Private Jets

8 Types of Private Jets: Which Is Right for You?

Private jets boast impressive speeds and luxurious interiors. Learn about the different types of private jets here.

Types of Private Jets

Choosing a private jet to charter or purchase can be a long, exhausting process. Whether you have an upcoming weekend getaway or are a frequent traveler, private jets can be the most speed-efficient and luxurious method for getting to your desired destination.

There are eight primary types of private aircraft. Each type is designed to accommodate a different purpose, including personal, business, and executive use. Before you decide on a type of aircraft, it’s important to identify your travel needs and preferences. Each type of private jet has a different passenger capacity, baggage capacity, and maximum flight duration, so not every aircraft suits all groups and travel distances. They also vary in how spacious their cabins are, where they can land, and the types of amenities they offer. Whether you’re buying a private aircraft, chartering one through a private jet company, or flying with a semi-private air carrier, our guide is here to help you decide what type of private jet is best for you. 

8 Types of Private Jets

Very Light Jets 

The inside of the Cessna Citation M2 Gen2
The inside of the Cessna Citation M2 Gen2

Very light jets, also known as compact light jets, are the smallest type of private jet. They are great for traveling shorter distances, usually capable of flight durations under three hours, or 1,000 to 2,000 nautical miles (nm) at a cruising speed of approximately 400 knots (kn), a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour. The cruising speed refers to the speed at which an aircraft travels through the air when it’s not climbing or descending. Very light jets carry small groups of four and sometimes up to six passengers, making them perfect for a nearby weekend getaway with friends or family. A single pilot operates this type of jet, and they can use small airfields with short runways for takeoff and landing, as well as narrow taxiways in remote locations. 

Cost-effective Choice

If you’re looking to purchase a private jet, this type of aircraft is worth considering because it’s more cost-effective and easier to maintain compared to larger private jets, which require two pilots for operation. However, if you’re regularly flying long distances, you will need to stop to refuel. It’s important to note that very light jets have small luggage compartments that measure fewer than 70 cubic feet, so you’ll have to pack light. Most models have a private enclosed lavatory located in the front of the cabin, but some do not.

The Eclipse 550 is a fine option if you’re looking to fit five passengers. The Cessna Citation Mustang was a popular model produced from 2006 to 2017 until the launch of the Cessna Citation M2 Gen2, its newer and larger counterpart that comfortably holds up to seven passengers. The Cirrus Vision SF50 and Embraer Phenom 100 also carry up to seven passengers, and the latter model is an entry-level business jet. Whereas heavy business jets are for larger groups, the Embraer Phenom 100 is suitable for transporting small teams. 

Light Jets

The Embraer Phenom 300E | Types of Private Jets
The Embraer Phenom 300E at sunset

Light jets offer more cabin space and can hold more passengers than the typical very light jet. However, much like their smaller counterpart, light jets have a maximum flight duration of about three hours, or 1,400 to 2,500 nm at a cruising speed of about 450 kn. In terms of takeoff and landing, light jets require a single pilot for operation. They can access small airports with short runways, allowing for landing in smaller, less congested airports. These airports are frequently closer to large cities than most major airports, cutting down final travel time. Light jets contain private enclosed lavatories, which are located in the front or back of the cabin, depending on the model’s size. Some light jets are equipped with Wi-Fi and phone service. 

This type of jet is perfect for personal and business travel because it’s faster and more comfortable than very light jets, which offer less legroom, without needing to upgrade that much in overall size. The Embraer Phenom 300E and Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen 2 are fantastic choices for a light business jet that’s also suitable for personal use, with enough space to seat eight passengers. If you prefer more cabin space with fewer seats, then the HondaJet HA-420 is also a good option.

Midsize Jets

interiors of Embraer Praetor 500 | Types of Private Jets
The sleek interiors of the Embraer Praetor 500

Midsize jets are a common choice for a slightly bigger group of travelers. Their larger fuel tanks mean they can support longer flight durations. A typical midsize jet can fly about five hours, or 2,000 nm at cruising speeds between 470 to 530 kn. Midsize jets offer enough space for passengers to stand upright and move freely, which is not always possible in smaller jets. Their luggage compartment space is usually between 79 and 150 cubic feet, so check the dimensions of the specific model to be sure your personal belongings will fit. What’s more, midsize jets tend to have a lavatory and full galley kitchen, and most will offer Wi-Fi and phone service. 

Two pilots must operate a midsize jet, and this is the first size of aircraft that lets you have the option of a flight attendant as part of the crew. A fine midsize jet is the Hawker 900XP, which seats up to eight passengers. The Cessna Citation Latitude can seat nine passengers and provides the maximum amount of comfort and space for this class. The Embraer Praetor 500 is also a popular model for its sleek interiors that are customizable to your preferences. 


Pilatus PC-12 | Types of Private Jets
The Pilatus PC-12 is a high-performance modern turboprop

Turboprops combine the features of light and midsize aircraft. Using a propeller and gas turbine engine, they are slower than other midsize aircraft and can only fly a maximum flight duration of two to three hours. However, they can carry more passengers and luggage compared to very light jets or light jets because some don’t have a lavatory or other amenities. Turboprops can also access small airports, unlike most midsize aircraft, making them a good choice for a larger group of passengers traveling shorter distances. While there’s a stigma that this type of aircraft is antiquated, modern turboprops have interiors that are just as plush as those of their counterparts. If you’re looking to charter a more cost-effective and fuel-efficient aircraft for a weekend getaway, then a turboprop is worth considering. The Pilatus PC-12 NGX, Beech King Air 350i, and Beechcraft 1900D are fine options for this aircraft. 

Super Midsize Jets

Bombardier Challenger 350
The Bombardier Challenger 350 flies nonstop for nearly nine hours

Super midsize jets have more cabin space and faster cruising speeds than midsize jets. Their fuel tanks usually support a maximum flight duration of seven hours, or 3,500 nm at a cruising speed of 520 kn. This means super midsize jets can be suitable for international travel, depending on your origin and destination. Like midsize jets, they are complete with a lavatory, full galley, and sometimes even a shower. 

There are many fantastic options for super midsize jets. The Gulfstream G280, in particular, seats up to 10 passengers and can fly at a maximum cruising range from distances like New York to Rome. The Bombardier Challenger 350 is an equal competitor, also seating up to 10 passengers. Travelers love how quiet the engine is compared to other private jets of this size. The Embraer Praetor 600 is also a good option because it is one of the few jets this large that can access short runways, allowing you to use smaller airports.

Heavy Business Jets

Bombardier Global 5500
The Bombardier Global 5500 is ideal for transatlantic trips

Heavy business jets are more expensive to charter and purchase than smaller aircraft. This is because they are larger, more luxurious, and have special amenities to ensure maximum comfort during your flight. Heavy business jets have larger cabin spaces, wingspans, and fuel tanks, allowing you to travel long distances — and actually enjoy your flight. Most heavy business jets support a maximum flight duration of nine hours and are a common choice for executives and government officials. Because they’re larger, heavy business jets require longer runways for takeoff and landing, meaning that passengers will need to wait their turns in large airports, and some smaller airports can’t accommodate these jets. 

The Bombardier Global 5500 seats 19 passengers and has three separate interior zones that you can customize. Options include a conference room, lounge area, and sleeping environment. It also features Bombardier’s innovative Nuage chaise, a four-in-one seating system, and the patented Nuage seat, which allows for deep reclining and maximum comfort. The Dassault Falcon 6X is another popular choice. It has three customizable living areas that seat up to 16 passengers. The Falcon 6X also has the first galley skylight in business aviation, filling the space with gorgeous natural light. 

Ultra-Long-Range Jets

 Dassault Falcon 10X
The Dassault Falcon 10X is luxurious ultra-long-range jet nicknamed the ‘penthouse of the skies’

Ultra-long-range jets are one of the largest types of private jets. They typically have a 12-hour maximum flight duration, or 5000 to 7500 nm at a cruising speed of 500 kn. This, along with their beautifully decorated interiors, makes ultra-long-range jets ideal for nonstop intercontinental travel. This type of aircraft remains a beloved option for luxurious travel because of its well-designed living spaces with amenities, such as lie-flat beds, automatic tabletops, a fully equipped kitchen, and ergonomic seats and lounge areas. 

The Bombardier Global 8000 is an especially impressive model within this jet category. It has the longest maximum range of any private business jet: 8,000 nm. That’s the equivalent of flying from Los Angeles to Sydney. It comfortably seats a maximum of 19 passengers with Bombardier’s renowned Nuage chaise and seat. The Gulfstream G800 ties with the Global 8000 in terms of speed and also accommodates 19 passengers. However, it is a smaller model with less spacious living areas. The Gulfstream G700 and Dassault Falcon 10X are also acclaimed ultra-long-range aircraft complete with comfortable interiors that seat a maximum of 19 passengers, but the Falcon 10X has slightly slower speeds than the G700.

Executive Airliners

Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is commonly used by heads of state and other important figures

Executive airliners, also known as bizliners, are the largest and most expensive private jets to charter or purchase. Bizliners are custom-manufactured or converted from commercial airliners, usually to include modern bathrooms and showers as well as well-furnished living spaces. They seat between 20 and 50 passengers and feature sleek and luxurious interiors. These spaces include large conference rooms, cocktail lounges, and sleeping quarters. A notable bizliner is the Air Force One, a Boeing 747 that U.S. presidents use for traveling. Air Force One is also equipped with advanced military systems and state-of-the-art navigation systems to protect important passengers, such as heads of state, celebrities, or wealthy individuals. Other popular models include the Boeing BBJ 777X and the Airbus ACJ 350.

Each product on our site is independently selected by our editors. We may earn a small commission on items you purchase using our links at no extra cost to you.