Cessna Citation: The True Cost of Aircraft Ownership

A comprehensive look at the yearly cost to own a Cessna Citation
Read Time: 8 minutes
Jul 28, 2021

Before you begin shopping for a private jet, start by understanding what costs are required beyond the initial purchase. This article breaks down the trust cost of owning a Cessna Citation. While much of the information can be applied to other jets, the specific calculations were made with Cessna Citation owners in mind.

What is the Cessna Citation?

The Cessna Citation is a family of business jets that debuted in 1972 with the 500 Citation l. The line was named after the American Triple Crown winner Citation, an American Thoroughbred racehorse.

Since its start, Cessna has released 27 aircraft in the Citation l, Citation lll, and Latitude lines.

Because the cost of your Cessna Citation will vary slightly due to your model, you’ll want to pay close attention to the turboprop or jet specs on the model you pick.

Cost breakdown of the Cessna Citation

Cessna citation grounded

One-time costs

Purchase Cost – $7 million to $27 million

Purchase cost will depend largely on the model you pick from the Cessna Citation lineup. The existing models and their average prices are listed below:

  • Citation Longitude – $27 million
  • Citation Latitude – $15 million
  • Citation XLS+ – $13 million
  • Citation CJ4 Gen2 – $7 million
  • Citation CJ3+ – $8 million
  • Citation M2 – $4.5 million

These prices are the averages for new Citations. If you want to go the pre-owned route you can save quite a bit of money in purchase cost. Prices for used Cessna Citations will vary widely depending on the number of hours flown and other factors surrounding condition.

Unless you have the money upfront, this will likely be split into monthly loan payments over a series of years. If you decide to finance you’ll need to consider expenses from incurred interest.

Buying the aircraft itself will be the single-most expensive upfront cost in private jet ownership.

Recurring expenses

Fuel Cost – $875 per hour on average

Fuel costs average at about $5 per gallon but this fluctuates throughout the year. You can always find up-to-date national averages at Airnav or see current fuel prices broken down by region on GlobalAir.

Cessna Citations will burn 175 gallons of fuel per hour on average, although this number will vary slightly depending on your model. This means, if you’re spending $5 per gallon, you’re looking at an average of $875 per hour in fuel cost alone.

You’ll notice that fuel prices can spike as high as $8 to $13 per gallon. Consider your budget: If the prices spike, can you reasonably afford to fly?

To calculate how much you will spend for hours flown, consider:

(GPH of your aircraft x Cost per gallon) x hours flown

The average fuel burn per hour (GPH) of your aircraft will depend on what class it falls into. Large jets will burn an average of 370 GPH putting costs at $1,850 assuming fuel is $5 per gallon. Very light jets on the other hand may only burn 110 GPH putting their average costs at $550.

The current Cessna Citation GPH is as follows:

  • Citation Longitude – 270 GPH
  • Citation Latitude – 210 GPH
  • Citation XLS+ – 211 GPH
  • Citation CJ4 Gen2 – 173 GPH
  • Citation CJ3+ – 220 GPH
  • Citation M2 – 120 GPH

Crew – $200,000 per year

Your plane won’t fly itself. Crew needs will vary depending upon the size of the jet. Smaller jets might be able to get by with just one pilot while larger ones may need as many as three crew members. Other variables when it comes to crew cost include the region you’re based out of and the aircraft type. Beyond the required pilots, additional crew may include a relief pilot and a flight attendant.

Insurance – $1,200 to $10,000

Insurance is going to depend largely on what all is included in your plan. Not all aircraft insurance includes hull and bodily/injury or property damage coverage. Other factors that can affect cost include:

  • How many hours you’ll be flying
  • How the aircraft will be stored
  • How the aircraft will be parked
  • Where you live
  • The age of the aircraft
  • The type of aircraft
  • How much coverage you need

Due to the number of factors involved, the low end of insurance might be a premium of $1,200 a year while the high-end could be as high as $10,000.

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Landing and Handling Fees – $15 to $30 per flight

When landing in an airport you will be charged a landing and handling fee. This fee allows you to land at an airport, park securely, have bags unloaded, and have other ground services completed. This fee will vary wildly depending on where you are flying into, the size of the airport, and the weight of your aircraft.

Landing fees alone tend to be fairly low, some as low as $5 depending on the airport. Handling fees and related fees accrued for leaving the jet for an extended period of time are where things get pricier. This is where daily rates come in and can cost a couple hundred dollars.

Hangar (Storage Cost) – $300 per month

Storage costs are varied depending on what type of storage you want and where you’re looking to store your plane. You’ll find the cheapest option in outside storage at rural airports. Alternatively, the most expensive options will be urban airports with hangars.

This cost will average out at roughly $300 each month.

Maintenance – $200,000 per 200 hour/year

Just like a car, jets need oil changes too. For jets, you’re looking at an oil change for every 50 hours of use. This comes out to about every four months. Additionally, your aircraft will be required to undergo annual inspections. This cost can range from $600 to $1,200. And inevitably, repairs will be needed throughout the years, spanning from tiny updates to major overhauls. With both standard maintenance and out of the blue repairwork, you should budget for $200,000 per 200 hours each year.

Aircraft Cleaning – $200 to $600 each cleaning (optional)

Like housekeeping, aircraft cleaning is something you could technically do yourself if you have the time. But you can always pay someone else to handle it for you. The cost of washing and detailing your aircraft will depend on its size and the type of cleaning you request. These prices can range from $200 to $600 with add-on services bumping the cost up over $1,000.

Aircraft Management Fee – $5,000 to $15,000 per month (optional)

Paying a management company to take care of all of the administrative headaches that come with private jet ownership is a wise investment for busy owners of business jets. A management company takes care of scheduling, coordinating maintenance, accounting, compliance monitoring, record keeping, and staffing. While it is not required that you have an aircraft management company, it’s a service that you’ll want to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of.

Full Cost Breakdown At a Glance

No cost breakdown is going to be true to your personal situation, which is why we encourage you to consider your unique situation, location, and other factors that will change the budget. Stress testing your budget will also help you to be prepared in a worst-case situation.

The cost breakdown below assumes you purchase the Citation XLS+ which sits in the average price range for the Cessna Citation family of jets. This model burns 211 gallons of fuel per hour.

The following breakdown assumes 200 hours per year of use.

Expense Cost Per Year
Fuel Cost $211,000
Crew $200,000
Insurance $5,000
Landing and Handling Fees $1,000
Hangar (Storage Cost) $3,600
Maintenance $200,000
Aircraft Cleaning $4,800 (optional)
Aircraft Management Fee $120,000 (optional)
Total Yearly Expenses $745,400

Additional Considerations

If you’re breaking down your yearly expenses by flight hour then you’ll find massive differences in cost between 100 operation hours and 300 operational hours. This brings into question whether or not your situation garners ownership of a private jet or if you can get by with charters.

For more information on determining if purchasing a jet is right for you, check out the details in our article on the right time to buy a jet to make your decision.

Get Your Cessna Citation Insured

In the market for a new private business jet? The Cessna Citation may be the right investment for your needs. As with any major investment, you want to make sure your asset is kept safe and secure. We offer a range of comprehensive aviation insurance options at great rates. Make sure your new aircraft is never underinsured or uninsured, contact us to get