Private Jets

The 11 Best Small Private Jets

These fabulous small private jets are ideal for short-haul regional flights and don’t skimp on advanced tech, convenience, or comfort.

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Best Small Private Jets

Of all the luxury experiences on Earth, flying in a private jet is certainly at the top. Not only are private jets faster, more efficient, and more comfortable than a commercial airline, but they also allow access to your favorite destinations easier — and in absolute style. However, each type of private jet serves a unique purpose. You don’t need the largest jet for a sumptuous flying experience. In fact, smaller jets can be light-years more convenient than the longest-range private jets on the market. 

The main benefit of small private jets is their ability to access remote destinations and fly into smaller or local airports that larger jets cannot access due to the shorter runways. Accessing these airports is convenient because they can be closer to your final destination than larger commercial airports. Beyond requiring less runway footage, small private jets are exceptionally reliable for shorter-haul trips. They offer single-pilot operation, which is especially convenient for pilots who own their own planes. 

There are various types of smaller private jets: very light jets (VLJ), light jets, and mid-sized jets. These are still considered business jets but are smaller and have lower jet costs. Due to their versatility, light jets are the most requested jet category. Each can hold up to eight passengers, on average. Keep in mind, however, that the more you squeeze in passengers and baggage, the lower the range, efficiency, and passenger comfort will be. 

When considering small private jets, many people immediately think of the Bombardier Learjet, the first mass-produced business jet. However, Bombardier ceased production of it in 2022 due to declining sales and replaced it with the Global aircraft. Here are the 11 best small private jets in the world, each perfect for short trips or weekend getaways without compromising convenience, comfort, or amenities.

The 11 Best Small Private Jets

Embraer Phenom 300E

Embraer Phenom 300E

Embraer’s Phenom 300 series is the most successful business jet of the past decade. The Embraer Phenom 300 launched in 2009, and since then, it has become one of the most requested light jet models on the market. The company upgraded it in 2018, renaming it the Embraer Phenom 300E (the E stands for “enhanced”), and again in 2020. 

It’s currently the fastest and longest-range single-pilot jet, with a maximum range of 2,010 nautical miles. It seats six to 10 passengers and has larger windows compared with similar models, as well as some of the most extensive range of customizations on the market. There’s also an enclosed lavatory with up to two large windows. It’s fairly fast for a light jet, with a cruising speed of .80 Mach, which is still faster than some commercial airlines. The Embraer Phenom 300E is a popular model for fractional-ownership and charter private-jet companies

Embraer Phenom 100EX 

Embraer Phenom 100EX

The Embraer Phenom 100EX is a VLJ, the younger sister of the Embraer Phenom 300 Series, and an upgraded version of the original Embraer Phenom 100. It was last updated in 2023 with cabin and avionics improvements — specifically, a Runway Overrun Awareness and Alerting System (ROASS). With a range of 1,178 nautical miles, it’s perfect for short-haul domestic and regional flights and can fit up to seven passengers. Recent updates include wider seats, upper tech panels, and flush-to-the-wall tables.

Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen2

Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen2 | Best Small Private Jets

Since the 1970s, there have been several variants in the Cessna Citation family. One of the newest popular models is the Citation CJ4 Gen2, an update of its predecessor, the Cessna Citation CJ4. It is currently the largest light jet in the Citation family but is still a single-pilot plane. There are several configurations to choose from. This means that if you’re chartering, not each jet will look the same. If you’re buying, you can customize the layout to suit your needs. The Citation CJ4 Gen2 has new ambient lighting, an updated stair and handrail, and more customized design options. Options include the neutral Sandstone Premier Collection (lighter sand colors and seat quilting) and the Truffle Premier Collection (a darker palette of mineral gray and smoky espresso). It fits up to 10 passengers and has a maximum range of 2,165 nautical miles and an enclosed lavatory.

Cessna Citation M2 Gen2 

Cessna Citation M2 Gen2 

The Cessna Citation M2 Gen2 is the smallest model in the Cessna Citation family and also one of the most comfortable light jets out there. It fits up to seven passengers and has a range of 1,550 nautical miles. Updates from the original Citation M2 include USB ports at every seat, wireless Qi charging, and enhanced cabin lighting. Another update is that the side passenger seat folds down to serve as an extra 50 pounds of storage space while preserving the leather upholstery. Like other Citations, there is a Fresh Air System, which brings fresh air from the outside into the aircraft through the engines. The engines compress and heat the air to kill pathogens. It’s then cooled and enters the cabin at your desired temperatures.

HondaJet Elite II

HondaJet Elite II | Best Small Private Jets

The HondaJet HA-420 took its first flight in 2003 and has since launched several other models under the Honda Aircraft Company. HondaJet is one of the most delivered aircraft in the VLJ category and has been since 2017. One of the smallest and lightest jets around, it has enhanced efficiency, thanks to the placement of the jet engines. Instead of being built into the aircraft fuselage, the engines are mounted above the wings, allowing for more passenger space. 

HondaJet Elite II, which launched in 2022, is one of the longest-range jets in the VLJ class, with a range of up to 1,547 nautical miles, and can fit up to five passengers. There’s even a fully enclosed lavatory — one of the smallest planes with this feature — and an emergency autoland system from Garmin, which can land an aircraft in an emergency situation without human intervention. This gives additional peace of mind when flying with a single pilot. 

Cirrus G2+ Vision Jet

Cirrus G2+ Vision Jet

When the Cirrus Vision Jet finally debuted in 2016 (it was on hold for eight years due to the 2008 recession), it broke innovation barriers for its groundbreaking safety features, including a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), a standard piece of safety equipment on all models. In an emergency, a passenger activates the parachute, safely bringing the plane to the ground wherever you are. All Cirrus aircraft models also have a Safe Return Autoland, meaning a passenger can press a button and activate the system to safely land at the closest airport. 

Small yet sleek, the plane’s luxurious cabin is the largest in its class. It feels more like you’re riding in a luxury car than an aircraft. It fits up to five adults, one being the pilot, and has extra-large windows for maximum views and a range of 1,275 nautical miles. The Cirrus G2+ Vision Jet, launched in 2021, has many of the same features but has an extra 3,000 feet of altitude (from 28,000 feet to 31,000 feet), so you can fly farther and faster.

Eclipse 550 

Eclipse 550

Nimble and small, the Eclipse 550 from Eclipse Aerospace is the ultimate dream toy for an owner who is also a pilot. The company delivered two jets in the first quarter of 2023 after a multiyear production hiatus. Not only is it more affordable to own than other VLJs, but it can fit up to six passengers and fly at 41,000 feet. It’s one of the most high-tech small planes with upgraded avionics and can also fly in less-than-suitable icy conditions. You can fly up to 1,125 nautical miles, an impressive feat for one of the smallest jets on the market.

Pilatus PC-12 NGX 

Pilatus PC-12 NGX

The Pilatus PC-12 NGX is a single-engine turboprop business aircraft with a range of 1,803 nautical miles and a capacity of six to nine passengers, depending on the load. What makes the Pilatus PC-12 NGX different from its predecessor (the Pilatus PC-12) is primarily its tech advancements and seating comfort and design. It also lands on extremely short runways — in fact, this type of aircraft often lands on St. Barths’ runway, one of the shortest and most dangerous in the world.

Pilatus PC-24 

Pilatus PC-24 | Best Small Private Jets

Another light business jet, but slightly larger than the Pilatus PC-12 NGX, the Pilatus PC-24 is considered one of the most versatile planes in the world. It is the only non-military plane that can land on makeshift runways made of dirt, grass, or gravel. Designed for adventure (or simply a slightly larger light jet option), it can fit up to 12 passengers and has a range of 2,040 nautical miles. It’s used as a business jet but also within the Royal Flying Doctor Service in the Australian Outback and rural Alaska. This is ideal for those who love adventure travel, whether it’s an off-grid fly-fishing trip in Idaho or a remote excursion in the Canadian wilderness.

Blackwing 635RG 

Blackwing 635RG

One of the most advanced VLJs, the Blackwing 635RG is also the fastest ultralight aircraft on the market. The sports aircraft is designed for fun and has aerobatic capabilities for adventurous fliers. However, it’s also convenient for owner-pilots to store, fly, and pop over to their destination — say, from New York City to the Hamptons.

Stratos 716X 

Stratos 716X | Best Small Private Jets

The single-engine Stratos 716X is a direct competitor with Cirrus Vision Jet. It has short-field takeoff capabilities and a lightweight carbon-fiber body, making it aerodynamic. However, in comparison to Cirrus Vision Jet, it offers higher speed and more performance flexibility. It also has a range of 1,034 nautical miles with a maximum of six people, or around 1,489 nautical miles with four passengers.

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