalist of the Year” award.

Helen has won the “Dawn to Dusk” International Flying Competition, along with the best all-female competitors, three times with her copilot.