The purchase or charter of a private jet is the epitome of luxurious and convenient air travel. Despite how fabulous, a private jet must still meet realistic safety, price, range, and overall airworthiness requirements.
How do you know which luxury jet to choose when you’re looking to buy or charter a top of the range aircraft? Here, we compare three major players on the market – the Airbus ACJ318 Elite, the Embraer Lineage 1000, and the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ).
Luxury with a Familiar Face
These three popular aircraft have a lot in common with jets flying in commercial airline services. The ACJ (standing for “Airbus Corporate Jet”) is based on the Airbus A320 airliner family, with the ACJ318 representing the smallest variant. Similarly, the Lineage 1000 is based on the Embraer E190 regional airliner, while the most common BBJ is based on the Boeing 737-700.
Although each of these models began their lives as a commercial aircraft, made to transport between 100-150 people between airline hubs, their conversion to private gave them far greater individual space, and vastly improved range, as large baggage holds are replaced with additional fuel tanks enabling transatlantic flights.
Buying Business Jets: the Price
Of course, such impressive VIP airliners come with a price. Given that these are three of the largest private jets on the market, you’re unlikely to find a bargain, but there are certainly different price points available for those looking to save.
While individual transactions may vary considerably, all three aircraft manufacturers list prices within approximately $10 million of each other:
- ACJ318 - $47 million
- Lineage 1000 - $53 million
- Boeing Business Jet - $57 million
Source: Manufacturer estimated base pricing, list
These prices don't factor in aspects such as availability, short or long range flights, or even the overall configuration of the aircraft. A BBJ or ACJ may easily be bumped up to $80 million – or more – when you add a bespoke interior, or extra fuel tanks.
Also, operational costs (including fuel, maintenance, and insurance) differ significantly between these aircraft models. Below are cost-per-hour figures as a reference:
- Lineage 1000 - $5,827.32
- Boeing Business Jet - $6,851
- ACJ318 - $6,573
Source: 2015 Business Aircraft Cost Comparison, Conklin & de Decker/AOPA
Although the Airbus has the smallest purchase price, operational costs (that change on a per-seat basis) are significantly higher than those of the Embraer, arguably making the later a more desirable choice for long distance travel despite its higher purchase price.
Chartering a Private Jet
However, if you don't want to spend millions of dollars on an aircraft, then you might want to consider a private jet charter. It's a more budget friendly solution, as you only pay for your flights and save on maintenance or storage costs.
You can see how much it costs to charter the previously mentioned airplanes below:
Rental Cost P/H
- Lineage 1000 - $12,000
- Boeing Business Jet - $11,000
- ACJ318 - $15,000
Source: Average market rates provided by Paramount Business Jets
Space is an important factor to consider when looking to charter a private jet. Although each of these aircraft offers 19-seat configurations, individual comfort may differ greatly between the smallest (Lineage) and largest (BBJ) interiors. Configurations with fewer seats are also available, offering more room at the expense of higher per-seat operating costs.
Whether you’re in a hurry to get to an important meeting or you want to enjoy a leisurely flight with your loved ones, speed will play a significant role in your journey. For many, an aircraft’s cruise speed is the most important factor of all, laying down a marker to measure the most powerful machine.
- ACJ318 – 514 knots
- Boeing Business Jet – 516 knots
- Lineage 1000 – 547 knots
Source: Manufacturer-provided top cruise speeds
The smallest Lineage 1000 is the fastest among this particular group, with a top cruising speed 70 knots faster than the industry average for a Heavy Private Jet. That said, higher fuel consumption and engine/airframe stress might increase operating costs.
There are numerous reasons for people chartering private jets. It could be for a short trip from one city to another to save time or to impress a client. Equally, it could be for a customer who wants to avoid hours of discomfort on a long haul commercial flight.
If you're planning to take a long haul flight, or multiple stops, you should consider the plane's range:
- ACJ318 – 4,200 nautical miles
- Lineage 1000 – 4.600 nautical miles
- Boeing Business Jet – 5,634 nautical miles
Source: Manufacturer-provided range totals, NBAA reserves
There is not much difference between the ACJ318 and Lineage 1000, with just 400 miles separating the two, but the BBJ emerges as the clear winner with more than 1,000 extra miles over its competitors. This comes from its larger fuselage that offers more room for additional fuel tanks.
These three, marvelous aircraft are some of the finest available for charter or to buy. Small groups may favor the intimate ACJ318, whilst the Lineage 1000 offers great value, and the Boeing Business Jet is an industry powerhouse that provides long range and highly-customizable interior configurations.
For more information please contact our aviation specialists available 24/7 on +1-877-727-2538 or get a quick quote online.