Today: April 13, 2024 7:16 pm

Purchasing Your First Private Jet

When your biggest problem is figuring out what type of private jet to charter for your next trip, you have probably done well in accomplishing your investing and lifestyle goals. If you aren’t sure which jet type is right for you, here is an overview to get you started.

Starting from Small Compact Light Jets, sometimes referred to as VLJs, or Very Light Jets, informal classifications range up to what in industry lingo are called Bizliners, essentially the types of planes you might find being flown commercially by regional airlines and even Boeing 737s, 757s and Airbus A320 types. Of course, these ones don’t have hundreds of seats, but instead feature private bedrooms, showers, board tables, media rooms and plenty of legroom to spread out in leather lounge chairs.

Compact Light Jets

Citation Mustang | Eclipse EA500 | Honda Jet | Phenom 100

In the Compact Light Jets category, “The Phenom 100s, which seat four people, feature a huge cabin for a light jet, offer tremendous comfort and reliability, and cruise at 450 miles per hour at up to 40,000 feet, making them ideal for one to three hour hops,” says Alex Wilcox, CEO of JetSuite, which operates the type.

Small Cabin (Light) Jets

Beechjet 400A | Hawker 400XP | CitationJet | Citation CJ1 | Citation CJ1+ | Citation    CJ2 | Citation CJ2+ | Citation CJ3 | Citation Bravo | Citation Ultra | Citation Encore | Citation Encore+ | Learjet 31A | Premier IPremier IA | Nextant 400XTi Phenom 300

Roger Woolsey, CEO of Millionair, which operates 30 FBOs, says, “I love the smell of jet-fuel in the morning, so I’m admittedly fond of all jets.  But I must say the Citation CJ3 is a particular favorite!  It leads the pack in her low operating costs, flies at 400-knots per hour, has excellent range which allows my team to fly to any (of our) FBOs nonstop from the corporate headquarters in Houston, and it has enough luggage space for every passenger to bring their “real” luggage!  The CJ-3 fills so many boxes without sacrifice…speed, range, comfort, price, and luggage space.”

For Andrew Collins, CEO of Sentient, “The Phenom 300 is more of a super light jet than a traditional Light Preferred…I really like  that it’s the largest cabin in the light jet category with great performance in the air and on the ground (short runways).  The Phenom 300 has a range of 1,971 nm, which is New York to Aspen non-stop with enough fuel for an alternate at its maximum speed of 453 knots.  Typical seating configuration is six passengers and, for its size, it has great luggage capacity.”

However, Collins also likes the Nextant 400XTi, a plane that can also fly nonstop on the important New York to Aspen route. “This is a favorite of mine in the Light Preferred category at Sentient for its spacious cabin and ample luggage capacity,” Collins says, adding, “It cruises between a maximum speed of 460 knots and Long Range speed of 406 knots. The 400XTi can come in a number of configurations, one seating five passengers and others up to 7 passengers.   Kudos to Nextant for challenging and re-thinking the light jet.”

Super Light Jets

Astra SP | Astra SPX | Citation Excel | Citation XLS | Citation XLS+ | Gulfstream G-100 | Learjet 40 | Learjet 40XR | Learjet 45 | Learjet 45XR

Adam Twidell, founder of PrivateFly and also a general aviation pilot selects the Citation XLS, noting, “Maybe I’m a little biased, as I fly one of these myself. But millions of other private jet customers can’t be wrong! Despite a challenging time in the midsize segment over the past few years, the $14 million Citation XLS (and its forerunner and descendant the XL and XLS+) remains the world’s bestselling private jet.” Twidell says the reason for its populatrity is “versatility, space and reliability. With a range of 1,800 nautical miles, the eight-seater XLS can fly nonstop for three to four hours, opening up more routes than a small jet, but it comes in at the most cost-effective end of the midsize category. It costs $7,700 to charter for a day return from New York to Washington – less than many smaller aircraft. It also feels noticeably more spacious than a small jet, both in the cabin and in the 700 lbs. baggage hold – which can fit up to eight sets of golf clubs.”

Midsize Cabin Jets

Citation VII | Citation Latitude| Gulfstream G-150 | Hawker 750 | Hawker 800A | Hawker 800XP | Hawker 850XP |Hawker 900XP | Learjet 60 | Learjet 60XR

In the Midsize category, the Citation Latitude is creating excitement. Pat Gallagher, EVP Global Sales & Marketing at NetJets says,“We don’t have it in service just yet, but I am so excited to have the Citation Latitude in our fleet.  I’ve been on the demonstrator and just love it.  No other aircraft in its class can boast the same cabin and it has all the great performance characteristics that you would expect from a Citation.  At the price point and operating costs of a mid-size jet, you get a super-mid cabin with a flat floor and great baggage capacity.  This aircraft is going to be a huge hit for Cessna and NetJets.”

Super Midsize Cabin Jets

Challenger 300/350 | Citation Latitude| Citation Sovereign | Citation X | Falcon 50 | Falcon 50EX | Gulfstream G-200 | Hawker 1000 | Hawker 4000

In the Super Midsize Cabin category, Sentient’s Collins says, “The Challenger 300 is the most requested specific aircraft at Sentient. I love it for its spacious cabin, outstanding performance and quite ride…my favorite aircraft to fly in for sure.” He adds, “The CL300 has coast to coast capabilities (and) even New York to London.  The standard CL300 seats eight but I have seen them with up to nine passengers.”

VistaJet Chief Commercial Officer Ian Moore picks the Challenger 350 saying, “With a flying time of just over seven hours, this aircraft is perfect for taking up to eight passengers from San Francisco to New York City, Los Angeles to Miami, New York City to Nassau, or Dallas to Chicago.”

Large Cabin Jets

Challenger 604 | Challenger 605 | Falcon 2000 | Falcon 2000DX | Falcon 2000EX EASy | Falcon 2000 LX | Falcon 900 | Falcon 900B | Falcon 900C | Falcon 900DX |    Falcon 900EX EASy | Embraer Legacy 600 | Embraer Legacy Shuttle

Among large cabin jets, PrivateFly’s Twidell says he likes the Embraer Legacy 600, calling it, “another very popular choice for charter, along with the rest of the Legacy family, the 450, 650 and the new Legacy 500.” He says among the benefits, “It is widely available and the most cost-effective aircraft in the long range. Based on Brazilian manufacturer’s Embraer’s ERJ 135 airframe, the Legacy 600 feels very spacious and can’t be beaten on price for flights of around five hours, with its range of 3,400 nautical miles. (It) can hold up to 14 passengers, but without any compromise on cabin or hold space so, it’s a great choice for larger groups, or for those with lots of luggage.”

Large Cabin Heavy Jets

Global 5000 | Global Express | Global Express XRS | Gulfstream G-350 | Gulfstream G-450 |Gulfstream G-500 | Gulfstream G-550 | Gulfstream G-IV | Gulfstream G-IVSP | Gulfstream G-V | Falcon 7X

Gulfstream is the sexy name in the private jet industry and Victor’s Ryan says, the “GIV-SP is a very popular trans-Atlantic jet.  Typically seating between 12 and 16 passengers, these aircraft make regular trips between New York and London.” For those of you looking for a deal, he says this popular plane is “often being available for excellent value ’empty leg’ flights. The aircraft has a smart ‘airy’ cabin thanks to the unique, large oval windows and many of the leather seats in the cabin can be converted into beds, making sure that you arrived rested and refreshed for your important meetings and engagements.”

While it may not have the same name brand recognition as the Savannah-based jetmaker, Bombardier is a favorite choice for long-haul flying with its Global series. VistaJet’s Moore, which owns the Global 5000, says, “With a flying time of eleven hours and up to 13 passengers, or seven sleeping, this aircraft is perfect for trips between New York City and Paris, Los Angeles and Hawaii, Boston and San Jose, or Houston and London.” He says, “Bombardier Global aircraft are key to VistaJet executing its strategy of connecting the majority of the world’s city pairs non-stop with one-way pricing.”

NetJets’ Gallagher is also a fan of the Canadian manufacturer. “I absolutely love the Global 6000,” he told, adding, “It’s got the range to accomplish any mission you can dream up.  The cabin is so spacious, luxurious and whisper quiet, but perhaps the most impressive feature of the aircraft is that it can do things that no other large cabin can.  We just flew the Global 6000 from Aspen to London City, then on to Lugano, back to London City and finally home to White Plains.  You could spend a lot more for a competing jet and get nowhere near that kind of performance.”


Airbus A318 | Airbus A319 | Boeing BBJ | Boeing BBJ2 | Boeing BBJ3 | Embraer Lineage 1000

In this category, experts say the offerings are just too diverse to play favorite.  Each of these planes, which were mainly designed for commercial aviation use, are configured so differently there are big variations.  Some have bedrooms and showers, others have business class style seats.  Some have private sleeping compartments, others do not. Others have extra fuel tanks to add additional range over the exact same type of jet.  In this category it really comes down to looking at the specific planes that are available when and where you want to go.

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