The top private jet airports in London: a list of the airports with the highest number of private jet arrivals and departures

May 12, 2023

The private jet industry in London is a significant contributor to the UK’s economy, generating billions of pounds in revenue and supporting thousands of jobs. London is home to some of the busiest private jet airports in the world, with a high concentration of wealthy individuals, corporations, and high net-worth tourists who regularly use private jets for travel. The UK as a whole is the largest private aviation market in the continent, with a private jet takeoff registered every six minutes.

London is a coveted destination from across the pond in the U.S., and New York, more specifically Teterboro Airport, is the top departing location from the states to the UK’s capital with a standard flight time of around 6-7 hours. London has several airports that offer top-notch services to private jet travelers, including London Luton, Farnborough, Biggin Hill, Stansted, London City Airport, and RAF Northolt Jet Centre. These airports offer dedicated facilities and services for private jet travelers, including VIP lounges, luxury ground transportation, and fast-track security and customs procedures.

Top private jet airports in London

With a wide variety of private jet airports and services, it is no understatement to say that London is one of the top 3 global private jet hubs in the world, leading Europe in terms of yearly movements, number of available private aircraft, and overall infrastructure. Many airports can serve private jet flights arriving in the city, yet we’ve prepared a list with the top terminal in terms of passenger comfort while accounting for the distance to the city center, available services, and opening times, among other variables.

London Luton Airport (LTN): 35 miles north of central London, Luton is one of the busiest private jet airports in Europe, with almost 120,000 aircraft movements per year. It separates from most airports on our ranking by operating 24/7, without time restrictions during weekdays, weekends, or holidays.

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London Biggin Hill Airport (BQH): Located about 12 miles southeast of central London, Biggin Hill is a popular choice for private jet travelers, with over 50,000 movements per year. Fun fact: The airport was formerly a Royal Air Force station – RAF Biggin Hill. Opening times are 06:30 – 23:00 Monday – Friday and 08:00 – 22:00 on weekends.

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Farnborough Airport (FAB): Positioned about 35 miles southwest of central London, Farnborough is a coveted choice for private jet passengers and the only dedicated business aviation airport in the UK, with over 30,000 aircraft movements per year. Opening times are 07:00 – 22:00 Monday – Friday, 08:00 – 20:00 Weekends and Bank Holidays while being closed on Christmas & Boxing Day.

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London Stansted Airport (STN): Located about 35 miles northeast of central London, Stansted is one of the busiest airports in the UK for private jet travel, with over 170,000 movements per year. This airport is also open 24/7 like London Luton and can handle large VIP jets. Fun fact: It opened in 1943 during the Second World War as RAF Stansted Mountfitchet and was operated by the Royal Air Force.

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London City Airport (LCY): Right in the heart of London, City Airport is a popular choice for private jet travelers, with over 50,000 aircraft movements per year. Yet due to its urban location, it has some operational restrictions for larger aircraft. Opening times are 06:30 – 22:30 Monday – Friday and 06:30 – 13:00 on Saturdays.

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London RAF Northolt Jet Centre (NHT): Positioned at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Northolt airbase in Northwest London, the terminal is open to both the RAF and civilians but is restricted to 3,500 flights a year and therefore access is at a premium. The airfield is operational from Monday to Friday between 8:00 am – 16:00.

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Is London Heathrow an option for private jet flights? It sure is, although the heavy commercial traffic does not make it a top option for private jet charters unless you are connecting with a commercial flight to another destination. The same with London Gatwick Airport, one of the world’s busiest single runway terminals – although both are open 24/7 and do have the needed infrastructure to offer private jet travelers a seamless experience. 

Factors to consider when choosing a private jet airport in London

Private aviation is all about comfort, convenience, and time efficiency, therefore the airport selection should only maximize these traits. When choosing a private jet airport, there are several factors to consider to ensure that the airport can meet the passenger’s specific travel needs. For starters, from an operational standpoint, airport size and runway length are paramount, and any experienced private jet provider will advise their customers on which is the perfect airport for their needs.  

Whether for business or leisure, the airport location also plays a key role. The distance from the hotel or corporate headquarters when traveling for business, and the type of ground transportation connecting with the city center are relevant variables when choosing the airport. Furthermore, airport facilities and services such as VIP lounges, concierge services, and catering can make any passenger’s trip more comfortable and exclusive.  

Driving time to London downtown:

  • Luton to Canary Wharf – 1h 10m  55miles
  • Biggin hill to Canary Wharf – 1h  16 miles
  • Farnborough to Canary Wharf – 1h 30m  78miles
  • Stansted to Canary Wharf – 50m  34miles
  • Oxford to Canary Wharf  – 2h  97miles
  • Northolt to Canary Wharf  – 1h 30m   34miles 
  • London City to Canary Wharf – 30m 6miles
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Other considerations that will be coordinated by your private charter company are slot availability for parking, landing, and subsequent takeoff and the fees associated with using the private jet airport. Partnering with a reputable company will enable customers to understand all the existing costs before the actual flight departs the US.

Top routes from the U.S. to London

While there are many active private jet routes between the US and London, some have higher demand in terms of annual movements due to the availability of long-range private aircraft. With a minimum crossing distance of 7 hours, larger private jets are needed to cross the pond while passengers usually look for more comfortable options when the flight time is beyond 4-5 hours. We’ve prepared a list of the top private jet routes from the US to London: 

New York – London: This is one of the most popular private jet routes in the world, with travelers flying between these two global financial, cultural, and leisure hubs on a daily basis. Many airports in New York adapt to the expectations and needs of private jet passengers, including Teterboro Airport, Westchester County Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport. The estimated flight time is roughly 6-7 hours.

Los Angeles – London: This is a top route for travelers seeking to fly between the US West Coast and London. The Los Angeles area offers many airport options to private jet travelers, including Van Nuys Airport, Santa Monica Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport. With an estimated flight time of around 10-11 hours, some operators may offer a refueling stop along the way, typically in Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Miami – London: This route is popular for passengers wanting to connect between the US Southeast and London. Many airports in Miami and Southeast Florida serve private jets, including Miami International Airport, Opa-Locka Executive Airport, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The estimated flight time is around 8-9 hours and might require a fueling stop in the US Northeast before crossing the Atlantic.

Chicago – London: This route is popular for business and leisure travelers alike, with many options for private jet flights from airports in the Chicago area, including Chicago Midway International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and Chicago Executive Airport. The projected flight time is around 7-8 hours.

Dallas – London: This route is popular with travelers seeking to fly between the central region of the US and the UK’s capital. Popular airport options in Dallas are Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL), located just 7 miles from downtown, and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), one of the busiest terminals in the world. The estimated flight time is about 8-10 hours, which usually requires a refueling stop before flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

The below prices are based on the Super Mid Size Jet.

  • London – Miami ($122500)
  • London – Los Angeles ($140000)
  • London – Teterboro ($114000)
  • London – New York city ($78000) 

Conclusion

Private jet travel from the US to London is a popular option, especially with the slow recovery of international commercial aviation travel after the pandemic. London is Europe’s top private aviation hub regarding movements, availability of aircraft, and the number of providers, and as an outcome has top-notch infrastructure and dedicated airports to serve travelers flying for business or leisure purposes across the pond.

Choosing the right private jet provider with local knowledge and experience coordinating operations in London will secure a seamless international flight. Passengers should expect recommendations on the best aircraft to charter and the most convenient airport to land regarding the distance to the destination and the type of services required when arriving in London. 

Icarus Jet has preestablished relationships with certified operators and vendors that have extensive experience operating international private jet flights from the US to London, with the ultimate goal to deliver a safe, flexible, and reliable experience to the entire travel group.

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