What are the best airframes for international travel and domestic business trips?
Air travelers switched to private charter in unprecedented numbers in 2022, which means many new clients had to determine the right aircraft for their journey. Any airframe that a charter broker or client might consider each has its own characteristics that fit different needs.
To begin, jets are categorized by weight. Weight class is the first discriminating factor clients, and brokers consider when looking for the best private jet to suit a specific need. Other important factors, such as range and cabin space, are also essential considerations. We asked our experienced flight crews, brokers, and direct clients for their input on our list of 2022’s best private jets.
International Heavy Jets (up to 19 passengers)
These jets offer the most versatility in terms of range, size, and comfort. Heavy jets with intercontinental range provide maximum space for passengers and cargo with the option to travel near or far. As an added benefit, heavy jets leave a lasting impression on those that fly on them. Clients who have upgraded to heavy jets from the light or midsize market often stick with heavy airframes for their subsequent charters.
Contenders in this category: Dassault Falcon 7X, Bombardier Challenger 604, Bombardier Global 7500, Gulfstream G-IV, Dassault Falcon 2000EX.
Top Pick: Gulfstream G550
A traveler favorite, the reputable G550 provides client comfort, flight range, and storage space for long journeys. What makes the G550 special is the mastery of cabin design and creature comforts packed into a machine that can whisk passengers from New York to Hawaii in 10 hours or Los Angeles to Shannon, Ireland, in 9 hours.
One client explicitly mentions her love of the G550 for her domestic (U.S.) business trips. One of our brokers says he loves to sell G550 trips due to its inherent versatility and ability to accomplish a variety of mission assignments.
Domestic Midsize Jets (up to 12 passengers)
Midsize private jets are the most plentiful of the limited supply of available private jets for charter in 2022. Midsize jets offer many of the same amenities and passenger comforts common to heavy jets but lack range and versatility to some degree. Midsize jets are perfect for transcontinental flights with friends or business day trips with the C-suite.
The central selling point of a midsize airframe is comfort coupled with greater economy than a heavy jet. Midsize jets are classified as either super midsize or standard midsize. Most of the options charter clients fly on are in the standard midsize category, so we stuck with that one for our list of 2022’s best private jets.
Contenders in this category: Cessna Citation XLS, Hawker Beechcraft 800XP, Bombardier Learjet 60XR, Cessna Citation Excel, Embraer Phenom 300.
Top Pick: Embraer Legacy 500
Embraer has established a reputation in the midsize market by manufacturing airframes with unmatched attention to detail, amenities, and the most up-to-date avionics suites. While the Legacy 500 can be challenging to come by (there are only 68 of them), we have heard nothing but great things from clients who have flown on them. This midsize jet makes you feel like you are flying on a newly manufactured G650 with only a fraction of the price tag. Thanks to its range of 3,000 miles, speed, and luxuriously designed interiors, the Legacy 500 is our winner for the best midsize jet of 2022.
Domestic Light Jets (up to 6 passengers)
Light jets are popular in 2022 for many reasons. One of the critical aspects that light jets offer is flexibility in departure and arrival locations. Chartering light jets has grown in popularity as a better alternative to flying business class with major airlines. While space for groups larger than three can be in short supply, light jets have been in huge demand due to their convenience and cost-effectiveness.
Clients chartering light jets for business will often use them to pair relatively close cities like New York and Chicago or Paris and Nice. Clients chartering light jets for pleasure can use them for things like weekend getaways or Caribbean vacations. Travelers new to private charter usually start with a light airframe to get a taste of how efficient and exciting a private jet can be.
Contenders in this category: HondaJet Elite S, Embraer Phenom 100, Cessna Citation M2, One Aviation Eclipse 550.
Top Pick: Embraer Phenom 300E
Due to its speed, range and passenger carrying capacity, the Phenom 300E is ranked highly among brokers of light jets and their clients. What makes this airframe so attractive is its ability to comfortably carry five passengers up to 2,000 miles away from the departure point. That aspect alone is a Phenom-enal feat not easily replicated by Embraer’s competitors in the light jet market. We were hard-pressed to find another light jet with the same range, carrying capacity, and maximum cruise altitude of 45,000 ft., as the Phenom 300E. We feel strongly that this light jet is the best of the year.
The Best Private Jet 2022
It’s important to note that there are so many different types of airframes in each jet category that are competitive with one another. Our list of the best private jets of 2022 is based on our relationships with other industry experts, direct clients, our broker partners, and the diverse experience of our staff here at Global Air Charters. We specialize in the heavy international private jet market but have operated both light and midsize airframes in years past. If you want more information on chartering a large cabin airframe in our fleet, reach out to your broker or contact us directly.