The world of private jets: types, costs, and ownership options

  • There are several types of private jets
  • They come in all shapes and sizes, from Very Light Jets to Executive Jets
  • And there are multiple ways to own a private jet

Published on Jun 09, 2024 at 2:59 PM (UTC+4)
by Siddharth Dudeja

Last updated on Jun 10, 2024 at 1:45 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Nalin Rawat

Many billionaires, and even millionaires, have a soft spot for private jets, but not all of them are the same, just like cars — there are different types of aircraft with varying costs and, interestingly, multiple ways to own a private jet.

The world of private jets may seem like a niche category, but there are a lot of options to choose from, and they keep getting better as your budget increases.

The scenery changes quite quickly from smaller aircraft that can only accommodate a handful of passengers to ultra-long-range business jets.

READ MORE: The largest private jet in the world is sitting in an aircraft graveyard in Arizona

Types of private jets and their costs

There are small single-engine jets and there are large planes with multiple engines and a lot more space, but what about everything in between?

Surprisingly, they come in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose one in a specific category.

And you will almost certainly find one that meets your exact needs.

Let’s have a look at the different types of aircraft that the world of private jets has to offer.

Before you get on to read further, know that the Cessna Citation series of jets is the most prominent one, and there’s a Citation model in every category.

That makes it a viable choice for most buyers, and it’s a valid one, to say the least.

Very Light Jets (VLJs): the most common type of private jets

First off, Very Light Jets, or VLJs are the smallest of the fleet and can mostly house between four to eight passengers.

Because of their size, these are suitable for shorter trips and prove to be relatively cost-effective at most times.

Moreover, VLJs can land on short runways and might be considered a go-to choice for short trips under 1,200 miles.

Prime examples of Very Light Jets are the Eclipse 500, Embraer Phenom 100EX, and the Cessna Citation M2 Gen2, which are among the lowest-cost private jets you can buy today.

These would cost you anywhere between $2.5 million to $8 million, depending on which you get.

Light Jets: upgraded VLJs

Next up, Light Jets are quite similar to VLJs and offer a bit more space and seating capacity than them.

These can accommodate up to 10 passengers, so it’s not really that big of an upgrade.

Since they’re not that big either, they are also suitable for landing on shorter runways.

You will also find Light Jets in any charter company’s catalog.

Cessna Citation CJ3, Embraer Phenom 300, and Learjet 45 fall under this category of private jets.

You can get one by paying between $6 million to $12 million, depending on the aircraft.

Mid-Size Jets: a step-up from light jets

If you don’t want to spend millions and get a tiny jet, these are likely the ideal size to get.

A Mid-Size Jet will have enough space for you and your companions, as these can seat up to 12 passengers.

They have a lot more extra space, too.

Similarly, you will get large cabins and improved interior space, which will certainly give you a sense of luxury.

After all, owning one of these will cost you anywhere between $11 million to $30 million.

The insanely large price bracket is there because it also includes Super Mid-Size Jets, which is another category but those are often mixed together.

These categories include aircraft like Gulfstream G150, Bombardier Challenger 350, and Cessna Citation XLS.

Heavy Jets: the luxury in the world of private jets

Further, Heavy Jets, including Ultra-Long Range Heavy Jets, are larger aircraft that have way more seating capacity, cargo capacity, and range than their smaller counterparts.

Private jets in these categories can house up to 20 people and bring in a more luxurious feel than all others.

However, the more you step up, the more you have to pay.

This is why these cost between $20 and $65 million, but you get what you pay for because there are many options to choose from.

For instance, the Dassault Falcon 900, Embraer Lineage 1000, and Bombardier Global 6000 are some aircraft that fit these categories.

Executive or Business Jets: the endgame

Finally, Business Jets, Bizliners, or Executive Jets, are the greatest and most expensive out of all other private jets.

While they offer a lot, like more space than you would need, luxury bathrooms, bedrooms, and whatnot, these are quite difficult to maintain and have immensely high running costs.

But if you’re spending more than $100 million on a private jet, these things don’t really matter in the long run.

Because of their luxury status, you can customize one exactly how you like.

You can do that to all private jets, but this category stands out more than the rest.

Many celebrities own one of these, and for good reason.

The Boeing 747-8i or the Boeing 737 Max 7 are prime examples of Executive Jets and are amongst the most expensive private jets available today.

Private jet ownership vs charters

Believe it or not, there are multiple ways to own a private jet or not own one and still use it.

Yes, we’re talking about charters.

While owning one may look cool, you would be responsible for the plane’s maintenance, dedicated staff, insurance, and super-expensive fuel costs.

However, if you rent a jet, a charter company like VistaJet takes care of everything, so you can fly without worrying about what might happen.

But if you really want to own one, it has its own perks.

After all, it’s all about convenience when it comes to flying private.

You have all the freedom — you don’t need to care about charter schedules and availability.

But there’s the problem of it being extremely expensive.

There’s a win-win solution, and it’s called fractional ownership.

Fractional ownership makes you a shareholder of an aircraft while you share the plane with others.

It offers the best of both worlds — the affordability of a charter and something to call your own.

All the maintenance costs would be split between the jet’s owners.

Overall, there are several ways to fly private, and you can choose whichever you like.

Because, in the end, it’s your money.


Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth is a tech nerd with a secret love of all things cars. He has been writing for a few years now, and on his free time you would find him gaming when he's not procrastinating.