In May 2017, Cirrus released Vision Jet – the most affordable private jet in the market today. But does cheaper necessarily mean the one to go for? Not always, price is only one of the criteria for choosing the most compelling type of private jet. How to estimate the major differences among various size aircraft and choose the most compatible to individual needs – these are the questions first-time aircraft buyers keep searching answers for.
The recent release of Vision Jet has shaken the private jets market. Sold at $1,96 million, Vision Jet became the cheapest private jet in the market. This has provoked many discussions in media and among industry experts. Vision Jet was welcomed as the game changer that industry has longed for and now the strongest industry players offering huge and expensive jets were unintentionally put in shade. However, in reality it is not only about the costs. Those that own private jets consider other important features: from such obvious as number of seats to the non-stop flying distance. The bellow discussed criteria can be a helpful guidance while choosing between the different types of private aircraft.
It is essential to understand that there is a number of ways to compare various types of private jets: according to the producer, intermediary seller, etc. Nevertheless, the size prevails as the most dominant criteria deciding which way we would steer – towards light, mid-size or a large jet.
Number of passengers
Light jets can take from 5 to 8 passengers, whereas mid-size aircraft are usually designed to carry up to 9 flyers. At the same time, large jets have capacity to carry between 12 to 19 passengers, while 16 is the most frequent number of seats on any large private jet.
“The amount of extremely lucky passengers aircraft can carry is, I would say, the most important criterion. It is usually behind every choice of either a business or an individual when selecting a jet. No matter how deluxe large private jets may seem, businesses, for example, usually prefer light or midsize jets. On the other hand sports teams are the most frequent flyers of large jet type,” comments Vitalij Kapitonov, CEO of KlasJet. “In case private jets are being procured for family-related purposes, holidays for instance, light jets are considered as priority.”
Monetary costs are undoubtedly one of the measures that cannot be forgotten as well. And prices can range from $3 to $90 million. Due to small size, light private jets are naturally the cheapest ($3 million to $8 million). They are followed by midsize jets ($9 million to $16 million) and large jets which take the leading position on the price list ($17 million to $90 million).
Non-stop flying distance and destination
The choice between different types also depends on the usual route that private jet is expected to fly. Light jets can fly roughly between 2,5 and 3,75 hours which allow them to connect (by non-stop flying) destinations maximum 3300 kilometers apart. It is approximately equal to the distance between Budapest and New Delhi. Mid-size jets have capabilities to fly almost 5000 kilometers or up to 5 hours, this is close to the distance separating Seoul and Sydney. Finally, large jets can fly up to 8 hours or more than 6500 kilometers and their routes usually are transatlantic or whole continent-crossing.
“Many first-time buyers make the mistake of not taking into the account the final route destination. When 10+ passengers need to be transported, number of seats seems to be single most important criterion, however, if final destination is a remote Mediterranean island, there may be no landing options for large bizjet. Smaller airports naturally have shorter runways which minimizes the variety of aircraft that can use it,” shares V. Kapitonov.
In general, all jet types have enough cabin area for small carry-on pieces for every passenger. Additionally, baggage storage is also equipped to hold at least one midsize piece of luggage per passenger. The key difference between the types lies in the non-standard equipment that sports teams, for example, need to carry. Only large size private jets have enough space capacity to carry such non-standard luggage pieces as golf clubs, American football gear or hockey sticks. Similar capacity needs are requested by music bands: from The Beatles to individual performers like Lady Gaga or Jay-Z who use private jets during world tours. At a time, celebrities not only travel with a team of staff, but also various sound and performance equipment or even decorations. Moreover, some exceptional cases as for example Queen Elizabeth transporting 6 race horses on her Diamond jubilee (2012) could not be made possible without large internal airplane capacity as well.
The abovementioned criteria comparing light, mid-size and large business jets should help choosing best private jet for one’s needs. It can finally be concluded that although cheap and light may be compelling, it is not always actually one need.