The 6 Categories of Private Jets
There is a wide variety of private/business aircraft models available for charter, lease and sale.
There are six main categories based on weight, range and passenger comfort.
These are turboprop aircraft, very light aircraft, light aircraft, intermediate aircraft, super-intermediate aircraft, and heavy aircraft.
To make the best choice, we need to understand your travel preferences:
- Who are the travelers? Members of your management team, your most loyal customers, or a large group of employees?
- What will you be doing while on board? Working individually? Hold meetings? Carrying goods or samples? Or will you use the trip to rest and relax?
- Where do you leave from and where do you go? Do you prefer small airfields? Is the journey long or short? Will you be flying over the ocean or through inhospitable regions?
- What advantages of business aviation appeal to you most? Easy access to small airports? Save time by avoiding international hubs? Organise your travel in the most flexible way possible? Or do you want to treat yourself to a unique travel experience?
- Does the speed of the chosen aircraft have an impact on meeting your travel needs? Can the execution of the transport be impacted by the weather conditions on your route?
The typical characteristics of each category of business aircraft are described below:
Turboprop aircraft & Very Light Jet (or VLJ)
Thanks to its technical specifications, the very light jet offers the versatility needed to serve airfields with very short runways of less than 1000 meters in length. In Europe, this means that more than 2,000 airports are accessible to you. Cost-effective to operate, they offer you the best value for money for all your travel on short routes (less than 2.5 hours), while offering rapidity and flexibility of dispatch.
- Most common types: Pilatus PC12, Beechcraft 200, Cessna Citation Mustang, Embraer Phenom 100, Eclipse 500
- Capacity: 3 to 6 passengers per aircraft
- Comfort: Cabin height between 1.35 and 1.50 meters. Toilets are an option.
- Range: 1000 to 1500 km, non-stop
- Speed: 450-500 km/h for turboprop aircraft – 650 to 720 km/h for jet aircraft
- Typical missions: Operations from basic aerodrome facilities; short runway operations; very short flight (less than 2 hours); small number of passengers
Light Business Jets
This category offers more versatility: operation from smaller airfields with the ability to fly faster and further. This makes them very popular in the European market, where distances flown are generally short (3 hours on average) and the average load is limited to 2.5 passengers.
- Most common types: Citation CJ1, CJ2, CJ3 and CJ4; Embraer Phenom 300; Cessna Bravo and Encore
- Capacity: 5 to 8 passengers (sometimes more, but at the expense of comfort)
- Comfort: Cabin height between 1.45 and 1.70 meters. Often equipped with isolated toilets.
- Range: 2000 to 2500 km, non-stop
- Speed: 680 to 780 km/h
- Typical missions: Aerodromes with minimal facilities; short flights (between 2 and 3.5 hours); small number of passengers and luggage
Midsize Business Jet
Originally, aircraft in this category were designed for the North American market, allowing groups of half a dozen passengers to cross the country from west to east in the safest and most comfortable conditions. This ability to provide transcontinental flights is transposable to serving the Middle East from Western Europe.
- Most common types: Citation XLS; Cessna Sovereign; Embraer Legacy 450; Hawker Beechcraft 900XP; Embraer Praetor 500
- Capacity: 7 to 10 passengers
- Comfort: Cabin height between 1.70 and 1.83 meters. Cabin equipped with a toilet, a small kitchen, on selected models.
- Range: 3000 to 4500 km, non-stop
- Speed: 750 to 850 km/h
- Typical missions: Medium airfield; medium/long haul flight (between 4.5 and 6.5 hours); carry more luggage capabilities
Super Midsize Business Jets
This market segment of private jets has been the focus of much attention over the past 15 years. The gap between intercontinental business jets and large-cabin jets capable of flying to Singapore in a single hop had to be filled. The ‘super midsize’ category combines a wide fuselage, relatively high speed and optimum comfort for transatlantic flights, thanks to the presence of a flight attendant and a fully equipped galley for preparing gourmet hot meals.
- Most common types: Dassault Falcon 2000S and 900DX, Embraer Legacy 650, Gulfstream G250, Bombardier Challenger 300
- Capacity: 10 to 13 passengers
- Comfort: Cabin height between 1.80 and 1.90 meters. Cabin equipped with a toilet, a kitchen, several isolated cabins
- Travelling distance: 4500 to 7000 km, non-stop
- Speed: 800 to 850 km/h
- Typical missions: Aerodrome with a runway of at least 1500 meters; long-haul flight (between 5 and 7 hours); capacity to carry more luggage and passengers
Large Business Jets And Bizliners (Or Vip Airliners)
This category includes all the most high-performance and luxurious private jets available on the market. Capable of very long flights, they are often equipped with seats that can be converted into beds. Heavy business jets are designed from the start to accommodate up to a dozen passengers in comfort on long-haul flights that can exceed 12 to 15 hours. Business jets (also known as ‘VIP airliners’ or ‘bizliners’) are equipped with a cabin offering the same level of comfort for a larger number of passengers. Often equipped with extra tanks, they are also capable of long-distance flights. Sometimes equipped with bedrooms, bathrooms and conference rooms, their head-of-state configuration means that they are often used by governments or large international organisations.
- Most common types: Dassault Falcon 8X, Gulfstream 550 and 650, Bombardier Global 6000 to 8000 and Airbus ACJ 320 Neo
- Capacity: 16 to 25 passengers
- Comfort: Cabin height between 1.87 and 2.10 metres. Cabin equipped with toilets, kitchen, several insulated cabins, bedrooms, shower room (on some “Head-of-State” airliners)
- Range: 8000 to 15000 km, non-stop
- Speed: 880 to 970 km/h
- Typical missions: Very long-haul flights (over 10 hours); ability to carry more luggage and people for night flights, in the best conditions