Cessna is a company which has now become a synonym to the business jet aircraft of the world. There are no boundaries to define the innovation and excellence that they have achieved in this industry. Cessna has sold more than 190,000 aircraft to date and has more than a 50% market share for private jet aircraft that are currently flying in the skies today. With more than 4000 citations sold to date, this particular model of jet has been a resounding success for Cessna.
Mega-celebrities, super-rich sultans and mighty moguls are all partial to a nice shiny yet. Not content with a ‘normal’ twin jet engined private jet, bigger is better and the Boeing Business Jet is likely to be the order of the day. These BBJ’s as they’re known tend to be souped-up corporate airliners reconfigured and refitted internally to be as decadent as a royal residence and as unique as the buyer requests. From having living ferns decorate the walls, to having solid gold wash basins (Sultan of Brunei) these business types certainly know how to ‘live it up’. Although the name of the business jet would suggest they are produced solely by Boeing, in actuality they are a joint venture between General Electric and Boeing.
Originally the Boeing Business Jet was the traditional 737 with a modified airframe, and accommodated between 25 and 50 passengers in complete luxury. Since then additional models have been rolled-out to be part of the BBJ series, such as the jumbo 747, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Despite the different models, the whole BBJ series have modified airframes to the standard airliners. To increase fuel economy all 737 BBJ’s have blended winglets and incorporate air stairs to enable passengers to disembark at less well-equipped destinations. Additional fuel tanks have also been incorporated on the business jets to allow ETOPS (Extended Range Operations).
Although the Dreamliner has had a sketchy start with production delays and a series of technical issues that resulted in the grounding of the entire 787 fleet, when these issues are ironed out it will prove to be the most advanced and efficient aircraft included in the business jet offering by Boeing.
Designed as a mode of executive / presidential transport to whisk the high and mighty to far flung destinations in sheer decadence, I’m sure most ‘regular Joe’s’ wouldn’t have any problem at all in actually living on one of these! Many BBJs include bedrooms, bathrooms (with showers / baths), conference areas, dining facilities and any combination of the above that the customer can dream up.
When you’re shopping for your Boeing Business Jet you should decide whether you have the need for a narrow or wide-body airliner. In the narrow-body market there have been the BBJ1, BBJ2 and BBJC which were all based on different variants of the 737. If you’ve a need for quickly changing the load that you’re carrying then the BBJC may be the order of the day, as this features the ‘quick change’ facility, enabling fast reconfiguring for cargo hauling. These narrow-bodied jets can fly up to 41,000 feet at a cruising speed of around the 480kt mark.
If you have greater passenger requirements (or a larger wallet) then a wide-body might be more suited to your needs. These are the aircraft that in traditional airline service typically seat say 2-4-2 or 3-4-3, such as the Boeing 777 jet, 787 or 747. These jets are denoted ‘VIP’ and are delivered unfurnished so individual royal tastes can be accommodated. It is said that the Sultan of Brunei has spent more on the interior fittings to his BBJ than he did on the actual cost of the aircraft (it cost approximately $100 million to buy, and another $110m for interior furnishings allegedly). These wide-body business jets typically have a range of anywhere between 9,000 and 11,000 nautical miles.
There have been many purchasers of Boeing Business Jets from business moguls such as Donald Trump, rock-stars and film-stars (think Aerosmith et al), the royal elite of many countries around the world and of course not forgetting probably the most famous ‘business jet’, Air Force One.
There are many types of executive jets suited to different applications (and budgets!). Although they are also known as business jets, private jets or simply ‘Biz Jets’, regardless of name they are typically chartered by wealthy businesses, executives and individuals. Executive jet charter costs have risen in recent times due to fuel cost increases, however charter companies are becoming more savvy to meeting the needs of their customers and adapting their service to suit the changing economic climate.
Jet charter companies are providing greater value for money by offering empty flight legs at last minute discount prices. These might be available say when a private jet has to fly back to base or has to reposition to another customer. This leg would otherwise go unsold, and the price would sometimes be passed on as part of the cost to the previous charter customer. There are various online brokers that specialise in providing a searchable database of ’empty legs’, and services such as these have helped to reduce the cost of chartering a jet and bring it slightly more down to earth (although only very slightly!)
If you are wondering approximately how much does a private jet cost to charter then we have a handy comparison guide on our home page that details the different classes of jet (eg: light jets, mid-size, and full-size jets). It shows the range that each jet type could be expected to achieve and an approximate guide to chartering costs.
There are many different types of executive jets, with the most popular ones in the light jet category being the Citation V / Ultra, Beechjet 400, Hawker 400XP and the Learjet 35. Overall it is the light executive jet category that were the most popular to be chartered. After this the medium-size jets were also popular, with models such as the Hawker 800, Learjet 55, Learjet 60 and the Citation Excel. In the turboprop category the Beechcraft King Air was the most popular executive ‘jet’.
So how much would an executive jet charter cost?
Well, as we’ve outlined on the home page this depends on the category of aircraft and many other variables such as the distance that is required to fly, the flight time it will take, the number of intended passengers and how much style your executives want to travel in! Not that I would turn my nose up at any business jet ride, however some are definitely more ‘plush’ and spacious than others. Firstly you should consider the number of passengers that you will be travelling with. If it is just a small group then a light jet may be the order of the day, however you should be aware that most of these smaller jets don’t even allow you to fully stand up.
If you have a larger passenger requirement, or a longer range requirement then you may want to opt for a mid-size jet. Whilst these are more costly, the mid-size business jets offer an increased range and increased seating capacity. As an example the Hawker 800 has a passenger capacity of between 8 and 13 seats. Although you’re unlikely to be cost-conscious if chartering an executive jet, this extra seating would mean that the cost could be shared by more individuals. This is how the ’empty leg’ sharing has also become more popular as the larger the group the lower cost. It’s even been known for these empty legs to be advertised on Facebook – who’d have thought it!
Rough Chartering Costs
The list below gives an indication of the costs for chartering a business jet per flight hour. Please understand that these are very approximate and the actual cost would depend on a huge range of factors and variables that the jet broker would discuss with you.
- Small Jet Cost Per Flight Hour: $5,400
- Mid-Size Jet: $8,800
- Larger Mid-Size Jet: $9,650
- Full-Size Jet: $12,800
It’s also worth pointing out that the country that you hire the jet in will make a big difference to the cost, as European providers are likely to be more expensive than their United States counterparts. Private jet charter is also a lot more common in the US, hence there are more jet aircraft providers, more competition and lower fuel prices which result in cheaper executive jet charter costs.