Introduction to Private Jets

There are dozens of models of private jets available today. Choosing which jet to charter for your next business trip or get away can be a daunting task. One way to help streamline the charter process is to understand the five basic industry categories of private-business jets; these categories based on three specifications weight, range, and cabin space (how many passengers, cabin dimensions and cabin amenities). The five categories are Very Light Jet, Light Jet, Midsize Jet, Super-Midsize Jet, Large Jets and Heavy Jets (“Bizliners”).

To simplify the process even more we suggest the 4WsH (Who, What, Where, Why and How) approach to helping you relate the categories and your specific travel needs, by asking yourself these 5 Questions:

1) Who typically will be traveling on most flights? Just a few members of your executive team, a small group of friends or family, or medium to large groups of individuals for an event?

2) What will you be doing on the flight? Working on your Tablet or Laptop? Conducting in-flight meetings or socializing with friends and family? Will you be carrying specialized equipment (sporting gear) or larger presentation materials? Or are you just flying private to get to destinations more quickly.

3) Where are you going? Short hops to key regional airports? Cross Country trips? Are you flying Transatlantic flights to conduct global business?

4) Why do you need or want use a private jet? To access small airports throughout the country easily? To save time boarding, going through security, connecting flight and baggage retrieval? To get to you destinations as flexibly as possible while minimizing your travel commute?

5) How quickly do you need to access destinations? As quickly as possible using small airports? As quickly as possible throughout all weather conditions?

After you have asked and answered these five questions, use the answers in consideration of capabilities of each category of aircraft. As you match your answers the ideal private-business jet will become apparent:

Assortment of private jets

Very Light Jet:

The Very Light Jet category offer agility to access small airports with shorter runways. In the U.S. and Caribbean alone, that opens up over 5,000 airports for both business and leisure travels. What’s more, they won’t overburden your Operational Expense, yet they still deliver speed and travel flexibility. Examples include The HondaJet, HondaJet Elite, Eclipse 500/550 and Embraer Phenom 100.

Who: Capacity of 4-6 passengers

What: Limited in-cabin amenities, but lavatories are possible.

Where: Range of 1,000 – 1,500 miles

Why: Small airport accessible; shorter runway take-offs and landings make this category very agile

How: Cruising at speeds up to 480 mph

Light Jets:

This Light Jet category benefits from being able to land at smaller airports. In addition these aircraft can extend the range to intra-continental capabilities. Light jets have been a popular option since the launch of the business jet market about 50 years ago. Examples include Bombardier Learjets’ 35A, 36, 40XR, 45XR, 70, 75 & 75 Liberty; Hawker Beechcraft 400; Embraer Phenom 300; Dassault Falcon 10; and Cessna Citation CJ1-CJ4, Bravo, and Encore models.

Who: 5-8 passengers is typical for comfortable seating

What: More in-cabin comforts (e.g., reclining seats, air conditioning, some electronics) are typically included.

Where: Medium range 1,500-2,400 miles non-stop, which is about 2 ½-3 ½ hours

Why: They can land on shorter runways, giving you access to smaller, less busy airports

How: Cruising typically between 400-560 miles per hour

Midsize Jet:

The Midsize Jet category came out of the need for increased range, transcontinental flights. At the same time there was increased demand for larger groups of passengers. A business staple and now the preferred luxury leisure travel jet. The flexible midsize jet offers a larger and more comfortable cabin for long flights. Examples include Cessna Citation XLS, Columbus, and Sovereign; Embraer Legacy 450 and 500; Bombardier Learjet 60XR or 85; Dassault Falcon 20; Hawker Beechcraft 750, 850XP, and 900XP; and Gulfstream 150 and 250.

Who: 5-10 passengers

What: All models have a lavatory; in-flight entertainment and work is possible; more luggage capacity and less weight restrictions

Where: Range of 2,000-3,000 miles non-stop, up to 5 hours of flight time

Why: They can land on smaller runways, but these aircraft are suitable for longer-range travel such as transcontinental flights and for travel with larger passenger capacity requirements

How: Cruising speed is usually between 430-550 miles per hour

Super Midsize Jets

The Super Midsize Jets category offers aircraft with wider bodies they combine speed, productivity, luxury, and ultra-range capabilities. They can climb to high altitudes quickly yet comfortably, making this category a good choice for longer flights including transcontinental. Examples include Dassault Falcon 2000S and 900DX, Cessna Citation X, Embraer Legacy 600, Gulfstream G250, Bombardier Challenger 300 & 350, and Hawker Beechcraft 4000.

Who: 8-10 passengers

What: These are luxurious aircraft with elite amenities; they can accommodate passengers and baggage comfortably

Where: Range generally is 3,000-4,600 miles non-stop

Why: These jets are fast and fuel efficient, and they can support intra-continental and limited transcontinental travel needs

How: Cruising speed is usually between 460-560 miles per hour

Large/Heavy Jets

The Large/Heavy Jet category are purposely designed for extreme luxury and business travel. The cabin of these jets can be customized for a luxurious and productive flight with dedicated work and entertainment spaces; conference rooms, offices, bedrooms, even full-service galleys are common on these flying yachts. They are capable of intercontinental travel with incredible ranges. Large/Heavy Jets include Bombardier Global Express Series, the Challenger 600 series, 650 & 850; the Dassault Falcon 7x; and the iconic Gulfstream V, VI, G550, G650 & 700. 

Who: 10-18 passengers

What: Any amenity you can imagine, including state-of-the-art electronics, is possible on these super-luxurious highly customizable jets; they enable business as usual during flight; as well as provide ultimate leisure comfort.

Where: Range is 6,000+ miles, with some jets capable of over 8000 miles.

Why: These planes can operate in most weather conditions, able to cruise at altitudes over 48,000 feet.

How: Cruising speed is usually between 480-600+ miles per hour

Super Heavy Jets (“Bizliner”)

Heavy Jets (also known as “Bizliners”) typically are converted commercial airline aircraft. Examples of heavy jets include Boeing Business Jets and Airbus models. We will be preparing a special article on this unique aircraft category.