For people who prioritize their time, convenience, and privacy, helicopters and private jets provide the fastest solution for getting from one place to another. While both provide comfortable transportation, there are certain times when one mode of transport is a better option.

While both modes of travel allow you to avoid all the hassles involved in flying commercially and using crowded public airports, the one you select will ultimately depend upon where you are. If your journey is from an FBO into the city or you need to make multiple short-distance trips within a day or two, a helicopter might be your best choice. If you are flying long distances, choosing to charter a private jet makes much more sense.

Helicopters are suitable for congested cities

An excellent example of when chartering a helicopter makes sense would be if you were in São Paulo, Brazil, for business. Home to over 12 million people, the Brazilian financial center is famous for its chaotic traffic and horrendous traffic jams. Brazil's failure to modernize its infrastructure as its economy grows has led the city's wealthy to find alternative means of transport. 

Getting from the FBO at Sao Paulo Campo De Marte Airport (RTE) or São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) into the city by car can take up to two hours at certain times. Traveling by helicopter meanwhile takes a matter of minutes. 

In São Paulo, a helicopter is estimated to land every 45 seconds on one of the city's 260 helipads. 

The advantages of flying by helicopter are:

  • You never get stuck in traffic when traveling to or from the airport.

  • Helicopters are perfect if you travel between multiple locations in a single day.

  • Helicopters can take off and land anywhere with enough space to do so safely.

Private jets are faster and have a longer range

While it can be fun to travel in a helicopter, they have a limited range, whereas private jets can fly thousands of miles depending on the aircraft. Typically, piston-powered helicopters have a range of between 200-350 miles. Gas-turbine-powered helicopters can fly further with a range of around 300-450 miles.

Private jets are also far more comfortable and quieter than helicopters and have far more amenities onboard to make for a pleasanter journey. Larger private jets are fitted with kitchens and bathrooms, which you will never have in a helicopter. Private jets are also larger, so they can carry more passengers and luggage than your average charter helicopter.

The advantages of a private jet over a helicopter are:

  • Private jets can fly much faster and have a far greater range.

  • Private jets can carry more passengers and luggage than a helicopter.

  • Private jets are quieter, have more amenities, and are more comfortable than a helicopter.

Which is safer, a private jet or a helicopter?

When it comes to aviation in general, safety is always the main concern and the number one priority of the company that operates the private jet or helicopter you will charter. While private jets and modern helicopters have advanced safety features, each differs due to their design and operational needs. Whether flying by private jet or helicopter, all passengers will be given a safety briefing explaining what they need to do in an emergency.

Statistically speaking, helicopter charters have a higher risk of crashing than private jet charters. There are several why this is the case and why you are always safer flying by private jet than by helicopter. One of them is due to Newton's third law, which states that there is an equal and opposite reaction for every action. Regarding helicopters, this has to do with the rotation of the rotor blades. Because they turn in one direction, the helicopter's body wants to turn in the opposite direction. To counter this, helicopters need a tail rotor to provide a counteracting force. Another reason helicopters are more dangerous is that they fly closer to the ground and have little time to react in an emergency.


While there is no universal answer as to which mode of travel is better, private jets win regarding speed, distance, comfort, and safety. If, however, you need to do multiple trips over short distances, a helicopter would be a better choice.

If you plan to travel for business or pleasure, Paramount Business Jets can arrange the perfect private jet or helicopter to suit your needs. For more information, visit Paramount Business Jets online or call +1-877-727-2538 24/7.

Photo: Alec Wison|Wikimedia Commons Anna Zvevreva|Wikimedia Commons. Gulfstream.