Aircraft Leasing vs. Aircraft Chartering: Which Is Right for You?

March 26, 2024

Aircraft Leasing vs. Aircraft Chartering: Which Is Right for You?

Aircraft leasing and chartering provides individuals with alternatives to regular airline travel in private aviation. These options cater to various preferences, needs, and flight usage patterns.

Choosing between aircraft leasing and chartering can be challenging when you don’t know the benefits. Learning their benefits and drawbacks can help you make a more informed decision.

Understanding Aircraft Leasing

Aircraft leasing is a financial agreement where someone rents an aircraft from a leasing company for a set time. Instead of buying the aircraft outright, the leaser makes regular lease payments to use the aircraft for the agreed period.

The two types of aircraft leasing include:

Operating Lease

The lessee in an operating lease doesn’t own the aircraft. It’s a shorter-term agreement that typically lasts for one to a few years. Operating leases often cover maintenance and other operational expenses that give you greater flexibility.

Finance Lease

A finance lease is a type of long-term agreement where the person leasing the aircraft may have the choice to buy it at the end of the lease period. With finance leases, the person leasing the aircraft is responsible for extra expenses like maintenance and insurance.

Benefits of Aircraft Leasing

Aircraft leasing is a favored option in the aviation industry because it provides numerous advantages to individuals, airlines, and businesses.

Here are the benefits of aircraft leasing:

Cost Savings

Leasing allows you to use an aircraft without the significant upfront costs associated with purchasing. This is especially beneficial for businesses seeking efficient management of capital expenses.


Operating leases offer flexibility because they are usually short-term agreements. This flexibility enables you to adjust to changing operational requirements, upgrade to newer planes, or modify their fleet size without making long-term commitments.

Modern Fleet

Leasing allows airlines and businesses to have the newest and most advanced aircraft without the cost of owning them. This is important for maintaining a modern and efficient fleet.

Easier Budgeting and Cash Flow Management

Lease payments are predictable and budget-friendly compared to owning an aircraft with fluctuating costs. This helps organizations manage cash flow effectively.

Drawbacks of Aircraft Leasing

While there are benefits to aircraft leasing, there are also disadvantages. It is important to take these factors into account when choosing between leasing and other aviation options.

Here are some drawbacks of aircraft leasing:

Limited Customization

Leased planes might have limitations on customization, which can restrict your ability to personalize the interior or features according to your specific preferences. This can be a drawback for those seeking highly personalized or branded aircraft.

Limited Ownership Benefits

By not owning an aircraft, you are not able to enjoy the advantages it brings such as charter revenue.

Understanding Aircraft Chartering

Aircraft chartering is a service that lets people, companies, or groups hire a whole aircraft for a particular trip or plan. Chartering offers a customized and adaptable travel adventure, unlike regular airlines, where passengers buy separate seats on fixed flights

Here are some elements to understand about aircraft chartering:

  • On-demand service: Aircraft chartering is a service that you can request whenever you need it. This means that the charter flight will be arranged according to your specific needs. This flexibility gives you the freedom to choose your departure times, destinations, and travel plans.
  • Varied aircraft options: Charter services offer diverse aircraft options, from small turboprops to luxurious airliners, based on passenger count, travel distance, and desired comfort.
  • Flexibility in destinations: Charter flights have the advantage of being able to fly to a variety of airports, even those smaller regional ones that are not typically served by commercial airlines. This flexibility is great for reaching destinations that have limited commercial aviation options.
  • Privacy and exclusivity: Chartering allows you to enjoy a personalized and exclusive travel adventure. You and your guests have the entire aircraft to yourselves, ensuring a high level of privacy and confidentiality that you might not find on regular commercial flights.
  • Customized services: Charter companies, such as Chartright Air Group, offer personalized amenities like in-flight catering and ground transportation to enhance the travel experience.

Benefits of Aircraft Chartering

Aircraft chartering is popular for those with specific travel needs due to its numerous advantages.

Here are the benefits of aircraft chartering:

Flexible Scheduling

Chartering gives you the freedom to choose your own departure and arrival times. In turn, you can easily adjust your flight schedule to suit your personal needs. This flexibility is especially beneficial for those with time-sensitive or changing travel plans.

Access to Remote and Unserviced Airports

Charter flights have the advantage of being able to fly to a wider selection of airports, such as smaller regional and private ones that are not served by commercial airlines. This allows travelers to conveniently reach destinations that are closer to their destination.

Time Efficiency

Charter flights are great for reducing pre-flight procedures like check-in and security checks. You can show up closer to departure time, and the plane can take off right away. This saves precious time for both you and your fellow passengers.

Tailored Services

Charter companies frequently provide extra services like onboard dining, transportation arrangements, and various amenities tailored to your preferences. This personalized touch elevates the overall travel experience.

Comfort and Amenities

Charter aircraft are equipped with luxurious interiors, comfortable seating, and amenities tailored to your preferences. This personalization ensures a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience.

No Ownership or Long-Term Commitment

Chartering offers the perks of private aviation without the burdens of owning or leasing an aircraft. It allows you to relish the benefits of flying privately without the financial and operational obligations that come with ownership.

Drawbacks of Aircraft Chartering

Aircraft chartering offers plenty of advantages. However, it also has its fair share of drawbacks that individuals and businesses need to take into account.

Here are the disadvantages of aircraft chartering:


Chartering can be more expensive than commercial air travel, especially for individuals or groups with budget constraints.

Limited Availability

It can be a challenge to find available charter flights during busy travel periods or in areas with limited services. Getting a charter flight at short notice can be tough, especially on popular routes with limited options.

Factors to Consider When Choosing

There are different factors to consider when deciding between aircraft leasing and chartering. Your choice is based on your travel requirements, flight preferences, and destination.

Consider these factors below:

  • Frequency of use: Consider how frequently you plan to use private aviation. Leasing is a better option if you need to use an airplane frequently for your travel needs. It offers regular access and eliminates the need for long-term commitments. On the other hand, chartering provides flexibility without any long-term obligations. This is perfect if you only travel occasionally or only go for one-time trips.
  • Budget and cost: Leasing is a suitable choice for frequent flyers as it usually comes with lower costs per hour. These expenses make it a more budget-friendly option. Chartering is flexible, but it may be more expensive per flight.
  • Flexibility requirements: If you’re looking for the freedom to switch between different aircraft types, routes, or schedules whenever you want, chartering provides you with the flexibility you need on demand. Leasing, mainly operating leases, might have more limitations on changes.
  • Commitment duration: Leasing requires a commitment for a long period, usually spanning multiple years. If you prefer flexibility in the short term, chartering could be a more suitable option as it provides on-demand and short-term arrangements.
  • Travel preferences: If privacy, exclusivity, and tailored services are essential, chartering better aligns with these preferences. Leasing might be more attractive to people who value saving money and maintaining consistency over the long run.


It all comes down to your specific requirements when deciding between aircraft leasing and chartering. Leasing offers stability, cost efficiency, and ownership appeal for committed travelers. On the other hand, chartering provides on-demand flexibility, diverse aircraft options, and tailored luxury for those with evolving itineraries.

The decision also hinges on factors like travel frequency, budget, and customization preferences. You should choose an option that primarily focuses on your long-term budget and destination.

Contact Chartright Air Group for Professional Guidance on Aircraft Leasing and Chartering

At Chartright Air Group, we recognize the significance of choosing between aircraft leasing and chartering. We are committed to assisting you in making an informed decision for your travel journey. Contact us now, and our dedicated team will be available to address your queries and offer professional guidance.

Thank you!

To get in touch with us now, please call us at
1-800-595-9395 ext. 220