Private Travel – Top Light Jets
Most travelers who have made the leap agree; if time well spent is important to you, then it's time to invest in private jet travel.
When Canadian software tycoon Jim Perchaluk explains his experience flying privately, it becomes evident that some of the most intrinsic benefits are the ability to avoid what Perchaluk refers to as "airport friction". That being long security lines, baggage loss, delayed flights and those unruly passengers who are intent on using your shoulder as a pillow. For traveling CEOs like Perchaluk, what helps him justify the costs of owning a plane is not only the time saved, but also the relief he gets from avoiding the mental anguish commercial travelers are dealing with day in and day out. While airline passengers are playing the waiting game, Perchaluk explains how he simply goes to the nearest airport, hops in his plane and takes off. "It takes me five or ten minutes. There's no security, there's no lineups, nothing" he says.
Another of Perchaluk's favorite perks of flying privately is the ability to hop to multiple locations. "Detroit, Harrisburg and Washington. I could do all that in a day. You couldn't do that commercially" he says.
For Perchaluk, there is no greater answer to the first question he's always asked when traveling to a meeting; that question being "When do you have to leave?" at which point Perchaluk used to quote the time of his flight and they'd waste ten minutes calculating traffic, wait times and lineups before rushing through their meeting to get him off to the airport in time.
Now that he flies privately, the answer is simply "When we're done" and according to Perchaluk that's a priceless answer. "It just shows so much respect your client" says Perchaluk, "the world can wait. We have an important conversation going on."
In addition to the travel flexibility, there are a vast number of benefits that many jet owners feel are essential to their affluent lifestyles. From complimentary access to town cars to opulent lounges that cater to every whim. When time outweighs cost and becomes the most important asset in your portfolio, moving into private jet travel can fast track you into a lifestyle you'll never look back from.
For many companies with a flight department, the jet that's used is based on their needs at the time. Even large companies with a Gulfstream or Challenger will typically own or charter a smaller aircraft when it's more practical to do so. When traveling distances of 2,100nm (2,416 miles/3,889km) to 3,000nm (3,452 miles/5,556km) and in smaller parties or groups (up to ten or less in some cases), the cost savings of operating a smaller jet can be significant. Whether you're in the market for full ownership, fractional or charter, your choice of aircraft should be based on your typical use. If you mainly take shorter flights to regional meetings or a vacation home, a light jet, while having limited space and range can provide a number of perks that larger planes don't offer. Benefits such as the ability to land at airports with shorter runways closer to your final destination. Some might also consider a greener footprint on the environment and the ability to save money on operating costs, which keeps private owners, or shareholders and clients happy. Crew requirements can also be a consideration. For those who can use a lighter jet, we've reviewed cabins, avionics, capabilities and statistics to offer suggestions for top light jets. Be sure to check available light jets for sale on JamesEdition.com.
4. Beechcraft Hawker 400XPR
Often described by pilots as a favorite light jet to fly, the Hawker 400XPR boasts power and performance capabilities that outweigh some of its top competitors. Where the Hawker really makes its mark though is the price. As one of the least expensive light jets to purchase and maintain, the XPR comes in at a lower cost than other new jets in the class.
With a range of 2,160nm (2,485 miles/4,000km), the XPR can reach a certified ceiling height of 45,000 feet. According to Beechcraft, with new Williams International FJ44-4A-32 engines, the Hawker can climb directly to FL450 in just 19 minutes, 50 minutes faster than its closest competitor. Capable of seating a maximum of nine passengers (seven standard) the actual square footage is no different than its predecessors, and by utilizing a flat cabin floor and an oval design, XPR owners will notice a significant increase in usable cabin size and comfort.
While there are certainly more luxurious and well-appointed jets than the XPR, this aircraft is ideal for the price-conscious consumer looking for a reliable private jet that will remain stable throughout its flight envelope. This is a perfect plane for the first-time buyer.
Price: Approx. $7.4 million USD
3. Bombardier Learjet 60XR
The Learjet family from Bombardier has long been a driving force in the aviation industry. Often the most recognizable private jet, it's been a feature in Hollywood cinema for decades and has amassed a following like no other jet in its class.
Seating up to nine passengers, the 60XR is an agile jet with the ability to get passengers to their destination quickly and in style. In addition to its efficiency and low operating costs, the 60XR has an impressive range of 2,405nm (2,767 miles/4,454km) capable of cruising above bad weather and turbulence at speeds of Mach 0.81.
With an intimidating ramp presence due to its lineage, the Learjet 60XR offers pilots cutting edge avionics and passengers a stylishly appointed cabin sure to impress those with even the most discriminating tastes.
Backed by best-in-class service from legendary aviation leader Bombardier, owners can rest easy knowing that they're flying in one of the safest and most reliable jets in the world.
Price: Approx. $14 million USD
2. Embraer Phenom 300
Sporting one of the most spacious cabins in the light jet category, Embraer partnered up with BMW in its design, implementing a variety of luxuries typically only found in larger aircraft. From an externally serviced lavatory to air stairs and single-point refueling, the Phenom 300 has commanding ramp presence for its size. Capable of single-pilot operation, it emphasizes cost savings without skimping on luxuries. For executives in colder climates, the Phemon 300 is ideal since it's the only light jet to feature hot-air anti-ice for the wings and horizontal stabilizer. Because of its unique lavatory, turnaround times are expedited by avoiding waste removal through the cabin. Due to the single point refueling it takes less than 12 minutes to go from empty to full, allowing passengers to remain on board in the event of having to stop midway for a re-fuel. Even with a range of 1,971nm (2,268 miles/3,650km), it could take you from Los Angeles to Toronto without stopping in-between, making it ideal for the short-haul traveler. With multiple cabin configurations available, the Phenom 300 can seat a standard eight passengers, or be converted to seat up to eleven passengers comfortably. The Phenom 300 also boasts the largest baggage compartment and the largest windows in the class.
Price: Approx. $8.14 million USD
1. Cessna Citation X
It's hard to find a more distinguished expert in the field of aviation than Kenny Dichter. When I spoke with the CEO of Wheels Up, who became famous for selling powerhouse Marquis Jets to billionaire magnate Warren Buffett's Netjets, what I really wanted to know was what his top five favorite light jets were. Surprisingly, he only gave me two answers and both were Citations. "They're the premiere manufacturer and (have) been for a long time in the light and mid jet category" explains Dichter. Self described by Cessna as the fastest civil airplane in the world, the Citation family has long been considered the preeminent light jet. With the introduction of the Citation X, Cessna took innovation to new heights. Boasting a cruising altitude of 51,000ft at Mach 0.935, the Citation X can whip you an astounding 3,242nm (3,731 miles/6,004km) across the globe at record speed. Capable of seating nine in densely pillowed seats, the Citation X offers a more spacious and far more luxurious cabin than any other members of the Citation family. Because no two interiors are the same, Cessna will work with you to design a cabin that compliments your lifestyle and travel needs, allowing you to configure and design the cabin to maximize your comfort and relaxation. Known for pushing the boundaries, the Citation X offers a finely appointed lavatory, a resplendently handcrafted galley and an intelligent cabin management and entertainment system that can not only operate all cabin controls, but connect you to every other passenger on the plane.
The Citation X is a perfect jet for the domestic traveler who agrees with Cessna's mantra that "good things come to those who can't wait".
Price: Approx. $22.9 million USD
By: J.A. Shapira for JamesEdition
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