What’s An Empty Leg Flight

The term “empty leg” might not be familiar with commercial airline travelers but with private jet flights, it is a term that is used to describe discounted flights. We have compiled a guide to empty legs and how you can find these discounted flights easily on you next private jet charter.

What is a private jet empty leg?

When a private jet has an empty sector on the return portion of a booked one-way private charter flight, it is called an empty leg. When scheduled customers are in a different point than where the private aircraft is located, the jet will need to fly empty to reposition itself to pick up its next customer from or return to its home base. Just like a taxi would on ground services, private aircraft sometimes simply do not have any passengers booked on part of their flight plan.

To draw out our example, imagine Dave needs to fly one way on a private jet from New York to Paris but he does not need to return to New York. He would have created an empty leg on the private jet’s flight plan when the aircraft needs to return to its home base in New York. The jet and its crew will then have to fly back to the New York airport without any passengers. This is an empty leg and it is usually available to be booked at very short notice but at a huge discount. In fact, an empty leg flight can be up to 75% off the original charter flight cost.

Why are empty legs sold at discounted prices?

When customers charter a private jet, it is made to order, so to speak. If the flight is a one-way flight, the aircraft operator often cannot find a full-price customer who wants to charter the return flight of that particular aircraft with that specific route and time. The flight is then offered at a significant discount compared to the full charter price because the aircraft needs to move anyway.

How much do private jet empty legs cost?

Discounts can generally go up to a 75% discount off the full price to charter a private jet. With the price being adjustable by the operator, discounts are usually dependent on the route and the flight crew’s discretion. Prices can be offered at exceptionally low rates if you are prepared to be flexible with the time and the route taken. An empty leg flight is a great way of travelling by private aviation where price ranges are very close to airline prices. There are also options to combine airline flights or a private charter schedule with an empty leg, it can offer a very cost-effective price point for your trip.

What are the methods to stay informed about available empty leg flights?

Many private aviation charter brokerages offer services to communicate of its empty leg availability to customers. They have the network to access a variety of flights and charters globally. The availability to communicate within the industry allows for the brokerage to find the most price competitive empty legs on the market. Instant prices from your home airport to any location can be received with detailed information and specifications.

  • October 5, 2018