Find Your Perfect Jet: Comparing the ACJ318 Elite, Lineage 1000 and Boeing Business Jet
Investing in the purchase or charter of a private jet marks the epitome of luxury and on-demand travel convenience; that said, even the decision to take to the skies in style must still meet pragmatic concerns about price, range, and overall fitness for the requirements of your particular mission.
How do you know which luxury jet to choose when you’re looking to charter a top of the range aircraft? Here, we compare three major players in the market – the Airbus ACJ318 Elite, Embraer’s Lineage 1000, and the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ).
New Luxury with Familiar Faces
Each of these popular aircraft share much in common with jets flying in commercial airline service. The ACJ (for “Airbus Corporate Jet”) is based on the A320 airliner family, with the ACJ318 representing the smallest variant. Similarly, the Lineage 1000 is derived from the Embraer E190 regional airliner, while the most common BBJ is based on Boeing’s storied 737-700.
Although each of these models began their lives as more pedestrian aircraft optimized to transport between 100-150 people between airline hubs, the conversion to private use yields several benefits for the discriminating passenger, including far greater individual space and vastly improved range, as large baggage holds are replaced with additional fuel tanks enabling trans-Atlantic flights.
Of course, such a high degree of specialization comes 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 some capital.
While individual transaction prices may vary considerably when buying the aircraft outright, all three aircraft feature 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 do not factor in aspects such as availability, destinations, or even the overall configuration of the aircraft. A BBJ or ACJ may easily be bumped up to $80 million – or more! – with a particularly opulent interior treatment, or optional extras like supplemental fuel tanks or advanced avionics on the flight deck.
Of course, these higher transaction prices will be passed along to the charter client, as well, but even they are not the only factor to consider. Operational costs (including fuel, maintenance, and insurance) differ significantly between these aircraft, with the following 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
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
Although the ACJ318 represents the smallest initial outlay, operational costs are significantly greater than those of the Lineage 1000, arguably making the latter the more desirable choice for long distance travels despite its higher purchase price. (Operational cost metrics on a per-seat basis improve significantly with the larger ACJ319 and ACJ320 variants – as well as Boeing’s 737-800-based BBJ-2 – although at much higher initial transaction prices.)
Space is another important factor to consider when looking to charter a private jet. Although each of these aircraft offer 19-seat executive configurations, individual comfort may differ greatly between the smallest (Lineage) and largest (BBJ) interiors. Configurations with fewer seats are also available, offering more room to stretch out 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 lithe Lineage 1000 is the definite speedster among this particular group, with a top cruising speed 70 knots faster than the industry average for a Heavy Private Jet. That said, much of the type’s advantage in lower operating costs might evaporate when the higher fuel burn and engine/airframe stresses to travel that speed are factored in.
There are numerous reasons that people charter private jets. It could be a short trip from one city to another to save time, or impress a client, or equally it could be a long-haul flight where the customer wants to avoid hours of discomfort on a commercial flight.
If making a long haul flight, or multiple stops, range should be a consideration:
- 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 nearest competitor. This is a direct benefit from its larger fuselage that offers greater room for additional fuel tanks.
These three, marvelous aircraft are some of the finest available for charter and as such would suit any occasion, but using the information above should help to tailor your trip to your individual requirements. Small groups may favor the intimate ACJ318, whilst the Lineage 1000 offers great value, and the BBJ 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.