The upper echelon of private aircraft are those that can fly farther and higher, with larger cabins and more space, and whose list prices tend to push into the high tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds. As more and more destinations open up to overseas arrivals, these high-performance, high-comfort jets find themselves in high demand. Find your perfect match with our edit of the best private jets to invest in now...
The ACJ220 – which Airbus is marketing as the “TwoTwenty” – is based on the A220 commercial jet, a groundbreaking, smaller commercial plane design that Airbus acquired from Canada’s Bombardier. And this new model might just represent the perfect sweet spot between large-cabin luxury and smaller jet economics. According to Airbus, “the A220 Family is the quietest, cleanest and most eco-friendly aircraft in its category, featuring a 50 per cent reduced noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft, and up to 25 per cent lower fuel burn.” It also has long legs. With a roughly 10,500-kilometre range, London to Los Angeles will be no issue for this aircraft. It has 73 square metres of space, so you can have up to six living areas in a VIP configuration, with room for up to 18 passengers to work, relax and dine. Available from early 2023.
Dassault Falcon 10X
Arguably the most highly anticipated aircraft is the newly announced Dassault Falcon 10X. A 13,800-kilometre range means that, for those who’ve always wanted a Falcon but needed the reach that Gulfstream and Bombardier provided in their most capable jets, the French jet is now a viable option. Meanwhile, with a cabin width of 2.7 metres, the 10X bests its two rivals by about 30 centimetres. The cabin height, also the tallest among its rivals at two metres, will allow the majority of its passengers to stand up in comfort while on board. And the cabin can be divided into four living and working areas, with an infinitely customizable layout. Dassault says it’s designed to be more “yacht-like” than other business jets, in response to a growing demand for comfort among its clientele. And for staying refreshed, the cabin altitude can be set to 900 metres while cruising up at 12,500 metres.
Even as a large jet that can fly halfway across the world, the 10X still retains the Falcon’s signature short-runway capabilities with carbon-fibre wings that allow for landings on strips as short as 750 metres. It also has an industry-first “automatic upset recovery mode”, a feature brought directly from the latest Rafale fighter jets. Available from late 2025.
Boeing 777X BBJ
There’s no denying the wide-body Boeing 777 is one of the finest aircraft ever built. Now the upgraded, even-bigger and more capable 777X is on the way. Though most will end up as commercial aircraft, the Boeing Business Jets team will gladly kit one out as a private aircraft. And though there are larger aircraft, they are on their way out, and the 777X will represent the flagship long-haul offering from Boeing in the near future. In an executive configuration, it will represent the ultimate in long-range capability and comfort.
Need to fly up to 21,000 kilometres in one go, so you’re connected to just about any pair of cities imaginable around the world? Done. Sydney to London will be no problem in this plane. A cabin that’s six metres wide and nearly 2.5 metres tall? Check. In fact, with over 275 square metres of floor area, there won’t be any shortage of space, so bringing the entire team along won’t be any issue. With this much space, the possibilities are endless. And that’s good thing, considering it could fly for upwards of 24 hours in one go. Entry into service late 2023.
You can’t go wrong with a Gulfstream – its planes just keep getting better. And its latest long-range claims to offer an unparalleled travel experience. “The G700 was designed for customers to extend their ground-based lifestyle to the air in up to five living areas [...] and fly farther and faster than any other business jet in its class," says Jeannine Haas, senior vice president at Gulfstream. It's true, the G700 will be able to fly almost 14,000 kilometres in one go which is enough to connect most pairs of cities non-stop. And it can fly at up to Mach 0.925, or over 1,100km/h, nearing the speed of sound – at an altitude of more than 15,000 metres.
Most appealing, though, are the cabin offerings. The G700 will come with a highly configurable layout, so it can be made to seat up to 19 or sleep 13. On offer within the cabin is a galley with a three-metre countertop (the longest in the industry), an extra-large refrigerator and optimised storage while meals can be served at a six-place dining table. Onboard features geared toward wellness are, as ever, a focal point, and Gulfstream delivers with an all-new circadian lighting system, the industry's lowest cabin alitiude and "whisper-quiet sound levels allowing guests to arrive at their destination feeling more refreshed than when they departed. Available from late 2022.
HondaJet Elite S
Fly in on a HondaJet Elite S and you may turn some heads. Not least because of the uniquely placed engines, mounted on pylons atop the wings. The Elite S is the latest evolution of Honda’s compelling small jet, and it delivers incredible efficiency for what it’s capable of. It also boasts a remarkably pared-down flight deck, almost like stepping into a car (perhaps no surprise from Honda). It has a range of around 2,650 kilometres, can seat up to five and flies at up to 780km/h at 13,000 metres. With an increased maximum takeoff weight of 90kg, owners can now fly up to 120 nm further at a higher payload, or fly with an additional passenger in tow. And there’s also more cargo space, with up to 1.9 cubic metres for luggage in the rear of the aeroplane. There are little touches that appeal too, such as skylights in the lavatory and the ability to control the cabin ambience on your smartphone.
In the cockpit, new avionics features replace traditional voice commands with text-based messaging to improve the clarity and efficiency of communications. Combined with the newly introduced Advanced Steering Augmentation System, the Elite S further reduces pilot workload and maximizes safety. The Hondajet Elite S also offers several new styling options with exclusive paint schemes available in Gunmetal, Luxe Gold, and Deep Sea Blue. Available from 2022.
Bombardier Challenger 3500
The Challenger 3500 builds on the success of the highly-favoured Challenger 300 series aircraft. The jet is marketed as the best super mid-size business jet available offering best-in-class comfort and space with advanced aerodynamic design for the smoothest of rides - and Bombardier has already secured a $524 million order as demand soars. The "intelligent cabin" has been designed as an extension of a home or office - or even a yacht - with 24-inch 4k displays, wireless charging, charging, soft-close drawers and wine storage. All lighting, temperature and entertainment systems are voice-controlled and the cabin features a patented Nuage seat with a unique zero-gravity position - the first new seat architecture in business aviation in over 30 years. Ready to fly in under 7 minutes, with a range of 3,400nm, the jet can fly from Los Angeles to Honolulu or London to Dubai with full seats and full fuel, non-stop. Meanwhile, steep-approach capabilities make even the most challenging airports such as Aspen, London City or Lugano, a breeze. Entry into service late 2022.Read More/How to travel around the world on a private jet tour