When most people think of private jets, they think of the large, luxurious planes used by the wealthy and famous. But did you know that there are actually different types of private jets? And that each one is suited for a different purpose?
In this article, we will explore each type of private jet and discuss which is best for your needs.
Before we get into the different types of private jets, let's first look at what a private jet is.
A private jet, also known as a business jet or corporate jet, is an airplane that is used for transporting smaller groups of people, for business or personal travel. Private jets are either owned by an individual or a company, and they are flown by a professional pilot and crew.
While private jets are often associated with the wealthy and famous, they can actually be quite affordable, depending on your needs, and offer a number of advantages over commercial airlines, including flexibility, convenience, privacy and overall comfort.
Read more about the many advantages of private jets
Private jets come in a variety of sizes, from very light jets that can hold 4-6 passengers to large 'bizliners' that can hold up to 50 passengers.
In general, we can divide private jets into 7 different categories:
Each of these is suited for a different purpose, so let's take a closer look at each one.
Very light jets (VLJ) are the smallest and most affordable type of private jet. They are perfect for shorter trips over shorter distances, and can typically hold 4-6 passengers.
Some of the popular VLJs on the market include:
Very light jets are a popular choice for weekend getaways and skiing trips within a range of about 1,500 to 2,000 km, or some 2 to 3 hours of flight time.
We recently made a video tour of the Phenom 100, you can watch it here.
Light jets are larger than VLJs, and can typically hold 6-8 passengers. They are a good option for short trips with higher payload, as they offer more cabin and luggage space than a VLJ, but with a comparable cost-efficiency per seat.
Some of the popular light jets on the market include:
A light jet is an excellent choice for summer trips to Saint-Tropez, Ibiza or Cannes, and winter skiing trips in the Alps!
Midsize jets are a popular type of private jet and can hold up to about 10 passengers. They offer a good balance of cabin space and range, making them perfect for both shorter and longer trips, with plenty of cabin and luggage space to seat a slightly bigger group.
They also usually include a semi or fully-enclosed lavatory, which is a nice perk for long trips, together with added amenities and cabin space for a flight attendant.
Some of the popular midsize jets on the market include:
Super midsize jets offer more cabin and luggage space than midsize jets, and can seat up to 12-14 passengers. They are a good option for long trips as they offer a higher cruising speed, improved comfort, and longer range than midsize jets.
These jets usually also have a higher cabin ceiling, larger windows, better sleeping options, a better-equipped galley, and an enclosed lavatory, making them more comfortable for longer trips.
Some of the popular super-midsize jets on the market include:
We recently made a video tour of the Challenger 350, you can watch it here.
Heavy business jets offer even more cabin and luggage space than super-midsize jets, and can seat up to 19 passengers. They are the ideal choice for longer-range trips as they offer even higher cruising speeds and longer ranges than smaller categories.
These jets usually have a fully enclosed lavatory, full galley with oven, onboard entertainment system and WiFi, making them very comfortable for long trips with larger groups or families, and up to around 9 hours or 6,000 km of flying.
Full in-flight catering may be efficiently handled by two flight attendants onboard standard heavy jets.
Aircraft in this category and up do require longer runways and larger airports, making them less suited for getting in and out of smaller airports and shorter runways.
Some of the popular heavy jets include:
When you need to fly even further, an ultra-long-range jet is the best option. These jets can seat up to 19 passengers and have a range of over 10,000 km, or about 12 hours of flight time.
This category offers the highest levels of comfort, with features such as a full galley, large TVs, kingsize beds, bathrooms and different areas for resting, dining, work and entertainment.
Some of the popular ultra-long-range jets include:
We recently made a video tour of the Global 7500, you can watch it here.
Also called Bizliners, executive airliners are the largest ánd most expensive type of private jet, and can typically hold 20-50 passengers. They offer a luxurious experience, with features like fully enclosed lavatories, conference rooms, luxury bathrooms and showers, and suite-style sleeping quarters.
Executive airliners are either purpose-built or converted from commercial airliners previously retired from active airline use.
Some of the most popular and well-known executive airliners on the market include:
Some heads of state and celebrities own other custom executive airliners, such as Donald Trump's Boeing 757 and the Sultan of Brunei's custom Boeing 747.
For those with unlimited budgets, Airbus offered the option to purchase the Airbus A380, the world's biggest commercial airliner, in a Bizliner version: the Airbus ACJ380. With a price tag of about $400 million, only one order was ever made for this flying palace.
The above categories only include jets, but there is also a growing market for turboprop planes.
Turboprops are jet-powered propeller (turbofan) planes that offer close to the performance of a jet with the lower cost of operation of a turbofan.
They are perfect for shorter trips within a range of about 1,000 to 1,500 km, and can typically hold 6-10 passengers. Turboprops are especially useful when flying to unpaved and/or shorter runways, such as Courchevel altiport.
Some of the popular turboprop planes on the market include:
You can read more about the many advantages of turboprops here
Although the type of private jet you choose will be largely dependent on your needs and budget, there are a few key factors to consider when making your decision:
Once you have answers to these questions, you can start narrowing down your options and find the perfect jet for your next trip, together with your private jet broker.
There are a variety of private jets to choose from, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your specific needs, one type may be better suited for the mission than another.
However, deciding which private jet is right for you can be a daunting task.
Besides objective factors like range and capacity, your personal preferences, budget and needs will also play a role in choosing the right private jet for you.
When booking your next flight and determining which type of aircraft meets your specific requirements, make sure to give us a call to discuss the possibilities.
With so many different types of private jets, the advice of a specialized private jet broker is worth its weight in gold.
With the 3000+ flights we book at The Aviation Factory each year, we can get you any aircraft at the very best prices.
We provide charter planes for large groups, fast jets for private flights to helicopters for bungee jumping: from New York to St. Tropez, from London to Vladivostok. We fly worldwide. You choose the destination, we organize the flight with a smile. Even when it has to be done yesterday. That just gives us an extra chance to prove ourselves as the great flight planners we are.