Top private helicopters for charter

Jul 26, 2023

How much does it cost to charter a private helicopter?

The cost of chartering a helicopter can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the location, duration, type of helicopter, distance traveled, additional services required, and the company you choose to charter from. Generally, private helicopters tend to be more cost-effective than private jets, mainly because helicopters are smaller and require less fuel, and their maintenance costs are generally lower. Helicopters are also well-suited for shorter distances and point-to-point travel, making them more economical for trips within a limited range.

One of the main markets for Icarus Jet, especially during summer, is the Greek Isles and Turkey. Athens, Mykonos and Santorini are the general departure points and prices will vary depending on helicopter size and the le ngth of the route. What are the prices for the most quoted one-way routes during summer on a single-engine helicopter?

Athens – Mykonos: USD 3,500
Athens – Santorini: USD 4,900
Athens – Paros: USD 4,150
Athens – Bodrum (Turkey): USD 9,980
Mykonos – Santorini: USD 3,500
Mykonos – Kos: USD 4,050
Santorini – Ios: USD 1,950

H2: Top private helicopter models for charter

Private helicopters come in many different sizes and shapes while also adapting to different types of operations, from leisure to business, offshore, and even medical. There’s a wide array of helicopters to choose from in the private aviation market, although there are arguably 7 models that any helicopter enthusiast is able to spot from a distance. We’ve prepared a list of the top private helicopters for charter.

  1. Airbus H130: This versatile and spacious helicopter is known for its reliability, safety features, and excellent visibility from the cabin. It can comfortably accommodate up to 6-7 passengers and is often preferred for VIP and corporate charters.
  2. Bell 429: This twin-engine helicopter with a spacious and luxurious cabin can accommodate up to 8 passengers. It is known for its smooth and quiet operation, making it an excellent choice for executive and luxury charters.
  3. Sikorsky S-76: The Sikorsky S-76 is a popular choice for private charters due to its high performance, spacious cabin, and long-range capabilities. It can comfortably seat around 6-8 passengers, depending on the configuration.
  4. Leonardo AW139: This medium-sized twin-engine helicopter is favored for its high cruising speed, long-range capabilities, and comfortable cabin that can accommodate 8-12 passengers.
  5. Eurocopter EC155: This twin-engine helicopter has a well-equipped cabin, ideal for executive charters. It can carry around 8-10 passengers and offers a smooth and quiet flight experience.
  6. Robinson R44/R66: While not as large as some other models on the list, the Robinson R44 and R66 are popular choices for private charters due to their affordability and versatility. They can comfortably seat 3-4 passengers and are often used for short trips or scenic tours.

#DidYouKnow that the global helicopter services market size was valued at $14.15 billion in 2022 & is projected to grow from $15.62 billion in 2023 to $23.80 billion by 2030? (Fortune Business Insights)

What variables determine the cost of a private charter helicopter?

The cost to charter a private helicopter depends on various factors. We’ve made a list of some of the key variables that can influence the price:

Flight duration: The length of time a passenger requires a helicopter for charter will significantly impact the cost as longer flights will naturally be more expensive than shorter ones due to increased operational costs like crew salaries and fuel consumption. Furthermore, longer distances may require refueling stops, which can add to the overall cost.

Type of helicopter: The model and size of the helicopter play a significant role in the cost of a charter. Usually, larger helicopters will translate into higher operational costs, although with more passenger capacity, the case can be made that the overall per-seat rate is similar to smaller models. Also, the luxuries and inflight amenities also play a role in the final price although passengers usually charter helicopters for their safety and capacity to get from point A to B in the least amount of time.

Availability and demand: Helicopter availability in a certain region and the demand for charters can influence the price. During peak seasons or busy periods, prices may be higher, as is the case with summer locations in Europe like the Greek Isles, the French Riviera, or the Amalfi Coast – these helicopter charter hot spots receive increased demand during the summer season and the availability of helicopters can be an issue. Partnering with a private aviation company with on-location experience can help solve the availability challenge thanks to its established relationship with certified operators in the region.

Customization: Customizing your charter to specific needs, such as aerial photography, surveying, or unique requests, may result in additional charges. The previous is tied to the type of aircraft necessary to perform such operations and also to the time spent in the air, impacting crew salaries and fuel consumption. Although the capability to enable passengers to adapt their helicopter to their travel needs is what ultimately separates private aviation from other means of transportation.

Operational capabilities and safety

Private helicopters come with various operational capabilities and safety features, making them popular for various purposes, such as executive travel, sightseeing, aerial photography, medical evacuations, and more. For instance, how far a private helicopter can fly depends on several factors, including the type of helicopter, its fuel capacity, weight, weather conditions, and flight speed. Generally, private helicopters can cover a range of anywhere from 200 to 700 nautical miles (370 to 1,300 kilometers) without refueling. However, some larger and long-range helicopters can cover even greater distances.

The range of a private helicopter depends on several factors, including the type of helicopter, its fuel capacity, weight, weather conditions, and flight speed. Generally, private helicopters can cover a range of anywhere from 200 to 700 nautical miles (370 to 1,300 kilometers) without refueling. However, some larger and long-range helicopters can cover even greater distances.

Crew’s Trivia: Which helicopter has the longest range?

a)      Airbus H130
b)     Bell 429
c)      Sikorsky S-76D
d)     Leonardo AW139
e)      Eurocopter EC155

In terms of operations, a commonly asked question is whether private helicopters can land on private properties. Well, while the simple answer is yes, helicopters need the approval of the property owner and, most importantly, the approval of the aircraft insurance company. If the private property, for example, is not well-lit and has uncharted obstacles like light poles and construction cranes, then it can be detrimental to helicopter safety.

In general, three things are needed for helicopters to land on private property:

1)     Adequate pilot training for the topography.
2)     Insurance approval.
3)     Private property owner approval.

Furthermore, it is also instrumental to demystify whether a private helicopter can land anywhere. For that question, the answer is a resounding no unless it is an emergency. Operating a helicopter involves fast-moving rotors that may have low clearance from people, especially the tail rotor. Helicopter operations are conducted from approved heliports and helipads and airports. Emergency services helicopters provide services from terrain and near obstacles depending upon the location of the injured passenger.


Which is the safest private helicopter?

Determining the “safest” private helicopter involves considering various factors, including accident rates, maintenance history, technology advancements, and safety features. Some helicopter manufacturers, such as Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo, Bell, and Sikorsky, are known for producing helicopters with a strong safety reputation.                          

Can you fly a helicopter without a pilot’s license?

No, you cannot legally fly a helicopter without a pilot’s license. Operating a helicopter, like any aircraft, requires specialized training, knowledge, and skills to ensure safety and adherence to aviation regulations. In most countries, including the United States, it is illegal to fly any aircraft, including helicopters, without the appropriate pilot’s license.

How much does a private helicopter cost?

The cost of a private helicopter can vary significantly depending on the make and model, age, condition, equipment, and other factors. A popular light utility helicopter often used for personal transportation and training is the Robinson R44 Raven II which can range from $500,000 to $600,000 USD. On the other end of the spectrum, the Sikorsky S-76, a twin-engine helicopter used for executive transport and offshore operations, can cost anywhere from $9 million to $13 million USD.

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