The most affordable private jets available today
Owning a private jet might sound like the domain of the uber-wealthy, but the prices of some of the more affordable aircraft on the market may well surprise you. Advancements in the aviation industry have helped to make the convenience, flexibility and cost of a private jet much more of an attainable reality. Whether you’re shopping – or window shopping – for a very light, light, midsize, super midsize or heavy jet, the most affordable aircraft can be a fraction of the price of the most expensive. We’ve listed the cheapest private jet in each category.
Very Light Jet: Cirrus Vision Jet
The cheapest private jet is the small but mighty Cirrus Vision Jet at £1.52 million. The world’s first single-engine private jet is powered by a Williams International FJ33-5A turbofan engine that produces 1,800lbs of thrust and can cruise at 345mph at a maximum altitude of 28,000 feet. The aircraft is designed to be piloted by the owner, but a pilot can be hired instead. The cabin is quite spacious for its size at 4ft tall and 5ft wide, with large windows and seating for up to five adults and two children. Perfect for a business professional who enjoys private family holidays.
Light Jet: Cessna Citation CJ3+
If the Vision Jet sounds a little tight, you can buy a brand new Cessna Citation CJ3+ for £6.2 million. Launched in 2014, the CJ3+ is a new and improved version of the CJ3 with a more comfortable cabin and upgraded avionics. It has a maximum range of 2,040 nautical miles and a luggage capacity of 1,000lbs; while the cabin can accommodate up to nine passengers with 14 large windows, swing-out seats and a standard lavatory. In 2011, Robb Report voted the Cessna Citation CJ3 the "Best of the Best" in the light jet category. It’s the ideal choice for a family that plans on flying together for the foreseeable future.
Midsize Jet: Cessna Citation XLS+
The world’s best-selling business jet can be yours for just under £10 million. The Cessna Citation XLS+ is a very versatile aircraft, delivering high performance on short- and long-haul flights. It has a maximum cruise speed of 507mph and a transcontinental range of 2,100 nautical miles. The cabin is the largest in its class with fully-reclining leather seats, foldaway tables, seating for up to nine passengers and a galley for food preparation. This aircraft is ideal for business trips or flying esteemed passengers around the world.
Super Midsize Jet: Cessna Citation Sovereign+
Cessna does it again. Their powerful Cessna Citation Sovereign+ is the most affordable super midsize jet available today at almost £14 million. With a maximum range of 3,200 nautical miles, passengers can fly from Bangkok to Dubai nonstop. The Sovereign X+ is known for its excellent runway performance, with the shortest takeoff among private jets in its class. The cabin can accommodate 12 passengers in comfort and the best-in-class external baggage compartment can carry up to 1,435lbs of luggage. This is an excellent aircraft for those who frequently travel across continents for business or leisure.
Heavy Jet: Embraer Legacy 650E
While the cost of a heavy jet almost always elicits sticker shock, the cheapest private jet in this category may surprise you. The luxurious Embraer Legacy 650E comes in at approximately £20 million, a relative bargain when compared to the similarly-sized, £47.7 million Gulfstream G550. The plane has seating for 12-13 passengers in three separate cabin zones, allowing some to work while others sleep or lounge; with a range of 3,900 nautical miles that allows travellers to fly nonstop from New York to Munich. A great aircraft for larger families who frequently fly together.
Other costs to consider when buying a private jet
Apart from purchasing the jet itself, there are the following additional costs to consider:
If you're purchasing a jet, you’ll most likely want to fit out the interior of the plane with mod-cons like flat-screen TVs, dining tables, bedrooms, office desks and Wi-Fi. There’s a host of companies dedicated to decorating private jet interiors, but be careful not to blow your budget on appliances and other luxuries if you’re keen to keep costs down.
Finding the right place to store your aircraft can be one of the most challenging aspects of owning a private jet. A hangar ensures the jet’s cosmetic finish won’t be tarnished by the elements, as well as providing peace of mind that your aircraft is in a secure location. If you're looking for a cheap arrangement, keep an eye out for a shared hanger within driving distance of your home, but not necessarily closer to the centre of town or main business area.
Private jets have a maintenance inspection cycle related to flight hours, cumulative take-offs and landings and prescribed times in the year. As would be expected, your private jet will suffer wear and tear over time, so the inspections and maintenance are an ongoing cost.
If you’re not going to pilot the jet yourself, you should also be aware of pilot expenses as well as insurance.
Private jet charter
No matter how ‘affordable’ these private jets may sound, costs can add up quickly. Chartering a private jet instead gives you all the benefits of private travel without the hefty pricetag. You can still use the same airports and the plane can be booked for you individually or exclusively for your travelling companions.
Book well in advance to ensure you can charter the jet you want at an affordable rate. This can drastically lower the cost, as the smaller and cheaper jets often get booked up early, leaving only a few jets still available for late charter bookings.
You could also look for an empty leg flight. Some charter flights are one-way bookings, so the aircraft flies back to base or on to another location with no passengers. These 'empty leg' flights are often much more affordable than your standard charter.
Contact us if you’d like a personalised quote for the aircraft of your choice, or to enquire about available empty leg flights and their cost.