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Importance of Private Jet Empty Leg Flights in the Aviation Industry

Updated: May 11

Empty Leg Flights

When it comes to air travel, we often think of booking flights in advance, adhering to fixed schedules, and paying hefty prices. What if you could enjoy the perks of flying privately without paying a fortune? That's where empty-leg flights come in. 

Understanding Empty Leg Flights

Empty-leg flights, also known as deadhead flights, occur when a private jet is booked for a one-way trip but returns empty to its base or next destination. This can happen for various reasons, such as dropping off passengers at their destination and needing to return to base or positioning the aircraft for the next charter.

Contrary to popular belief, empty-leg flights are not just reserved for the elite few. They present an opportunity for travelers to access private jet travel at significantly reduced rates. Additionally, they offer charter companies a chance to maximize the utilization of their fleet and generate additional revenue.

The Importance of Empty Leg Flights

Empty-leg flights play a crucial role in the aviation industry for several reasons:

Cost-saving Opportunities: For travelers, empty-leg flights offer the chance to experience the luxury of private aviation without breaking the bank. With prices often discounted by up to 75%, empty-leg flights make private jet travel more accessible than ever before.

Access to Remote Destinations: Empty-leg flights often serve destinations that may not have regular scheduled flights or are difficult to reach via commercial airlines. This opens up new opportunities for travelers to explore remote or underserved regions with ease.

How Many Empty Leg Flights Get Filled?

According to industry data, approximately 30% to 40% of empty-leg flights are successfully filled. While this may seem like a modest figure, it represents a significant opportunity for both travelers and operators to capitalize on unused capacity and maximize efficiency.

The likelihood of filling empty-leg flights depends on various factors, including the popularity of the route, the timing of the flight, and the competitiveness of pricing. By leveraging analytics and marketing strategies, operators can increase the chances of filling empty-leg flights and optimizing their revenue potential.

The Impact of Empty Leg Flights

Empty-leg flights have a multi-faceted impact on the aviation industry and beyond:

Economic Impact: Filling empty-leg flights generates additional revenue for charter companies and operators, effectively monetizing otherwise idle aircraft capacity. This contributes to the overall profitability and sustainability of the aviation business model.

Social Impact: Access to affordable private jet travel through empty-leg flights democratizes air travel and makes it more inclusive. It enables individuals and businesses to experience the benefits of private aviation without the prohibitive costs associated with traditional charter services.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Numerous success stories demonstrate the effectiveness and value of empty-leg flights:

Client Background:

A group of four friends residing in London, England, is eager to embark on a spontaneous trip to Paris, France, for a weekend getaway. Meanwhile, a private charter company based in London operates a fleet of aircraft, including a Citation XLS jet.


The group of friends discovers an opportunity to book an empty leg flight from London to Paris for their adventure. The private charter company, with an empty leg returning from a previous trip to Paris, sees an opportunity to optimize its aircraft utilization and generate additional revenue.

Benefits for Travelers:

Cost Savings: By booking an empty-leg flight, the group of friends enjoys significant cost savings compared to traditional commercial flights or full-price private charters. 

Convenience: Travelers avoid the hassle of navigating crowded airports. 

Time Optimization: With an empty-leg flight, the group minimizes travel time, reaching their destination swiftly and efficiently. This allows them to maximize their time exploring Paris.

Benefits for Operators:

Revenue Generation: By filling empty leg flights, the charter company capitalizes on otherwise unused aircraft capacity, generating additional revenue without incurring significant operational costs. This optimizes the company's revenue stream and improves profitability.

Customer Satisfaction: By offering empty-leg flights, the charter company provides customers with a cost-effective and convenient travel option. This builds customer satisfaction and loyalty. 


Empty-leg flights offer mutual benefits for both travelers and operators. As demonstrated in this case study, empty-leg flights serve as a win-win solution for all parties involved. 

Personal Experience:

As a business traveler, I've relied on empty-leg flights to attend important meetings and conferences on short notice. The flexibility and cost savings have made all the difference in maximizing my productivity while on the go.

Insta Charter Solution

Despite the undeniable benefits of empty-leg flights, challenges remain in effectively filling and monetizing these opportunities. Key challenges include route unpredictability, pricing competitiveness, and operational efficiency.

Here is where Insta Charter helps-

For Charter Brokers- With our Air Charter Marketplace, we match up the relevant empty legs in the search result so that you do not have to go through every charter empty leg flight to find the best one. You can find them in 'Single Point' or 'Active Charter'.

For Air Charter Operators- Operators can schedule their empty-leg flights from Single Point or by posting empty legs manually and can get them featured in the Insta Charter Network i.e. 'Single Point', 'The Market App' and 'Active Charter App'.

Insta Charter has developed a whole technology environment for air charter operators and charter brokers to ease up their daily business.

Connect with us to know more!


The key is to see how flexible the traveler is with the timing to make the most of empty-leg flights. This is because the empty leg can be rescheduled based on the schedule of the live leg. If travelers' travel plans are not flexible for a particular trip, then an empty leg may not be the best choice.

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