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How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Helicopter?

Last Updated on December 27, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Businessmen, multinational managers, and celebrities are the people who most often use the services of air taxi companies. That is, they rent helicopters to move from one city to another. Even if the rates are $300 to $6,000 per hour, the specialized companies do not complain about the lack of customers and say that they have all the aircraft occupied every day.

Most of the clients are businessmen from different fields of activity, top employees of multinational companies, local and international personalities, and stars. Among the clients are also politicians, although they use this type of transportation less often.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Helicopter?

The cost of helicopter rental is anywhere between $300 and $6,000 per hour and will depend on several factors like the type of helicopter, your departure and destination locations, as well as the overall duration of the flight, among others. Similar to any jet, the cost of hiring a private helicopter is affected by multiple factors. Also, you should know that, in general, companies are charging only for the air time, which is different from the flight time.

Air time refers to the time that you spend in the air, that starts when the helicopter takes off and stops when it lands. Meanwhile, the flight time includes the entire service, from the arrival time to the waiting time and the landing time.

When determining the cost of hiring a private helicopter, the next factors are crucial.

Type of helicopter

Similar to car rental, the faster and newer the model, the more expensive it will be. For instance, a twin-engine gas turbine helicopter will cost much more than a single-engine piston aircraft.

Here is a list of some types of helicopters by type of engine, starting with the most expensive:

  • Twin engine gas turbine;
  • Single-engine gas turbine;
  • Single engine piston.

You should keep in mind these three main categories when choosing what helicopter to hire.

Departure and destination

The cost is not affected only by the geographical location you take off from and land on, like Nice to Paris or Moscow to London, but also by the departure and arrival airports (in case you don’t have a helipad or a large area in an unpopulated zone where the helicopter can take off from and land).

Duration of the trip/flight

In general, a helicopter is rented per hour, but there could also be daily fees, in case you plan to stay overnight in the city of destination. In this situation, the costs will increase because you will have to pay for the pilot’s meals and accommodation. So, before booking a three-day trip, keep this aspect in mind.

In some cases, there may be a catering service and two pilots, and you will also have to pay for this. So, when going for a helicopter flight, ensure that you have to pay only for the services you required and all of them are included.

Number of passengers

Usually, when you need a helicopter charter, you have the entire aircraft only for you. The cost is per helicopter and then it can be split between passengers. So, the more passengers, the lower the costs.

The cost of renting a helicopter per hour

Regardless of whether the helicopter you want to rent offers a catering service, comes with one or two pilots, or has one or two engines, the most usual and convenient way to rent it is by the hour. We already mentioned that it can be rented also by the day, but this is rare.

To get a better idea about the costs of renting a helicopter, in the table below you will find the average prices depending on the helicopter’s engine and the number of passengers. You will notice in the second table that the costs will also vary based on hours and destination.

Number of Passengers Type of Helicopter/Number of Engines Price Per Hour in USD
12 Twin Engine Gas Turbine $5,000 – $6,000
6 Twin Engine Gas Turbine $2,000 – $3,000
6 Single Engine Gas Turbine $1,800 – $2,200
4 Single Engine Gas Turbine $1,200 – $1,500
4 Single Engine Piston $950 – $1,200
3 Single Engine Piston $450 – $550
1 Single Engine Piston $250 – $300

In some cases, you may have to pay less for a twin-engine helicopter than for a single-engine gas-turbine aircraft. The reasons are that this helicopter model is more comfortable, newer, and better.

For instance, a Leonardo AW109 a great piece of aviation, that has two engines will be cheaper than an Airbus EC130/H130 helicopter, that runs on one engine. So, get informed about your helicopter before renting it.

The cost to charter a helicopter per hour (Including Destinations)

In the table below you will find the average helicopter rental costs per hour for some of the most popular destinations. In general, the cost of charter services is the same for one to four passengers, and this is because, as we already said, you rent the entire helicopter that can accommodate four persons.

You might also like our articles on the cost of private jet rental, BAJit, or CESSNA.

In case you want to fly with a larger group, or with more than four passengers, you should contact a company that offers these types of services as there are different rules for each company.

Route Number of Passengers One-Way Price in USD ($) Two-Ways Price in USD ($)
London, UK to Paris, France 1-4 $8,000 $11,500
London, UK to Rome, Italy 1-4 $7,900 $11,400
London, UK to Geneva, Switzerland 1-4 $14,000 $20,500
New York, USA to Los Angeles, USA 1-4 $43,700 $45,000
Singapore, Singapore to Bangkok, Thailand 1-4 $28,800 $45,000
Los Angeles, USA to Las Vegas, USA 1-4 $7,300 $9,500
Johannesburg, South Africa to Cape Town, South Africa 1-4 $18,700 $21,500
Milan, Italy to Ibiza, Spain 1-4 $14,600 $17,000
Birmingham, UK to Paris, France 1-4 $8,200 $10,100
London, UK to Amsterdam, Netherlands 1-4 $5,900 $7,100
Toronto, Canada to New York, USA 1-4 $7,800 $9,000
Atlanta, USA to Miami, USA 1-4 $10,400 $13,700
London, UK to Moscow, Russian Federation 1-4 $28,300 $31,200

Why rent a private helicopter?

Private Helicopter Taking OffCommercial airline flight is complex and complicated and cumbersome due to security filters, problems with lost luggage, narrow legroom in the passenger cabin, and unexpected delays.

This is why more and more people are choosing to move away from the complicated process of flying with commercial airlines and instead choose to fly with a helicopter or chartered plane services.

A helicopter ride will not only make you feel comfortable and delight your eyes, but it can even change your perspective on life. Not long ago, a helicopter ride seemed like something, not many people had access to, but things have changed considerably in recent times.

Therefore, whether you like adventure and want to get out of everyday life or you simply want to surprise your partner, a helicopter ride is probably one of the most fascinating experiences you can have in life.

Final words

It may be pretty expensive to rent a charter helicopter, but if you follow our tips, you may afford this experience.

You should bring on board as many people as possible, of course, depending on the helicopter’s capacity, in order to pay much less. You will have to pay for the entire helicopter, so if the cost is split among more people, you will lower your expenses.

But the number of passengers is not the only factor you should take into account. The type of helicopter is also very important. For instance, a single-engine gas turbine helicopter will be more expensive than a single-engine piston helicopter. However, the most expensive option is a helicopter that has a twin-engine gas turbine.

The costs may also increase if an overnight stay will be included before coming back, as well as if you add an additional pilot. Keep in mind that you must pay for the crew’s meals and accommodation during the trip.

So, the cost of renting a private helicopter would start at around $320 for a short-distance trip in a less powerful helicopter, but it can go up to thousands of dollars if the aircraft type and destination demands it.

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