Private chartered flights give you the convenience and speed of private air travel with a value-packed suite of benefits. Depending on your needs, you can book an affordable jet or turboprop for just a few people or invest in a luxury jet tricked out with amenities for important clientele. If you’re looking to charter an aircraft for your next trip, you have several options.
Turboprops are the lightest and smallest of your options when considering a private plane. With twin propellers and turbine engines, these are an ideal choice for a small group of passengers making a short to mid-range flight. Thanks to their excellent fuel efficiency, turboprops offer some of the best values in the business. They can typically transport 5 to 8 people anywhere from 900 to 2,100 miles and most fly at a speed of about 315 miles per hour.
Many turboprop do double duty as cargo aircraft. However, the cabin can switch from cargo to passenger configuration in just a half-hour. A turboprop typically needs just 2,000 to 2,400 feet of runway to land, which makes them a versatile pick for small airports or remote airfields. If you’re traveling somewhere without a major airport, you may find the compact size of a turboprop aircraft ideal for your situation.
Despite their size, turboprops can offer a comfortable interior space for private travel. Even the compact cabin of the King Air C90, one of the smallest turboprop planes, makes good use of its 19 feet with comfortable seating for five people and their cargo, as well as shared tables for light refreshments and convenient business conversation en route. The drawback to a turboprop is that you won’t always have access to a lavatory, stand-up room, or flight attendants. However, the short duration of most turboprop flights makes these amenities superfluous.
Some common examples of turboprop aircraft include:
- Beechcraft King Air C90
- Beechcraft King Air 200
- Pilatus PC-12
- Quest Kodiak
Light jets are slightly larger than turbo props, but they’re still on the small end of private aircrafts. Light jets are by far one of the most popular choices for chartered jets. These planes have twin engines and a typical range of between 1,000 and 2,000 miles. Though they don’t offer a significantly longer range than turboprop jets, some light jets are twice as fast, flying at a speed of up to 650 miles per hour. These jets are ideal for regional and short-haul flights, and they help you reach your destination with minimal travel time.
Light jets have a capacity similar to turbo props, with most accommodating five to eight passengers. Depending on the aircraft, you may find some light jets even smaller than turbo props inside. You may or may not have tables and a lavatory and there’s not much standing room or space for a flight attendant on these planes. They do, however, offer quiet flight and economical travel.
Light jets can land with as little as 3,000 feet of runway in some cases. If you’re travelling to a destination with minimal airport facilities, this is an important consideration for your travel. The most significant perk of a light jet over a turboprop is the increased range. If you’re flying more than 1,500 miles, your options for a turboprop are more limited. A light jet offers comparable amenities and value with the ability to travel a bit farther for mid-range business trips.
Some examples of light jets you may be interested in include:
- Bombardier Lear 45XR
- Cessna Citation CJ3
- Cessna Citation V/Ultra
If you’re looking for a more spacious cabin for your private flight with added amenities, a mid-size jet is the smallest aircraft you should consider. While a turboprop or light jet is extremely compact with minimal standing room, a mid-size jet offers a different experience.
In addition to chairs and tables, some mid-size jets offer a couch for added seating. Depending on the size of your party, this additional space may give you the option to move around and take in different views during your flight. An enclosed lavatory and moderate standing room are available with most mid-size jets as well.
Flight range increases significantly with a mid-size jet. This type of aircraft can travel as much as 3,400 miles before stopping to refuel. Speeds are slightly slower than light jets, falling between 500 and 600 miles for most aircrafts.
You’ll find that most mid-size jets can accommodate between seven and nine passengers. However, filling even a mid-size jet to capacity won’t leave much personal space. If you’re booking travel for an important corporate party, a mid-size jet is the most enjoyable choice, offering comfortable amenities for mid-length flights.
Examples of mid-size jets:
- Hawker 800XP
- Citation Excel
- Citation VII 650
- Gulfstream G150
Super Mid-Size Jet
For the sensation of flying in a commercial aircraft with the convenience and privacy of your own jet, a super mid-size jet is the way to go. A super mid has twin-engine jets similar to mid-size aircraft, but it supports a wider body, which dramatically changes the in-air experience. Most are designed for nine or 10 passengers in luxury comfort and can accommodate more as long as they’re willing to share their personal space.
The interior of a mid-size jet is more in line with what you may picture when you envision a high-profile client’s private aircraft. You’ll enjoy the elegance of comfortable club seats, couches, and an enclosed lavatory. The expanded width of a super mid-size jet allows for a full galley so you can walk around comfortably. Some jets of this size even offer the services of a flight attendant.
The Gulfstream G200 is a prime example of what you can enjoy with a super mid-size jet. Over 24 feet long and more than 7 feet wide, the cabin features three tables and eight seats as well as a long couch. Ample baggage space ensures plenty of room for all the passengers’ belongings.
Super mid-size jets typically have a range of under 4,000 miles and a speed of 600 miles an hour. This makes them ideal for coast-to-coast travel. For longer trips such as these, the added amenities of a super mid-size aircraft are particularly welcome.
Heavy jets are also referred to as luxury private jets–and for good reason. These are wide-bodied aircraft with expansive cabins and ample standing room. You won’t feel cramped or claustrophobic in one of these elegant jets. Heavy jets can offer a variety of seat configurations as well as office configurations for passengers who need a streamlined space for taking care of business in the air.
Specifics vary, but some heavy jets include sleeping berths, gourmet galleys, private lavatories, and high-tech entertainment systems. Heavy jets can typically accommodate between nine and 15 people, though they may only sleep around six. It’s common for heavy jets to offer the services of at least one flight attendant.
Heavy jets offer an impressive range of 3,000 to 6,000 miles at around 500 miles per hour. They’re smaller than commercial aircrafts and have some flexibility as to where they can land. Smaller airports can typically accommodate, but they don’t offer the flexibility of a turboprop or light jet, as heavy jets are significantly larger.
Examples of heavy jets:
- Gulfstream G450
- Bombardier Challenger 850CS
- Dassault Falcon 7X
How to Choose the Right Jet
With so many options for comfort and convenience up in the air, it’s not always easy to pick the right jet for your next trip. If you’re looking for an aircraft for your own private party or for an employer’s upcoming trip, there are several important considerations that will help guide your decision.
The first and most important aspect of your trip is the destination. Are you landing at a major airport or a small town with a tiny runway? How many miles are there between your point of origination and your final destination? Both factors will influence the size of your aircraft. If you’re making a short trip, you can rely on a turboprop or light jet, while longer trips either necessitate a larger jet or a stop for fuel.
Next, you need to address how many passengers are in your group and what your itinerary is during the flight. If you have a small group and you don’t need to do much but relax or perhaps enjoy a bit of networking in the air, nearly any jet will meet your needs. If you’re planning to sleep on the plane, you need a large dedicated workspace, or you’re trying to accommodate a client with expensive tastes, booking a light jet probably isn’t the way to go.
When you need fast, private, and convenient travel arrangements, a private charter is the answer. Lay out the essential elements of your next trip and use these guidelines to help you find the perfect choice for your travels.