Private Jet Blog | Dassault Falcon 7X

Dassault Falcon 7X

Dassault Falcon 7X

Overview

The Falcon 900 Trijet series of jets began in 1986 when the first production aircraft was delivered. The combination of the 3 engines, extra wide cabin and long range gave the Falcon 900 unique performance capabilities and make it a perfect aircraft for higher altitude or shorter runway departures which require a large number of passengers and/or a non-stop flight. The Trijet design is unique to Dassault Falcons with several variations including the Falcon 50, 50EX, 900, 900B, 900C, 900EX, 900EX EASy, 900LX, 900DX, 7X and 8X. The combined three engines produce 18k lbs. of centerline thrust with two engines mounted on either side of the fuselage plus one in the top, center, back of the jet.

The Falcon 7X, launched in 2007 is an improved version of the 900 with a newly designed high-speed, swept wing and about 20% more cabin. Compared to the Falcon 900EX, the 7X can fly about 30 mph faster and 1,200 miles further to a total of 6,586 miles non-stop. The 900EX has a lower Balanced Field Length at 5,084 feet vs. 5,460 feet for the 7X which is still impressive when compared to the Gulfstream V which requires over 6k feet of runway. The Falcon 7X is the only jet which can fly non-stop from London City Airport to Teterboro non-stop.

The Falcon 7X is the first fully fly-by-wire business jet which is technology derived from military aircraft and offers the same advanced avionics package as the 900EX EAsy. The cabin contains 1,848 cubic feet of space with an additional 131 cubic feet of baggage capacity making it very comfortable for up to 14 passengers and is about 10% smaller than the competing GV. The cabin also has an in-flight cabin altitude of just 4,800 feet at 45,000 ft. as well as an advanced ‘quieting acoustics’ which greatly reduce fatigue on longer trips. Over 270 Falcon 7X’s have been built since 2007 and the latest version and the fleet has now logged over 550,000 flight hours.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Falcon 7X.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Falcon 7X.

NTSB Record Search

We did not find any incidents/accidents from the NTSB database search which goes back to 2007.

To search NTSB records for the Falcon 7X series check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Falcon 7X’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 29 advertisements of Falcon 7X’s for sale between $20.9 and $22.5 million at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Dassault/Falcon%207X which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings.

Falcon 7X Charter

The Falcon 7X is more commonly available for charter in Europe than the U.S. markets with 72 currently listed Worldwide. You can find the list here: https://prijet.com/jet_management/Dassault%20Falcon%207X.

Falcon 7X Jet Cards

Due to the limited supply of Falcon 7X’s in the U.S. charter market, there are no Jet Cards which offer this type specifically.

Falcon 7X Fractional Ownership

There are currently no fractional ownership options for the Falcon 7X.

Tags

Article Links

Embraer Phenom 300

Embraer Phenom 300

Overview

Embraer has been making regional jets for decades for the large commercial carriers and it wasn’t until 2000 that they entered the business jet market with the Legacy 600. At that time, most private jets were manufactured for private use and worked well for owners who flew 600 hours a year or less but as demand for private jets and subsequent charter flight hours increased, so did the need to fly 800 to 1,000 hours a year. Embraers’ experience in producing regional jets, designed with high volume carriers in mind were made with easy access for maintenance technicians to swap out commonly replaced parts. As a result, Embraer private jets have some of the highest dispatch rates in the industry.

The Phenom 300 was developed soon after Embraer’s entry into the very light jet market with their Phenom 100 model. The 300 was introduced into the market in 2009 with 14 more inches of fuselage than the 100 which creating an additional 150 cubic feet of cabin. The light, roughly 20% composite design and highly efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PW535E turbofan engines keep the fuel burn to a minimum, burning just under 120 gallons of fuel per hour at altitude.

The combination of cabin space, range and low operating costs made the Phenom 300 the best selling business jet for 4 consecutive years. As compared to the Citation CJ3; the Phenom 300 can fly 2,181 miles non-stop which is about 60 miles further, with a top speed of 482mph which is 20mph faster and has 425 cubic feet of cabin which is 20% larger and at a similar hourly operating cost.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Phenom 300.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Phenom 300.

NTSB Record Search

We found only one accident for the Phenom 300 in the NTSB records going back to 2007. The accident occurred in Sugarland, TX in 2016 when the pilots attempted to land and stated that the brakes failed and they initiated the emergency brake. The aircraft went off the end of the runway and into a creek where it sustained substantial damage but only minor injuries were reported.

To search NTSB records for the Phenom 300 check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.) 

Phenom 300’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 18 advertisements of Phenom 300’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Embraer/Phenom%20300 which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Only one is listed with a price at $7.6 million and was manufactured in 2014.

Phenom 300 Charter

There are only 48 Phenom 300’s currently available for charter Worldwide so if this is your preferred jet, it is highly recommended you look at Fractional ownership or full ownership options.

Phenom 300 Jet Cards

JetSuite offers jet cards specifically for the Phenom 300 starting at $50,000. NetJets and FlexJet also offer fractional jet cards in the Phenom 300. There are also many options for light cabin jet cards here: https://prijet.com/jet_cards/Small%20Jet?size=Small+Jet but there is no guarantee you will fly in a Phenom 300.

Phenom 300 Fractional Ownership

There are only two known fractional ownership options for the Phenom 300, NetJets and FlexJet.

Tags

Article Links

Bombardier Lear 31

Bombardier Lear 31

Overview

The Lear 31 has three variants, the 31, 31A and 31ER. Originally developed from a fuselage of the long-established line of Lear 35 models combined with the wing design from the Lear 55. The wing tips named Longhorn give the Lear 31 a distinctive look which is similar to the horns of the associated cattle when looking at the jet head-on. The wing tips allowed the Lear 31 to reach impressive altitudes of over 51k feet, but without the tips tanks limited range to just 1,500 miles which is about 650 miles less than its predecessor. Only 38 of the original Lear 31’s were produced between 1988 and 1990.

Production of the Lear 31 and variants ran from 1988 to 2003. The primary competitor to the Lear 31 at that time was the Citation V and Citation V Ultra which was produced between 1989 and 1999. The Lear 31 is about 50 mph faster than the Citation V and can fly 6k feet higher, but the cabin of the Lear 31 is only 275 cubic feet compared the V’s 405, baggage capacity of the Lear 31 is only 30 cubic feet of space compared to the V’s 67 and range of the Lear 31 is 1,500 miles vs. the V’s 1,850.

When Bombardier purchased Learjet in 1990 they improved the takeoff and landing weights of the Lear 31 and named it the 31A and a short time later added an ER version which added 75 gallons of fuel and about 200 miles of range. Even with the improved range, the Lear 31 never caught up to the Citation V and only delivered a total of 262 jets vs. the V’s 541.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Lear 31.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Lear 31.

NTSB Record Search

We found only one accident for the Lear 31/31A in the NTSB records going back to 2007. The accident occurred in Wheatland, WY in 2012 when the pilots attempted to land on a wet runway with ice. The jet veered off the runway and the landing gear collapsed and punctured the wing. The aircraft sustained substantial damage but no injuries or fatalities were reported.

To search NTSB records for the Lear 31 check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Lear 31’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 40 advertisements of Lear 31A’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Bombardier/Lear%2031A and 3 Lear 31’s at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Bombardier/Lear%2031 which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $650k to $1.2 million.

Lear 31 Charter

There are only 52 Lear 31’s and 31A’s currently available for charter Worldwide so if this is your preferred jet, it is highly recommended you look at Fractional ownership or full ownership options. Click here to view all Lear 31's available for charter: Lear 31 Charter.

Lear 31 Jet Cards

There are no known jet cards which offer the Lear 31 exclusively but there are many options for light cabin jet cards here: https://prijet.com/jet_cards/Small%20Jet?size=Small+Jet

Lear 31 Fractional Ownership

There are no known fractional ownership programs which offer the Lear 31 exclusively but there are many options for light cabin programs here: https://prijet.com/fractional_ownership/Small%20Jet 

Tags

Article Links

Falcon 2000EX

Falcon 2000EX

Overview

The original Falcon 2000 was first delivered to customers in 1995 after the highly successful Falcon 50 series was launched. Dassault’s aim was to develop a large cabin jet with operating costs closer to the mid-cabin and supermid-cabin jets on the market at the time. The Falcon 2000 delivered a cabin which is 75% larger than the Falcon 50 super-mid jet and is about 72% of the GIV large cabin jet. Operating costs are about 30% less than both the GIV and Falcon 50 and 10% to 15% more than the Hawker 800XP mid-cabin jet. The 3,500 mile range of the Falcon 2000 is an impressive when compared to the mid or supermid categories but still significantly less than competing large cabin jets.

231 Falcon 2000’s were produced up until 2006 when it was superseded by the Falcon 2000EX which dramatically improved the range to just over 4,500 miles. Useful load, which is the weight of passengers and baggage the aircraft can carry when fuel tanks are full, increased from a little over 1k lbs. to just under 2.5k lbs. Speed was also improved from 515 mph to 541 mph. Additional upgrades were make the the 2000EX in 2004 including avionics and pressurization systems and remarketed as the Falcon 2000EX Easy. 

Several improved versions where marketed after the 2000EX when it was replaced in 2007 with the Falcon 2000DX including the 2000LX, 2000LXS and 2000S which is still in production today.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Falcon 2000EX.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Falcon 2000EX.

NTSB Record Search

We did not find any accidents past 2007 involving the Falcon 2000EX and only one for the Falcon 2000 which occurred in Las Vegas, NV in 2015. The accident resulted from a failed hydraulic braking system. The pilots were completing their checklist and when the jet was un-chalked, it rolled down a hill in to a Falcon 20 and a King air where it finally came to rest. No injuries were reported and the operator of the jet was SC Aviation.

To search NTSB records for the Falcon 2000 check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Falcon 2000EX’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are only 4 advertisements of Falcon 2000EX’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Dassault/Falcon%202000EX and 16 for the upgraded Falcon 2000EX Easy jet: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Dassault/Falcon%202000EXEASy. There is only one listed price for about $9.5 million.

Falcon 2000EX Charter

The Falcon 2000 series is one of the least expensive Large class jets in the Charter market which makes it a very popular choice. There are 19 2000EX’s and 84 2000’s currently available for charter Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Falcon 2000EX Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Falcon 2000EX Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Large Cabin jet and since the Falcon 2000/EX is one of the least expensive options in this category, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in most cases. There is only one option for a Falcon 2000EX specific jet card at this time: NetJets.

Falcon 2000EX Fractional Ownership

There is only one known option for a Falcon 2000EX fractional ownership program at this time: NetJets

Tags

Article Links

Bombardier Global Express XRS

Bombardier Global Express XRS

Overview

The Global Express had its first flight in 1996 and was developed to compete with the ultra-long range Gulfstream GV and Falcon 900EX. In 2005 the Global XRS was launched with improved range and cabin amenities. The Global XRS well known for the size of its cabin which was taken from Bombardiers Regional Jet line and is about 10% larger than the GV and 57% larger than the 900EX. The cabin is massive with ample room for 18 passengers with an inch extra headroom and 10 inches wider than the GV providing its passengers plenty of separation between seats. The XRS also has sound dampening insulation technology making it one of the quietest business jets on the market.

It can fly just under 7k miles non-stop which is only about 500 miles less than the GV but 1,600 miles longer than the 900EX. The ultra-long range can keep the jet aloft for up to 12 hours which requires multiple crew with a built-in crew rest station. That range will take you from Tokyo to New York or London to Mumbai non-stop. The XRS can take off full of fuel, crew and an additional 2,350 pounds of passengers and baggage on runways as short as 6,000 feet depending on wind, temperature and other weather conditions. New, the Global Express XRS sold for over $50 million and operating costs can range between $5k and $10k per flight hour depending on how many hours you fly each year.

The Global Express XRS name was ultimately changed to the Global 6000 to coincide with the models rough nautical mile range. Additional lines were also added and include the Global 5000, 7000 and 8000.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Global XRS.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Global XRS.

NTSB Record Search

We found only one accident in the NTSB database going back to 2007 which occurred March of 2016. The accident was the result of a jet blast from a Global XRS during taxi at George Town UK. A Saab 340B was knocked on its side.

To search NTSB records for the Global Express XRS check out our safety records search by jet type  (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Global XRS’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 28 advertisements of Global Express XRS’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Bombardier/Global%20XRS which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $11.9 to $21.9 million.

Global XRS Charter

There are only 16 Global XRS’s currently available for charter Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Global XRS Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Global XRS Jet Cards

NetJets offers a Global 6000 jet card which is the newly branded name for the Global Express XRS

Global XRS Fractional Ownership

NetJets and FlexJet both offer fractional ownership options for the Global Express: NetJets offers both the Global 5000 and 6000 and FlexJet offers a program for a Global Express.

Tags

Article Links

Pilatus PC-12

Pilatus PC-12

Overview

There’s a reason why the Pilatus PC-12 is the best-selling pressurized single-engine turbine-powered aircraft in the World. The cabin has between 10% and 15% less cabin volume than most light cabin jets but operates at about 1/3rd the cost. The single turbine powered engine is highly efficient and reliable which keeps both fuel and maintenance costs to a minimum and with the lower weight is able to land at much lower speeds which reduces the required runway length and opens up a lot more potential airports for the Pilatus to operate into and out of.

Turbo-prop aircraft fly much more efficiently than jets at lower altitudes but are typically much slower at higher altitudes and the Pilatus is no exception cruising at just 293 mph which is about 60% of the speed of most light cabin jets. With a speed limit of just 250 knots below 10,000 feet this speed differential doesn’t have much of an impact on shorter flights such as New York to Nantucket or LA to Vegas and this is where costs are dramatically reduced.

Over 1,500 PC-12’s have been produced since it was first launched to customers in 1994 and with the large cargo door in the rear of the aircraft, it has become very popular for both cargo and air ambulance operators. The useful load which is the amount of weight it can carry full of fuel and crew is nearly 1,200 pounds. The Pilatus has an impressive 1,863 mile range and 1,503 miles with maximum take-off weight which would make for a very long flight given the slower speed however getting into and out of smaller airports which may be closer to final destinations could even it out a little.

In 2008, Pilatus launched the improved version of the PC-12 named the PC-12NG which improved the average cruise speed by about 7 mph and slightly improved cabin volume and baggage capacity.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Pilatus PC-12.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Pilatus PC-12.

NTSB Record Search

We found one fatal accident in Amarillo, TX in 2017 operated by Rico Aviation. The aircraft was departing to pickup an air ambulance patient and crashed soon after takeoff. The accident is still under investigation and no cause has been determined at the time of writing this article.

To search NTSB records for the Pilatus PC-12 check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Pilatus PC-12 Charter

The Pilatus PC-12 is one of the most popular Turbo-props available in the Charter market with nearly 221 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Pilatus PC-12 Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Pilatus PC-12 Jet Cards

Nicholas Air is the only known jet card specific to the PC-12 at this time.

Pilatus PC-12 Fractional Ownership

PlaneSense has been providing fractional ownership programs for the Pilatus PC-12 since 1996. PlaneSmart also offers a program.

Tags

Article Links

Gulfstream G550

Gulfstream G550
Gulfstream G550

Overview

The Gulfstream G550, sometimes referred to as the GV-SP, is an improved version of the GV. The highly successful GV model began production in 1997 and broke several business jet records including the longest non-stop flight between South Korea and Orlando, Florida which took over 12 hours. Not that the GV needed an improved range, but the G550 added 250 nautical miles of range and 1k pounds of useful load to make sure you can take off full of passengers when flying non-stop to Tokyo.

Over 450 Gulfstream G550’s are in active service making it one of the most successful large cabin jets ever produced. Combined they have flown over 1 million hours at a 99.9% dispatch reliability rate which is one of the highest in its class. The first business jet to use an all-glass cockpit with a heads up display (HUD) and triple redundant flight management system, the G550 can see through fog and inclement weather using its infra-red camera to land as low as a 100 foot cloud ceiling. The all-glass cockpit consists of four 14 inch displays which cover the entire avionics panel.

Although the fuselage of the G550 is essentially the same as the GV, Gulfstream made several improvements in the cabin configuration to increase the usable space. The distinctive wide angle oval windows provide plenty of light in the 2,226 cubic feet of cabin volume which is plenty of room to carry 14 passengers comfortably.

The G550 competes well against the Global 6000 and the Falcon 8X besting them both in range. The Global 6000 has 200 more cubic feet of cabin volume than the G550, but also has a range nearly 1k miles shorter. The Falcon 8x has a range 300 miles shorter than the G550, but has 200 cubic feet less cabin volume .

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Gulfstream G550.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Gulfstream G550.

NTSB Record Search

We found only two reported accidents in the NTSB records going back to 2007 one of which reported substantial damage to the airframe, but no injuries were reported. The accident occurred in Appleton Wisconsin when the pilot in command attempted to land on a shorter than recommended runway with a hydraulic failure and the jet overran the runway. The second accident occurred in Teterboro, NJ when the aircraft experienced strong wind gusts during landing and the wing tip struck the runway.

To search NTSB records for the Gulfstream G550 check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Gulfstream G550’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 65 advertisements of Gulfstream G550’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Gulfstream/G550 which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $14 to $37 million.

Gulfstream G550 Charter

The Gulfstream G550 is one of the most popular Large Cabin jets available in the Charter market with nearly 83 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Gulfstream G550 Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Gulfstream G550 Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Large Cabin jet, but none are G550.

Gulfstream G550 Fractional Ownership

There are no options for a fractional program for the Gulfstream G550, however Netjets and FlexJet offer a G450 fractional program and FlexJet offers a G650.

Tags

Article Links

Cessna Citation CJ3

Cessna Citation CJ3

Overview

Citations have been around since 1972 when the first Citation 500 was delivered to American Airlines. It was launched about 8 years after the original Lear 23 and 2 years before the Falcon 10. The Citation 500 cabin was very similar in size to both the Falcon 10 and Lear 23/24 and was comfortable for up to just 5 passengers and the cabin height was a mere 4.3 feet high making it somewhat awkward to board while crouching down. It was also considerably slower than it’s rivals with a top speed just a little higher than most turboprop jets and was often nicknamed the “slowtation.” The slower speed was due to the straight wing design which allowed for much slower stall speeds which made it both easier to land in shorter runways and allowed for single pilots with certain models and therefore gained a substantial number of pilot owners.

There have since been many iterations of the Citation and the “slowtation” nickname is long past with the introduction of the Citation X which is the fastest business jet in the World. The Citation CJ2 (525A) was adapted from the CitationJet (model 525) which made improvements to the original straight wing to reduce drag, improve cruise speed and maintain the slower stall speeds. The cabin of the CJ2 is also considerably larger than its predecessor with dimensions of 13.6 feet long, 4.8 feet high and 4.8 feet wide which makes it comfortable for up to 7 passengers. The additional 2 windows on each side also provide a much less Closter phobic feel than the original Citation 500.

The Citation CJ3 (525B) is a larger version of the CJ2 with approximately 15% more cabin volume and a 23% improvement in range. It was first delivered to customers in 2004 and has produced over 400 since.

The CJ3 can fly at speeds of up to 463 mph which is only about 20 mph slower than the competing Phenom 300. It can fly non-stop for over 2,100 miles and has plenty of internal and external baggage capacity making it an ideal aircraft for both business and family if you fly up and down the East Coast. It is sometimes call the “Suburban of the skies” due to both its ruggedness and versatility. In 2014 the improved CJ3+ version was certified and included avionics upgrades.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Citation CJ3.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Citation CJ3.

NTSB Record Search

We found 4 total incidents/accidents from the NTSB database going back to 2007, 2 of which had substantial damage to the airframe but no injuries were reported. The first accident was in Pawtucket, RI where the flight crew elected to land the jet below minimum weather conditions, touched down half-way down a 5,000 foot strip, skidded 2,000 feet, went off the end of the runway and crashed into a localizer antenna. The second accident, in Stuart, FL involved a crew who forgot to reset the brake circuit breaker and while taxiing the jet and attempting to turn in high winds crashed into a parked jet. 

To search NTSB records for the Citation CJ2 series check out our safety records search by jet type click here: https://prijet.com/safety_record_type/CESSNA/525B (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Citation CJ3 For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 6 advertisements of Citation CJ3’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Cessna/Citation%20CJ3%20525B which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings.

Citation CJ3 Charter

The Citation CJ3 is one of the most popular Light Cabin jets available in the Charter market with nearly 113 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Citation CJ3 Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Citation CJ3 Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Light Cabin jet and since the Citation CJ3 supply is so strong in the charter market, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in most cases. JetSuite is the only known company to offer a CJ3 Jet Card at this time.

Citation CJ3 Fractional Ownership

There are currently no fractional ownership options for the Citation CJ3.

Tags

Article Links

Cessna Citation VII

Cessna Citation VII

Overview

The Citation VII (CE-650) Mid-Cabin jet is an upgraded version of the Citation III which was first delivered to customers in 1983 after Cessna’s highly successful Citation I and II Light Cabin jet models. Cessna wanted to compete with the Hawker 800/800XP and Lear 55 models which had larger cabins and much faster speeds than their existing line of jets.

The Citation III has a slightly larger cabin and slower speed than the Lear 55. Compared to the Hawker 800XP the Citation III is similar in speed, but has about about 28% less cabin volume. A total of 202 Citation III’s were built before it was finally retired in 1992 which is far less than the Hawker 800XP which delivered 650.

Two attempts were made to upgrade the Citation III. The Citation IV which never made it to production had larger fuel tanks to extend the range. The Citation VI was introduced in 1992 with a lower price point but fewer customized interior options. Only 39 Citation VI’s were built and the program ended in 1995.

The Citation VII was introduced in 1992 with upgraded engines which increased speed from 484 mph to 507 mph but reduced the range by 200 miles. 119 Citation VII’s were ultimately delivered to customers before the program ended in 2000.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Citation VII.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Citation VII.

NTSB Record Search

We found 4 total incidents/accidents from the NTSB database going back to 2007, 1 of which was fatal but occurred in Venezuela so little is known as to the cause. Two of the three remaining accidents had significant damage to the aircraft, but reported no injuries.

To search NTSB records for the Citation VII check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Citation VII’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 3 advertisements of Citation VII’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Cessna/Citation%20VII%20650 which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $995k to $1.5 million.

Citation VII Charter

Since a total of only 119 Citation VII’s were produced, there are only 25 currently available in the charter market Worldwide. To located one near you, click here: Citation VII Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Citation VII Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Mid Cabin jet and since the Citation VII supply is limited, there are no jet cards specific to this model.

Citation XL Fractional Ownership

There are currently no options to purchase a fraction of a Citation VII.

Tags

Article Links

Bombardier Challenger 650

Bombardier Challenger 650

Overview

The Challenger 600 series jets has been in continuous production since 1978 and includes the 600, 601, 604, 605 and 650.The original concept of the Challenger was conceived by Bill Lear who created the first business jet, the Learjet but was sold to Canadian manufacturer Canadair who developed the first Challenger 600 with financial backing of the Canadian government. The Challenger 600 was the first wide-body cabin business jets with a full 8.2 feet wide at its widest point and with a height of 6.1 feet offers the ability to fully stand up for most passengers. It can fly over 3,200 miles non-stop at speeds of up to 514 mph which made it a perfect cross-country jet for up to 12 passengers. Canadair upgraded the 600 series with several modifications such as additional fuel tanks and winglets to create the 601 series including the 601, 601-1A, 601-3A and 601-3R.

10 years following Bombardiers purchased Canadair in 1986, they upgraded the Challenger 601 with upgraded GE CF34-3B engines,additional fuel tanks and undercarriage to accommodate the extra weight and named it the Challenger 604. The range was improved by over 1,400 miles to4,622 miles giving it a transatlantic range. The combination of the wide-body cabin and range make it a versatile and popular option for both business and personal travel. 347 Challenger 604’s were produced between 1996 and 2007.

In 2006 the Challenger 604 was replaced by the new 605 which increased the size of the windows and upgraded the avionics. The new larger windows make the wide cabin appear to be even roomier. Ten years later,the first Challenger 650 was put into service which improved takeoff thrust byan additional 5%. The Challenger 600 series now boasts over 1,000 deliveries,the widest cabin, the lowest operating costs and has now flown over 5 millionhours.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’sperformance of the Challenger 650.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Challenger 650.

Challenger 650’s For Sale

New Challenger 650’s sell for around $32.5 million depending on options and since they have only been delivering for 2 years,there is only 1 available for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Bombardier/Challenger%20650which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings.

Challenger 650 Charter

The new Challenger 650 is just beginning to enter the charter market with just 2 currently available. To keep an eye on the available fleet near you, click here: Challenger 650 Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Challenger 650 Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Large Cabin jet but with so few Challenger 650’s available in the charter market, you are not likely to fly in one. A Marquis Jet card may be you only option if you would like to purchase a Challenger 650 specific Jet card. Click here to view a list of all Large Jet Cards.

Challenger 650 Fractional Ownership

There is only one option for a Challenger 650 fractional ownership program at this time: NetJets.

Tags

Article Links

Hawker 800XP

Hawker 800XP

Overview

The design for the Hawker 800XP began in 1961 from British aircraft manufacturer deHavilland who sold the design to Hawker Siddeley who designated the aircraft the HS-125. When Hawker Siddeley merged with British Aircraft Corporation and renamed British Aerospace in 1977, the aircraft was re-designated the BAE-125. British Aerospace produced several variants of the highly successful Mid Cabin jets including the Hawker 700, 800, 800A and 800SP before it sold the Hawker line to Raytheon in 1993.

The Hawker 800XP began production in 1993 and competed primarily with the Bombardier Lear 60 and the Cessna Citation VII. The Hawker offered 22% more cabin volume than the Lear 60 and 28% more volume than the Citation VII although it left little room for bags with only 48 cubic feet of baggage capacity. It also outperformed both the Lear 60 and Citation VII in range with a maximum non-stop range of over 2,900 miles and at a slower speed.

The combination of cabin volume and range made the Hawker 800XP highly successful with 425 delivered to customers between 1994 and 2005 and was finally replaced by the 850XP and 900XP. The line was sold to a private equity group in 2006 and the Hawker line ended in 2012 after filing for bankruptcy. A new restructured company Beechcraft Corporation continues to build the King Air turbo-prop and Bonanza piston powered lines but has cancelled Hawker line.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Hawker 800XP.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Hawker 800XP.

NTSB Record Search

We only found one accident since 2007 reported by the NTSB which occurred in 2014 in Denver. The accident was caused by a landing gear issue which prevented it from fully extending. No injuries or substantial damage was reported..

To search NTSB records for the Hawker 800XP check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Hawker 800XP’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 70 advertisements of Hawker 800XP’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Beechcraft%20Corp./Hawker%20800XP which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $1 to $2.5 million.

Hawker 800XP Charter

The Hawker 800XP is one of the most popular Mid Cabin jets available in the Charter market with nearly 184 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Hawker 800XP Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Hawker 800XP Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Mid Cabin jet and since the Hawker 800XP supply is so strong in the charter market, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in most cases. If you require a Hawker 800XP on every flight, then you might want to consider a Jets.com or SentryJet Jet card.

Citation XL Fractional Ownership

There are no known Hawker 800XP fractional ownership programs at this time.

Tags

Article Links

Falcon 50EX

Falcon 50EX

Overview

The Falcon 50 series began in 1979 with FAA certification of the first Tri-Jet configured business jet. The jet was an improvement on the earlier Falcon 20 series jet which was produced between 1965 and 1988 which had a similar fuselage with two engines. The unique engine mount design of the Falcon 50 placed two engines on the rear of the fuselage and a third embedded in the tail fin. With all three engines providing center-line thrust, the jet performed well even with the loss of an engine. The extra thrust also provided improved performance on shorter runways with much larger payloads than competing jets.

Originally deemed a Mid-Cabin jet, the Falcon 50 was later categorized as a Super-Mid Cabin jet once the term took hold with the introduction of the Citation X and Challenger 300. It was really a Super-Mid all along before the term existed. The Falcon 50 has about 11% more cabin volume than the Citation X and nearly identical range and was produced 17 years prior. Although the Falcon 50 is significantly slower than the Citation X, it beats it in cabin volume, range and short field performance.

The Falcon 50 was upgraded in 1997 with the introduction of the Falcon 50EX which improved the range 300 miles, speed 30 mph and useful payload (maximum weight of passengers and baggage with full fuel tanks and 2 pilots) by 800 lbs.

Production ended for the Falcon 50 line in 2007 and was replaced with larger models such as the Falcon 7X, 900EX and 2000EX.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Falcon 50EX.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Falcon 50EX.

NTSB Record Search

We did not find any accidents past 2007 involving the Falcon 50EX and only one for the Falcon 50 which occurred in 2008 when the pilot forgot to lock the parking brake after landing and the jet rolled into a fence.

To search NTSB records for the Falcon 50EX check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Falcon 50EX’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 30 advertisements of Falcon 50EX’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Dassault/Falcon%2050EX which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $2.7 to $5 million.

Falcon 50EX Charter

The Falcon 50 series is one of the least expensive Super-Mid class jets in the Charter market which makes it a very popular choice. There are 18 50EX’s and 60 50’s currently available for charter Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Falcon 50EX Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Falcon 50EX Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Super-Mid Cabin jet and since the Falcon 50EX is one of the least expensive options in this category, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in most cases. There are no known jet cards specific to the Falcon 50 series at this time.

Falcon 50EX Fractional Ownership

There are no known Falcon 50EX fractional ownership programs at this time.

Tags

Article Links

Cessna Citation Encore

Cessna Citation Encore

Overview

The Citation Encore and Encore+ are the latest versions of the highly successful Straight Wing Citations (model 550’s) which began with the Citation I and II in the 1970’s. In 1989 Cessna began the 560 series with the Citation V which had a slightly larger cabin and more powerful engines. It was upgraded again in 1994 and named the Citation V Ultra before it became the Citation Encore in 2000.

The 560 series Citations are one of the most successful business jets ever built with over 775 produced since 1989. The Straight Wing design offers the best handling and slowest landing speeds in its class. The spacious cabin and ample baggage capacity make it an ideal jet for business or family trips up and down the East Coast. Compared to the Hawker 400XP, the Citation Encores’ cabin is nearly 2 feet longer and offers an additional 30 cubic feet of volume and 15 cubic feet more baggage volume.

The Citation Encore can fly 1,948 miles non-stop with 882 pounds of passengers and baggage which is significantly more than the Hawker 400XP which can only fly 1,704 miles with just 558 pounds. The Encores’ Straight Wing design is the clear winner when it comes to landing distance at just 3,204 feet vs. the Hawker 400XP at 3,838 feet.

In the early years of production, the dispatch reliability was quite poor with some operators reporting dispatch rates below 80%. Improvements in maintenance schedules have helped improve this rate considerably.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Citation Encore.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Citation Encore.

NTSB Record Search

We found 5 accidents in the NTSB records for the Citation Encore since 2007, none of which were fatal. The most interesting accident involved a service technician who requested that the pilot use the engines to blow grass clippings off the runway. The pilot complied, but blew over a service employee who broke his femur. Another accident involved the engine cowlings coming off the airplane mid-flight and another one where wind-shear during landing caused structural damage to the jet.

To search NTSB records for the Citation Encore check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Citation Encores’ For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 5 advertisements of Citation Endore’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Cessna/Citation%20Encore%20560 which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings.

Citation Encore Charter

The Citation Encore Light Cabin jets are available in the Charter market with  27 currently listed as available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Citation Encore Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Citation Encore Jet Cards

There are no known Jet Cards specific to the Citation Encore and the availability of these jets is limited, but you can find many Light Cabin jet cards here. 

Citation Encore Fractional Ownership

There are no known fractional ownership programs for the Citation Encore at this time.

Tags

Article Links

Cessna Citation X

Cessna Citation X

Overview

The Citation I and II family of jets developed inthe 70’s were designed with a straight wing which provided great handlingcharacteristics and slower landing speeds which made them a great choice forowner-flown jets and some were even certified for single pilot operation. Thedrawback to this wing design however was the slower cruise speeds which gave itthe nickname “slowtation”.  That nicknameended in 1996 with the first deliveries of the Citation X, the fastest businessjet in the World.

The Citation X can fly at speeds of up to Mach .92(705 mph) which can carry passengers from the West Coast to the East Coast injust 3.5 hours. The upgraded version, the Citation X+ improved on that speed toMach .935 (717 mph). The Citation X fuselage may look similar to other Citationmodels, but the all new swept wing with large Rolls Royce engines give it adistinct appearance. The cabin was developed from the Citation III, VI and VIImodels which were all mid-cabin jets and was stretched almost 5 feet longerthan the Citation VII which provides nearly 200 cubic feet more cabin volume.

313 Citation X’s were produced until it wasreplaced by the Citation X+. The jet was very popular with fractionalownership, jet cards and charter operators and availability is still strong inthose markets.

In the early years of production, the dispatchreliability was quite poor with some operators reporting dispatch rates below80%. Improvements in maintenance schedules have helped improve this rateconsiderably.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’sperformance of the Citation X.

For a more complete cost comparison, check outPriJet’s operating cost for the Citation X.

NTSB Record Search

We found 2 accidents in the NTSB records for the CitationX since 2007. The first was a fatal accident in 2012 while on approach inGermany. The jet crashed 2.5 miles from the runway and all 5 on board werekilled. The second accident was at JFK airport where the brakes failed duringlanding and the crew veered off the runway. No injuries were reported, butsubstantial damage to the jet was incurred.

To search NTSB records for the Citation X check outour safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a coupleminutes to load.)

Citation X’s For Sale

Due to the popularity of this jet type in thecharter market, most Citation X’s have a high number of flight hours making itdifficult to find low-time jets. At the time of writing this article, there are22 advertisements of Citation X’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Cessna/Citation%20X%20750which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from$2.5 to $5.9 million.

Citation X Charter

The Citation X is one of the most popular Super-MidCabin jets available in the Charter market with 102 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns,charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here:Citation X Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparisonbetween Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Citation X Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly ina Mid Cabin jet and since the Citation X supply is so strong in the chartermarket, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in manycases. If you require a Citation X on every flight, NetJets, XO Jet and SentryJet offer Citation X specific Jet Cards. 

Citation X Fractional Ownership

NetJets has the only fractional ownership programfor Citation X’s.

Tags

Article Links

Bombardier Lear 60

Bombardier Lear 60

Overview

The Learjet 60 was developed from the Lear 55 series which began in 1978. A stretched version of the smaller Lear 25 series using the same wing design which provided exceptionally fast speeds, the 55 was. The Lear 55 design includes engines mounted on the rear fuselage which offer a centerline thrust for better handling and winglets, often called “Longhorn”due to their resemblance of the animals’ horns.

Keeping with Lears’ reputation for speed, the Lear60 is exceptionally fast and can climb, fully loaded to 41k feet in just 18.5minutes. Improvements in the Lear 55 Longhorn winglets reduced drag andimproved range from 2.346 to 2,658 miles. The cabin of the Lear 60 was alsostretched from the 55 model which improved cabin volume from 407 to 453 cubicfeet.

Compared to other Mid Cabin jets, the Lear 60 haslower than average hourly operating costs and faster than average speedsproducing the lowest cost per mile to operate in its class. This lower cost permile make it very popular among charter operators and jet card programs with126 of the 314 total built are currently active in the charter market. Comparedto the other popular Mid Cabin jets such as; The Hawker 800XP - the Lear 60 hasa much smaller cabin and shorter range, but more baggage capacity and a higherspeed; The Citation XL – The Lear 60 has a larger cabin, faster speed andlonger range, but the XL has more baggage capacity.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Lear 60.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Lear 60.

NTSB Record Search

We found 4 accidents in the NTSB records for the Lear 60 since 2007 all of which are related to pilot error on taxi or landing and none had any injuries or fatalities. Three of the four accidents wereoperated by charter companies and two of the three operators are no longer in existence. One operated by JetShare, landed in fog at Westhampton Airport where the jet hit hard and immediately veered left off the runway and continued 4.3k feet where it finally came to rest in the dirt. The fog was reported so thick that the fire trucks had a difficult time located the jet; The second was operated by Performance Aircraft Leasing, Inc under owner flight regulations(Part 91) in Aspen Colorado where the jet stalled just in front of the runway on landing which damaged both the jet and the runway threshold.; The third was operated by Delta Private Jets during a positioning flight from Teterboro Airport to Pennsylvania where the nose wheel steering failed during takeoff.The takeoff was aborted and no injuries or substantial damage was reported.

To search NTSB records for the Lear 60 check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Lear 60’s For Sale

Due to the popularity of this jet type in the charter market, most Lear 60’s have a high number of flight hours making it difficult to find low-time jets. At the time of writing this article, there are 27 advertisements of Lear 60’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Bombardier/Lear%2060 which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $995k to $2.9 million.

Lear 60 Charter

The Lear 60 is one of the most popular Mid Cabin jets available in the Charter market with nearly 125 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Lear 60 Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter,Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards..

Lear 60 Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Mid Cabin jet and since the Lear 60 supply is so strong in the charter market, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in most cases. There are no known Lear 60 exclusive Jet Cards.  

Lear 60 Fractional Ownership

There are no known Lear 60 fractional ownership programs.

Tags

Article Links

Gulfstream G450

Gulfstream G450

Overview

Over 900 Gulfstream GIV series aircraft wereproduced between 1985 and 2018, the last of which was the G450. It is one ofthe most successful business jet models ever produced. The first model GIV wasan improved version of the GIII and replaced it in 1987 with an improved rangeof over 345 miles, larger cabin and faster speed. Models in this series includethe GIV, GIVSP, G300, G350, G400 and G450. The Gulfstream is the most requestedlarge cabin jets for charter flights and due to the large number produced overthe past 35+ years and there is ample supply in the charter market.

In 2005, the Gulfstream G450 replaced the G400model with a 12 inch longer fuselage, upgraded engines, some aerodynamicimprovements which help it fly further and faster with a larger payload. TheG450 can fly with up to 14 passengers, over 4,900 miles non-stop at speeds ofup to 534 mph.

The Gulfstream G450, ended production in early 2018with over 360 delivered to customers since 2005.  The G450 will be replaced by the new G500model but will continue to be supported and serviced by Gulfstream.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’sperformance of the Gulfstream G450.

For a more complete cost comparison, check outPriJet’s operating cost for the Gulfstream G450.

NTSB Record Search

We found only one reported accident in the NTSBrecords where the nose landing gear collapsed while landing at Salzburg,Austria from Bangor Maine. The aircraft sustained substantial damage, howeverno one was injured and the final cause was not reported to the NTSB since theaccident occurred under the jurisdiction of the Austrian Civil Aviation SafetyInvestigation Authority.

To search NTSB records for the Gulfstream G450check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take acouple minutes to load.)

Gulfstream G450’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 40advertisements of Gulfstream G450’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Gulfstream/G450which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from$10.9 to $14.5 million.

Gulfstream G450 Charter

The Gulfstream G450 is one of the most popular LargeCabin jets available in the Charter market with nearly 74 currently availableWorldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the leastexpensive option. To located one near you, click here: Gulfstream G450 Charter,or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter,Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Gulfstream G450 Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly ina Large Cabin jet, but only one from Sentry Jet: https://prijet.com/company/SentryJetoffers a GIV specific which would include not only the G450, but also the GIV,GIVSP and G400. If you require a G450 on every flight, then you might want toconsider purchasing a FlexJet fraction.

Gulfstream G450 Fractional Ownership

There is currently only one option to purchase afraction of a Gulfstream G450; FlexJet.

Tags

Article Links

Bombardier Challenger 604

Bombardier Challenger 604

Overview

The Challenger 600 series jets has been in continuous production since 1978 and includes the 600, 601, 604, 605 and 650. The original concept of the Challenger was conceived by Bill Lear who created the first business jet, the Learjet but was sold to Canadian manufacturer Canadair who developed the first Challenger 600 with financial backing of the Canadian government. The Challenger 600 was the first wide-body cabin business jets with a full 8.2 feet wide at its widest point and with a height of 6.1 feet offers the ability to fully stand up for most passengers. It can fly over 3,200 miles non-stop at speeds of up to 514 mph which made it a perfect cross-country jet for up to 12 passengers. Canadair upgraded the 600 series with several modifications such as additional fuel tanks and winglets to create the 601 series including the 601, 601-1A, 601-3A and 601-3R.

10 years following Bombardiers purchased Canadair in 1986, they upgraded the Challenger 601 with upgraded GE CF34-3B engines, additional fuel tanks and undercarriage to accommodate the extra weight and named it the Challenger 604. The range was improved by over 1,400 miles to 4,622 miles giving it a transatlantic range. The combination of the wide-body cabin and range make it a versatile and popular option for both business and personal travel. 347 Challenger 604’s were produced between 1996 and 2007.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Challenger 604.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Challenger 604.

Challenger 604’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 50 advertisements of Challenger 604’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Bombardier/Challenger%20604 which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $3 to $7.2 million.

Challenger 604 Charter

The Challenger 604 is one of the most popular Large Cabin jets available in the Charter market with 144 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Challenger 604 Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Challenger 604 Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Large Cabin jet and since the Challenger 604 supply is so strong in the charter market, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in most cases. Click here to view a list of all Large Jet Jet Cards.

Challenger 604 Fractional Ownership

There are no fractional ownership programs for the Challenger 604, however FlexJet offers a program for the Challenger 605.


Tags

Article Links

Bombardier Lear 75

Bombardier Lear 75

Overview

The Learjet 75 replaced the 40/45 models in 2013. The Lear 40 series was designed to compete with the Citation XL in the Super-Light category although both are often categorized as a light or a mid cabin jet. The Lear 75 has about 80 cubic feet less cabin than the XL with a similar range and about 35 mph faster top speed.

The Lear 75 performs noticeably better than its predecessor the 45 with 3 foot longer wings, winglets and improved engine thrust. It has the same trailing link landing gear as the 45 which provides those extra smooth landings. Combined with improved breaks from the original Learjet models, the Lear 75 has much better short field performance with a balanced field length of just 4,200 feet vs the older Lear 35 models 6,200 feet. The Lear 75 can carry an additional 1,700 lbs of people and baggage even after you’ve accounted for crew and filled up with fuel which makes it a great aircraft for family vacations or a packed business trip.

Learjets are known for their fuel efficiency and the Lear 75 is no exception burning just under 200 gallons per hour on average. The average hourly operating costs (direct operating costs) are just a little higher than the competing Citation XL, but the 35 mph in speed more than makes up for it.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Lear 75.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Lear 75.

NTSB Record Search

We did not find any accident data for the Lear 75 and only 1 for the similar model 45 which was a pilot landing in Telluride (KTEX) during questionable weather conditions. There were no serious injuries reported.

To search NTSB records for the Lear 75 check out our safety records search by jet type: Lear 45 Safety Record Search (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Lear 75’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 9 advertisements of Lear 75’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Bombardier/Lear%2075 which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $5.9 to $6.9 million.

Lear 75 Charter

There are only 16 Lear 75’s currently available for charter Worldwide so if this is your preferred jet, it is highly recommended you look at Fractional ownership or full ownership options. Click here to view all Lear 75's available for Charter: Lear 75 Charter.

Lear 75 Jet Cards

There are no known jet cards which offer the Lear 75 exclusively and with a limited charter fleet, you are not as likely to fly in one if you purchase a standard light or mid cabin option.

Lear 75 Fractional Ownership

There is currently only one option to purchase a fraction of a Lear 75; FlexJet


Tags

Article Links

Cessna Citation CJ2

Cessna Citation CJ2

Overview

Citations have been around since 1972 when the first Citation 500 was delivered to American Airlines. It was launched about 8 years after the original Lear 23 and 2 years before the Falcon 10. The Citation 500 cabin was very similar in size to both the Falcon 10 and Lear 23/24 and was comfortable for up to just 5 passengers and the cabin height was a mere 4.3 feet high making it somewhat awkward to board while crouching down. It was also considerably slower than it’s rivals with a top speed just a little higher than most turboprop jets and was often nicknamed the “slowtation.” The slower speed was due to the straight wing design which allowed for much slower stall speeds which made it both easier to land in shorter runways and allowed for single pilots with certain models and therefore gained a substantial number of pilot owners.

There have since been many iterations of the Citation and the “slowtation” nickname is long past with the introduction of the Citation X which is the fastest business jet in the World. The Citation CJ2 (525A) was adapted from the CitationJet (model 525) which made improvements to the original straight wing to reduce drag, improve cruise speed and maintain the slower stall speeds. The cabin of the CJ2 is also considerably larger than its predecessor with dimensions of 13.6 feet long, 4.8 feet high and 4.8 feet wide which makes it comfortable for up to 7 passengers. The additional 2 windows on each side also provide a much less Closter phobic feel than the original Citation 500.

The CJ2 can fly at speeds of up to 463 mph which is only about 20 mph slower than the competing Phenom 300. It can fly non-stop for over 1,700 miles and has plenty of internal and external baggage capacity making it an ideal aircraft for both business and family if you fly up and down the East Coast. It is sometimes call the “Suburban of the skies” due to both its ruggedness and versatility.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Citation CJ2.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Citation CJ2.

NTSB Record Search

We found 6 total incidents/accidents from the NTSB database, all of which had substantial damage to the airframe and 1 with 4 fatalities. 4 of the 6 have a determined cause by the NTSB, one was a bird strike and the other 3 are related to pilot error on landing and/or runway incursions.

To search NTSB records for the Citation CJ2 series check out our safety records search by jet type click here: https://prijet.com/safety_record_type/CESSNA/525A  (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Citation CJ2 For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 6 advertisements of Citation CJ2’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Cessna/Citation%20CJ2%20525A which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings.

Citation CJ2 Charter

The Citation CJ2 is one of the most popular Light Cabin jets available in the Charter market with nearly 61 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Citation CJ2 Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Citation CJ2 Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Light Cabin jet and since the Citation CJ2 supply is so strong in the charter market, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in most cases. There are no Jet Card options for CJ2 aircraft specifically, however JetSuite offers a CJ3 Jet Card which is a little larger and more expensive than the CJ2.

Citation CJ2 Fractional Ownership

There is currently only no fractional ownership options for the Citation CJ2.

Tags

Article Links

Dassault Falcon 900LX

Dassault Falcon 900LX

Overview

The Falcon 900 Trijet series of jets began in 1986 when the first production aircraft was delivered. The combination of the 3 engines, extra wide cabin and long range gave the Falcon 900 unique performance capabilities and make it a perfect aircraft for higher altitude or shorter runway departures which require a large number of passengers and/or a non-stop flight. The 900LX is an improved version of the original 900 with an extended range of over 5,300 miles which is over a 1,300 mile increase over the 900.  Production of the 900LX began in 2010 and continues today.

The three Honeywell TFE731-60 engines which power the 900LX produce 5,000 pounds of thrust each which is how such a large cabin jet can perform so well on short fields. It can land with just 2,928 feet of runway and its Balanced Field Length is just 5,085 feet which is the amount of runway required to bring the aircraft up to take off speed and slow it to a full stop at an average air density and payload. The Useful Payload, which is the amount of weight it can hold with full fuel and two pilots is an impressive 1,755 lbs.

The fuselage is a little less than 1 foot longer than the Falcon 2000LXS yet the interior cabin length is a full 7 feet longer which provides ample space for up to 14 passengers with most configured for a very comfortable 12.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Falcon 900LX.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Falcon 900LX.

NTSB Record Search

We did not find any incidents/accidents from the NTSB database search.

To search NTSB records for the Falcon 900EX series check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Falcon 900LX’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 3 advertisements of Falcon 900XL’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Dassault/Falcon%20900LX which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings.

Falcon 900LX Charter

The Falcon 900XL is fairly rare to find in the charter market with only 6 currently available Worldwide. You can find the list here: https://prijet.com/jet_management/Dassault%20Falcon%20900LX.

Falcon 900LX Jet Cards

Due to the limited supply of Falcon 900LX’s in the charter market, there are no Jet Cards which offer this type specifically.

Falcon 900LX Fractional Ownership

There is currently only no fractional ownership options for the Falcon 900LX.

Tags

Article Links

Cessna Citation XL Series

Cessna Citation XL Series

Overview

The Citation XL is an all-new model which mixed technologies from the Citation X and Citation V models. It has a cabin similar to  the Citation X, but about 3 feet shorter mated with a wing designed originally developed for the Citation V Ultra. The un-swept wing design makes for slower speeds, but also allows for better short runway performance. The cabin is small by Mid Cabin standards but larger than most Light Cabin jets.

The Citation XL is a very popular choice among Jet Cards since it is technically categorized as a Mid Cabin jet, but has operating costs comparable to a Light Cabin jet. The combination of the low operating costs and cabin make the Citation XL and its variants highly popular with over 575 built since 1998.

The Original Citation XL was later upgraded to the Citation XLS and is currently in production as the Citation XLS+. The upgrades included an all glass cockpit, improved engines and a redesigned nose cone to improve performance. Range is increased about 100 miles and direct operating costs reduced by about $100 per hour with the improvements between the XL and the XLS+.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Citation XL.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Citation XL.

NTSB Record Search

We found 16 total incidents/accidents from the NTSB database, 4 of which had substantial damage to the airframe, but no injuries or fatalities were reported. Three of the four accidents with substantial damage involved the landing gear collapsing during landing. The fourth was a collision while taxiing with a construction vehicle.

To search NTSB records for the Citation XL check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Citation XL’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 17 advertisements of Citation XL’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Cessna/Citation%20Excel%20560XL which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $2.7 to $3.1 million.

Citation XL Charter

The Citation XL is one of the most popular Mid Cabin jets available in the Charter market with nearly 140 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Citation XL Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Citation XL Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a Mid Cabin jet and since the Citation XL supply is so strong in the charter market, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in most cases. If you require a Citation XL on every flight, then you might want to consider a Marquis Jet card which will pull from their respective fractional ownership fleets or consider a Jet Card from Wheels Up who operates multiple Citation XL’s.

Citation XL Fractional Ownership

There is currently only one option to purchase a fraction of a Citation XL; NetJets.

Tags

Article Links

Bombardier Challenger 300

Bombardier Challenger 300

The bestselling SuperMid Cabin jet on the market is the Challenger 300 series with over 650 delivered to customers between 2004 when it received FAA certification and 2017. It’s an all new design and fits squarely between the Mid Cabin Lear 60/40 and 75 series and the Large, Wide Body cabin Challenger 600 series.

The difference in cabin width from the Challenger 300 to the wide body 604 is a little less than a foot giving it that same wide body feel as the 604. The 300 has a full 6.2 feet of cabin height which provides plenty of room to stand up and stretch your legs. In comparison to other SuperMid cabin jets: it has about 75% more cabin volume than the Citation X and Sovereign and over 30% more than the Falcon 50. The only other jet in this category which comes close to the 300 cabin is the Gulfstream G200/280 which is still 40 cubic feet smaller.

Despite the larger cabin, the Challenger 300 is capable of flying into and out of surprisingly small airports. The Honeywell HTF7000 engines produce 6,826 pounds of thrust each which provides plenty of power to depart out of airports such as East Hampton which has just under 5,000 feet of runway length. It can fly up to 45k feet, at a speed of up to 514 mph and a range of 3,747 miles which makes for a fast and comfortable ride coast-to-coast.

For a more complete comparison, check out PriJet’s performance of the Challenger 300.

The dispatch reliability of the Challenger 300 is high for an all new model at 99.8% and its highly efficient engines at altitude burn just 178 gallons of fuel per hour. This combination of reliability and low operating costs make the Challenger 300 direct operating costs more comparable to the Mid cabin jets.

For a more complete cost comparison, check out PriJet’s operating cost for the Challenger 300.

NTSB Record Search

As of the writing of this article, we found only 3 accidents for the Challenger 300 listed with the NTSB. The first: https://prijet.com/accident/20100309X14157 was in Wheeling, IL where it was hit by a de-icing truck at the FBO in 2010, the second: https://prijet.com/accident/20110613X12828 in Canada where the jet skidded on the runway and hit a snowbank and the third: https://prijet.com/accident/20161116X13203 in Panama where the aircraft where the landing gear collapsed on landing.

To search NTSB records for the Challenger 300 check out our safety records search by jet type (warning: this page will take a couple minutes to load.)

Challenger 300’s For Sale

At the time of writing this article, there are 33 advertisements of Challenger 300’s for sale at: https://www.libertyjet.com/private_jets_for_sale/Bombardier/Challenger%20300 which is a site that consolidates aircraft for sale listings. Prices range from $5.7 to $9.8 million.

Challenger 300 Charter

The Challenger 300 is one of the most popular jets available in the Charter market with nearly 150 currently available Worldwide. Depending on your flight patterns, charter can be the least expensive option. To located one near you, click here: Challenger 300 Charter, or enter your trip itinerary here for a cost comparison between Charter, Fractional Ownership and Jet Cards.

Challenger 300 Jet Cards

There are many Jet Cards which allow you to fly in a SuperMid cabin jet and since the Challenger 300 supply is so strong in the charter market, you are likely to fly in one, although it is not guaranteed in most cases. If you require a Challenger 300 on every flight, then you might want to consider a Marquis Jet or FlexJet card which will pull from their respective fractional ownership fleets or consider a Jet Card from XOJet who operates dozens of 300’s.

Challenger 300/350 Fractional Ownership

There are currently two options to purchase a fraction of a Challenger 300; NetJets and FlexJet.

Tags

Article Links

Private Jet Charter Price Volatility

Private Jet Charter Price Volatility

Availability and Pricing

There are a lot of factors affecting the price of a charter flight, but the primary is the availability of the jets that meet your specific needs at the time and place of your departure. As an example, let’s say you require a non-stop flight from Aspen to New York on a jet which is 10 years old or newer and has WiFi with 8 passengers and a bunch of ski equipment and bags. The entire Worldwide business jet charter fleet consists of about 4,200 jets, only 930 of them are 10 years old or newer, 510 are SuperMid or larger which would be required to make it non-stop and accommodate the baggage and # of passengers, 126 are based in the US and about 50 of those have WiFi capabilities.

An average SuperMid jet hourly cost to the owner is around $3,200 not including the cost of the jet which in this case can run between $75k and $400k a month depending on the model, year, etc. The average charter hourly rate is around $5k per hour. The flight from Aspen to New York is about 3.2 hours of flight time which costs you the charter customer about $16k but this assumes the aircraft has NO repositioning costs. If the jet is based in New York and is repositioned to pick you up in Aspen, then you would be expected to pay an additional 4.5 hours of flight time which increases the cost to $38,500 and even that assumes the jet is based at the exact airport as your destination and won’t have to reposition at the end of the trip. If you are using a broker for your flight, the average commission can run between 10% and 20% of that total and we still need to add the U.S. Federal Excise Tax (FET) of 7.5% and the Segment fee of $4.10 per passenger per leg. Since you are flying into Aspen with ski equipment, you can also expect snow which means you may get hit with a de-icing fee which can run as much as $5k. This leaves a spread between about $17 and $50k depending on where the nearest available jet is located in comparison to Aspen.

Availability changes by the minute as customers book, unbook and change itineraries which in turn changes where and when the jets will be available. There are typically 4 types of availability: 1. Home Base – This is where the aircraft is typically hangered, crew reside and routine maintenance is performed. It is the least expensive place for the jet to sit idle waiting for its next trip. 2. Transient Availability - is triggered when a jet is sitting idle away from its home base and often occurs when another charter customer or owner will have an extended trip such as a California to Florida where they will spend a week and return. During the time the jet sits in Florida, it is available for charter. 3, Empty Leg Availability - occurs every time the jet moves without passengers which typically happens when a jet has to return to its home base after dropping off passengers. 4. Not Available – The owner or another paying charter customer is using the jet, it is down for maintenance or the crew is in training or otherwise not available. Prijet.com automatically searches through all of this availability information when you add your trip here: PriJet.com and hit “calculate”. If you are a PriJet Premium member, we will automatically check every new piece of availability information automatically to see if there might be any matches to your trip and request a quotation for you.

Other Factors

Private jet charter supply doesn’t move the way it would be predicted with typical economic models since much of the industry is comprised of business jets whose primary purpose is to fly the owner with a secondary purpose of offsetting some expenses for the owner through charter. To put this into perspective, imagine if you are the owner of a jet and have a family vacation over the Holidays; what financial incentive would it take for you to give up your jet for a charter flight. Or, maybe you are an owner who uses the jet primarily for business and have several important meetings. Are you going to give up your jet because a charter customer would like to use it?

Why aren’t businesses simply buying jets to offer into the charter market to meet this growing demand? Typically charter prices are about 80% of the cost to own and fly it. You heard me correctly, a charter flight typically costs more to fly than you are paying. Here’s why: If you purchase a $20 million jet today it will likely depreciate in value an average 50% over 5 years. Using the example above for the SuperMid cabin jet which costs $3,200 per hour to operate and charters for $5,000 per hour and a monthly loan payment of $200,000, you would need 111 Revenue hours of flight time to make your loan payments and cover the direct costs of flying the jet. NetJets sells 800 hours per jet with 4 pilots each which is close the maximum number of Revenue hours a private jet can handle. To Achieve more than 1000 hours you would need 1 to 3 additional crew members and the jet will be down for maintenance 1 month out of the year which always puts profitability out of reach since logistically managing more than 100 hours a month is nearly impossible since you will certainly have a percentage of empty legs, unanticipated maintenance, bird or lightning strike or customers who default on payments.

I know there are some companies claiming to be making money purchasing jets and chartering them out, but they will often use EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) as their calculation for profit which can be a useful measure for an investment in real estate where you are paying off an appreciating asset with a depreciation schedule of 27 years, but aircraft lose half their value in just 5 years and interest expense on a $20 million jet at 5% Interest will run over $200k a month on a 10 year note. It’s the same as saying that you are making money if you get all the jets for free. Positive EBITDA only means that you are losing less money than if you had negative EBITDA.

“The worst sort of business is one that grows rapidly, requires significant capital to engender the growth, and then earns little or no money. Think airlines. Here a durable competitive advantage has proven elusive ever since the days of the Wright Brothers. Indeed, if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting Orville down.”

— Warren Buffett, annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway (owner of NetJets) shareholders, February 2008.

Why in the World would anyone own a jet and charter it out at less than the cost to fly it? Owners get a few advantages; 1. An accelerated tax depreciation schedule to offset income or profits from another business. 2. They can offset some of their expenses and reduce their overall costs to own the jet. 3. Would you trust your car to start if it hadn’t run in a month or two? Now imagine your life depended on it running every time. Keeping a jet and crew routinely flying, even when the owner doesn’t have a need for it keeps it running better and the crew current which makes for safer flights.

Wholesale Implications

NetJets got its start selling in increments of 1/4th shares of jets, but as time progressed they began selling 1/8th and now you can buy the equivalent of a 1/32nd share with a Marquis Jet card. The problem with 32 people per airplane is that a large portion of those owners will all want to fly on those same high demand (peak) days. Where do the Fractional programs turn for those peak periods…? You guessed it, the charter market which further exacerbates the charter supply problem. It’s not just the Fractional Programs; every Operator, Broker and Jet Card program are all trying to purchase the limited number of jets positioned in certain regions of the country during peak days.

How does all this Affect Charter Pricing?

Charter prices are heavily subsidized by the jet owners and the only way to grow supply is to grow the owner market or raise prices 20% to 40% which would make the business case for owning and chartering jets viable. The available supply which is subsidized doesn’t increase quickly enough to match charter demand cycles and especially not during peak travel days which is why you can see sharp spikes in prices at these times.

Now imagine you booked a charter for your family Holiday trip and on the day of the flight the aircraft has a mechanical and is not able to fly. Jets are available, but only in the places where everyone is flying too such as the Rockies in the Winter or the Caribbean in the Summer which is where you are headed. It’s highly likely that you will pay more if you are forced to find a jet at the last minute and it’s not likely to be as high quality as the one you booked in advance.

Recommendations

First and foremost, always ask before you book “What happens in the event of a mechanical?” You need to know who is responsible for any increase in costs associated with a replacement aircraft as well as a guaranteed response time. Anyone can guarantee a replacement jet in a week, but it could get very expensive to guarantee one in 4 to 6 hours. Second, you should always get a second opinion and on each trip. Maybe an empty leg matches your trip and your Broker is not telling you but instead charging you a full rate and keeping the difference. The only way to know for sure is to always have a competing quote and PriJet Premium members get both competing quotes and automatic notifications of changing availability.

Tags

Article Links

How Much Does it Cost to Fly in a Private Jet

How Much Does it Cost to Fly in a Private Jet

It’s a far more complicated answer than you might expect since there are essentially 5 different program types, all of which use varying pricing strategies which are based on the types of trips you fly. The fastest way to estimate your specific trip costs amongst all of the program types is to enter your trip itinerary into PriJet.com and you will receive estimates for dozens of programs along with estimated charter costs and availability. If you want to better understand the differences between the program types, I’ve outlined them for you below:

Full Aircraft Ownership

Like the title says, you own the jet, you hire the pilots and are responsible for all the costs associated with it such as a hangar to store it, insurance, maintenance, fuel, etc. There are dozens of models of private jets to choose from, each with their own set of performance specifications, fuel and maintenance costs and cabin configurations. Costs can be difficult, if not impossible to accurately predict since unanticipated maintenance events such as a bird or lightning strike can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, current market values tend to drop 10% per year so if you pay $5 million for a jet, it will be worth almost half in 5 years. Some owners choose to hire a management company who may hold the aircraft out for charter to help reduce expenses, but there will be increased wear and tear and the value of the jet will drop faster than average. To estimate fixed and variable costs for the different aircraft, check out PriJet’s “Ownership” section.

Charter

Typically the least expensive option is Charter. Those full aircraft owners who hire a management company from option 1 make up the vast majority of the available charter fleet with some exceptions where the management company is also the owner. The management companies are also the most highly regulated of all the options outlined here. In the U.S., they fall under FAA Part 135 regulations vs. Part 91 in Option 1. The primary difference is that 135 is “holding out” to the public as an Air Carrier vs. someone who simply buys a jet and controls the aircraft themselves. The public has certain expectations when they hire someone else to fly them; i.e. that the operations are safe and the FAA regularly inspects these management companies flight, pilot and maintenance records through regular and surprise on-site visits. It can take 6 months to a year or longer to obtain a 135 Air Carrier certificate. As you can imagine, the consistency in the Charter fleet varies quite a bit in both age and quality of the jets and the quality of service. PriJet tracks over 6k jets and turboprops Worldwide so there is plenty of capacity, but not if you have a desire to always fly in the same type of jet such as a Citation Sovereign where there are only 100 and far fewer of those are close to your desired departure and have amenities you desire such as WiFi. Obtaining a quote for a charter flight is a bit complicated and requires the Operator to first make sure the aircraft can perform the desired itinerary. Runway lengths, weather, payload, crew availability etc. all have to be taken into account to see how many fuel stops may be required as well as fuel prices, landing and parking/hangar fees at destination airports. The largest expense in most charter requests is the repositioning costs, so availability close to your departure airport has the largest impact on pricing and is why charter pricing can be so difficult to estimate. PriJet.com has many tools to help you with the procurement process and our PriJet Premium offers a technology solution which automatically requests quotes for all matching jets to any trip itinerary. Click here to enter your trip itinerary and obtain a charter estimate

Brokers

Brokers either; act as sellers agents for management companies (also called Operators) or they act as buyers agents by helping customers procure aircraft from the available pool of charter aircraft. Brokers can add a layer of service and some can help improve consistency by recommending higher quality Operators and aircraft through their years of experience. There are very few regulations when it comes to private jet charter Brokers so it is wise to do your homework and if they are not following the basic regulations listed below, you might want to look elsewhere. Since each Broker decides which Operators and jets to offer a client and have discretion in how much margin to place on each trip, it becomes even more difficult to estimate Broker pricing. If you are unsure if your provider is a Broker or an Operator, check out PriJet.com’s Operator and Broker directories. In the U.S. Brokers are required to:Inform you who they represent (you or the Operator),Clearly state that they are not an Operator and are not “holding out” as an air carrier which would require them to obtain a license,Inform you which management company (Operator) you are flying with.

Jet Cards

Sentient, a charter Broker founded in 1997 created the first Jet Card to improve the consistency in charter pricing. They first offered a $100k card which entitled the customer to fly at fixed hourly rates without any repositioning fees, which are the largest cost factor. Sentient would source jets through the available charter fleet from Option 2 above. In later years, Sentient began changing their contracts with Operators where they would pre-purchase flight time on a particular jet to gain exclusive use for their customers, then using sophisticated computer optimization algorithms, they would fill customer trips using these jets to reduce repositioning costs. This new process helped reduce costs and improve consistency in the quality of the jets. This new model has sometimes been referred to as a “Defined Fleet” meaning the program uses only specific operators and jets to fill trips for clients. Since then, many other types of Jet Cards have popped into and out of existence. Some are developed by Operators using their managed fleet of jets and others by Brokers who utilize various segments of the charter fleet. Guaranteeing availability and pricing can be tricky for the Jet Card programs, especially when they do not have a defined fleet since they have committed to a fixed price to customers and are forced to obtain highly volatile pricing in the charter market. This is why Jet Cards reduce exposure by; limiting the geographic region or peak day access; add flight time to each flight leg (they typically call it taxi time) or including daily flight time minimums which means you will be charged a full 2 hours even if you only fly 1 hour. PriJet.com has technology to estimate a full range of Jet Card options for your trip, simply add your itinerary from the Home page and click “Calculate”.

Fractional Jet Ownership

In 1986 NetJets Founder Richard Santulli started the first Fractional Jet Ownership program to offer an alternative to full aircraft ownership and charter. He was the first to offer a fixed hourly rate with no repositioning costs. When first launched, customers had the option to purchase as little as 1/4th of a brand new jet which entitled them to fly up to 200 hours each year at a fixed hourly rate. Since that time, several competing programs emerged, two of the largest are now owned by Directional Aviation; FlexJet and Flight Options. They now offer programs with as little as a 1/16th share from a broad range of aircraft and some offer Jet Cards which can be purchased in 25 hour increments such as Marquis Jet. Similar to the Jet Cards in Option 4 above, Fractional Jet Ownership programs will add taxi time, minimum flight segments and minimum daily flight usage charges and some will limit peak day usage. PriJet.com has technology to estimate a full range of Fractional Jet Ownership options for your trip, simply add your itinerary from the Home page and click “Calculate”.

Tags

Article Links

The Evolution of the Jet Card

The Evolution of the Jet Card

If you’ve ever chartered a private jet on a regular basis, you will certainly understand why the Jet Cards promise of fixed pricing and consistent service are so attractive to clients. Chartering a private jet can be a frustrating process to some. Simply obtaining competitive quotes for a charter flight can take hours or even days and when there is a mechanical or the aircraft you booked is no longer available, you are forced to go through the process again which may cost you more than what you originally agreed to.

The explosion of Jet Card memberships has actually been going on for 20 years now and it has taken many steps and turns to get to where they are today. I think the best way to describe the differences between the programs is to explain their history of how they got here.

When I started working in the Private Jet industry back in the mid-1990’s there were just three options to fly in a private jet; you could own one outright, charter one or purchase a fraction of a jet. Jet Membership options were not available until 1997 and I happened to work out of the same office where the first Jet Card was created.

Sentient

Jet Cards got their start by a company once called Executive Jet Worldwide (not to be confused with Executive Jet Management which is owned by NetJets, but more on that later.) I met Jeff Creed, the founder of Executive Jet Worldwide while learning to fly at Marshfield Airport which is located in a suburb of Boston when he was starting out. We both had the same flight instructors and my father once purchased a jet from Jeff. His original intention was to sell some charter in the jet he owned with a partner. An aggressive gorilla marketer Jeff worked the Yellow pages like brokers today work Search Engine Optimization by picking up all of the telephone calls from people looking for Executive Jet Management. Jeff began getting calls throughout the day for people looking to purchase a fractional share from NetJets. At first I remember Jeff telling me he was referring clients to Executive Jet Management and receiving a commission for doing so, but at some point that ended and Jeff had to find another product to sell to people who were looking for a fractional ownership product.

Most Fractional Owners understand they are paying more for private jet travel than charter and they are willing to pay the premium for consistency in pricing and service. Customers were not willing to hear a pitch about chartering a jet so Jeff began pitching a fixed hourly price with a $100k purchase. Jeff priced the hourly rates below what someone would pay for a fractional share, but higher than he could purchase from the charter market. Members would call him to book their flights at a predetermined rate and Jeff would purchase a charter at a lower price and keep the difference. The first Jet Card was born.

Through Jeff’s aggressive marketing tactics and unique product offering, Executive Jet Worldwide grew quickly and ultimately took it’s first investment from CSFB who ultimately changed the name to Sentient. Jeff Creed moved on and the last I heard from him, he was flying himself around in his own private jet so I’m sure he made out pretty well and he certainly changed the industry.

Sentient went through several owners between 2007 and 2014 including TH Lee and is now owned by Directional Aviation who is also the owner of FlexJet, Flight Options and SkyJet.

Marquis Jet

In 2001 Kenny Dichter and Bill Allard (who just happens to reside in the town of Cohasset, MA which is right next to Marshfield, MA) founded Marquis Jet which offered the first Jet Card for a defined fleet of jets. Unlike Sentient who relied on the inconsistent charter fleet, Marquis Jet would buy fractions of jets from NetJets and resell the time in 25 hour increments. Customers would get all the benefits of owning a fractional share, but would not have the 2 to 5 year commitments or hundreds of pages of documents necessary to buy one.

Where Sentient solved the pricing inconsistency issue, Marquis Jet solved the quality of service inconsistency and lowered the cost of entry to the highest quality fleet in the country. All jets were 10 years old or newer with similar interior configurations.

Kenny Dichter and Bill Allard were both accomplished at marketing and building sales teams and grew Marquis Jet dramatically over the next few years. NetJets eventually purchased Marquis Jet in 2010 and Kenny and Bill moved on a few years later to start Wheels Up.

It wasn’t too long after Marquis Jet’s rocket growth that virtually everyone came up with a Jet Card program; FlexJet and Flight Options, both of which are competing Fractional Ownership programs to NetJets came out with their Marquis Jet style cards and most charter brokers began selling Jet Cards fulfilled from the various portions of the charter fleet.

XO Jet

The first time I met with XO Jet in 2007 when they were just getting started. They were very smart, data driven and wanted to make fundamental changes to the industry and they believed they could solve many inefficiencies in the industry through the use of technology. XO Jet was founded in 2006 by Paul Touw who was a successful software entrepreneur and owner of Ariba, Inc. and from what I was told, Paul’s intent was to bring technology solutions to the private jet industry which had been very slow to change.

XO Jet initially purchased a few Citation X jets and began offering highly competitive charter prices between popular and once profitable routes such as New York to Los Angeles, New York to Florida and Boston to San Francisco. These routes were commonly flown by clients which made them easier to optimize by reduce repositioning costs and were longer in duration which reduces the number of cycles on the engines and airframe and also reduces costs. The rates were easily 20% lower than charter competitors, 50% cheaper than fractional programs and the jets were all brand new.

Initially, Brokers were the largest clients of XO Jet and quickly purchased flights for their clients at below market rates and competitive to NetJets quality. The Broker market flourished with new Jet Cards which were backed by the XO Jet fleet. Thousands of mostly independent Brokers were out in the marketplace pitching these Jet Cards and between 2008 and 2015 the market exploded.

How did they offer such a low price point at that level of quality? I am always skeptical of businesses strategies which involve owning jets and chartering them out to make money. Most owners of jets charter them out to offset some of the fixed overhead, keep their pilots current and receive accelerated tax depreciation, but very, very few make any money at it and the vast majority lose their shirts because aircraft values typically drop about 50% every 5 years. In order to make money, you not only have to compete with people willing to offer a price below costs, but you also have to deal with tremendous asset depreciation. In XO Jets case, they purchased multiple $20 million jets which lose on average $2 million per year in value. This is why I believe XO Jet continued to roll back their wholesale efforts and instead invested heavily in building direct retail clients through their own Jet Card to improve margins and get closer to a more sustainable pricing strategy.

XO Jet received a few rounds of financing over the years and is now majority owned by private equity firm TPG. TPG also acquired TMC in 2016 who had a similar business model to XO Jet but with smaller jets such as the Hawker 400XP and 800XP. Paul Touw left XO Jet to start Stellar in 2015 which is a logistics software concept to help Operators of private jets optimize their fleets.

Wheels Up and JetSmarter

There are only so many ways to reduce the cost of flying in a private jet and scaling can be very expensive with new jets selling for between $4 million to upwards of $100 million. The fundamental issue with trying to get the price point to something that is not obscenely expensive to the average person is: The private jet has one airframe, two engines, typically two pilots and between 4 and 14 seats while a commercial plane also has one airframe, two engines and two pilots but can hold upwards of 200 people and if you’ve flown on a commercial jet recently you know that nearly every seat is sold these days. The commercial carriers will therefore always have economies of scale that private jets will never have. The second issue is the logistics where commercial carriers fly into and out of 50 major airports with flight schedules which minimize or eliminate most empty flight segments while private jets can and do fly into over 5,000 different airports. What are the odds that you want to travel from Topeka Kansas to Pittsfield Ma on the exact date and time that someone else wants to go in the reverse direction? On Demand private jets will never be as efficiently flown as commercial carriers. The third hurdle is the number of jets available in the charter fleet. Most charter flights are subsidized by the aircraft owners who are simply looking to offset some of their expenses, obtain an accelerated tax depreciation advantage and keep their pilots current during slow seasons which is why charter prices are typically about 80% of the true cost to fly if you owned the jet. Unless someone is willing to purchase a bunch of jets and lose 20% on every flight, there will not be a tremendous increase in the number of jets available at the current charter prices anytime soon.

As reported above, Kenny Dichter founded Wheels Up in 2013 with an initial investment of $55.7 million from Jeffries and an order for 105 new King Air 350i Turboprops which are typically less expensive to operate, especially for shorter flights, than the jets offered by the major fractional ownership companies such as NetJets, Flight Options and FlexJet. Wheels Up intended to offer a lower price point in the hopes of opening up a new and larger market with its less expensive Turboprops.

The initial program required an initial fee of $15,750 with annual dues of $10,000 plus the fixed hourly rate for each flight. Clients had guaranteed pricing and a new defined fleet which would be operated by GAMA Aviation, a well-respected Operator with International experience. The price point is a little more expensive than chartering a Turboprop but with a higher quality defined fleet.

In the first few years Wheels Up was able to attract two more rounds of financing bringing the total raised to $408.9 million and a valuation of $700 million by late 2017.

In 2012 another startup named JetSmarter was founded by Sergey Petrossov who also claimed to be lowering the cost to fly and thereby opening up a new and larger market but with a very different business model. JetSmarter approached many of the leading Operators in the industry and began buying up their future empty leg flight segments, writing very large checks for anticipated supply. They would then take a real-time data feed from these Operators and display them on their app where members could book at a low or no additional cost to their members. By 2016 JetSmarter had added a shuttle service where they would charter a jet for a certain route and sell individual seats to its paying members.

Since 2012 JetSmarter raised a total of $130 million with a valuation of $1.5 billion by December 2016. To put these valuations in perspective, The entire charter market is estimated to be around $13 billion. If JetSmarter is to be successful, it will have to grow the market considerably over the next few years or become a very dominant player.

In 2016 Wheels Up in partnership with Broker Apollo Jets, launched 8760 which is a competing app to JetSmarter with both empty leg flights and shuttles.

The Future of Jet Cards

Which of these models are sustainable? I believe that the JetSmarter concept of pre-purchasing empty leg flights and some shuttle flights make a lot of sense. Where I believe it falls apart is the projections on growth since the supply of discounted flights is subsidized by customers who pay full fair to fly in the reverse direction and the aircraft owners who are charging less than the true cost. To scale this model, it will ultimately require a Defined Fleet which will certainly raise prices and defeat the purpose of growing the market. This supply problem is not easily overcome and although the people using the App today, both operators and customers can benefit greatly from this model.

Defined fleets are also a great solution as long as the price point is set properly. NetJets and their Marquis Jet product are by far the largest player in the industry: they are mildly profitable; have the most sophisticated logistics technology; are the largest buyer of private jets so they are getting the lowest possible prices and have negotiated the lowest expenses including fuel, training and maintenance in the industry. Therefore, the price for a defined and owned fleet should be above the price to fly on NetJets which is currently the most expensive option. I would therefore anticipate that defined fleets will grow, but there has to be higher and more sustainable pricing at some point.

Tags

Article Links