Flying mansions: top 10 most expensive business jets on the market
In recent years, more and more people have started to see the advantages of flying privately. During the COVID-19 pandemic, where border restrictions and a lack of scheduled commercial flights made it difficult for frequent fliers to travel, some seasoned passengers turned to private jets. This allowed for complete control over their in-flight experience. While some wealthy travelers opted to charter private jets for individual journeys, others chose an outright purchase.
Depending on individual needs, all private jets can be divided into six basic categories. These are determined by the size of the jet, its range capabilities, and passenger capacity. Such categories include light jets, super-light jets, mid-size jets, super-mid-size jets, heavy jets, ultra-long-range jets, and large executive airliners, which are also sometimes called bizliners.
Subject to a buyer’s requirements, the price for a private jet varies from a few million to an eye-watering few hundred million. Here, AeroTime investigates the world’s most expensive jets, all dedicated to serving private customers.
10. Dassault Falcon 8X
The Falcon 8X is a three-engine business jet manufactured by Dassault Aviation and is considered to be one of the most expensive aircraft in the ultra-long-range business jet category.
First introduced at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in 2014, the Falcon 8X is positioned as a modified version of the Falcon 7X, and a rival of the Gulfstream 550 and Bombardier Global 6000 business jets.
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Powered by a more advanced version of the Pratt & Whitney PW307 engine, the 8X has the longest range among other Falcon business jets. The manufacturer states that the jet can easily conduct an 11,945 kilometers-long (6,450 nm) journey, reaching a maximum operating speed of 685 kilometers per hour (425 miles per hour).
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Compared with other Falcon jets, the 8X boasts both the greatest range and the longest fuselage. For instance, its predecessor, the 7X, can fly 9,260 kilometers (5,950 nm), the 900LX flies as much as 7,408 kilometers (4,750 nm), the 2000LXS can operate 7,408 kilometers (4,000 nm), and the 2000S can serve a 6,204 kilometers (3,350 nm) journey.
Compared with the 7X, the 8X also features a new aluminum wing and reinforced landing gear as well as an extended fuselage and cabin. Although the fuselage of the 8X reaches 24.46 meters (80.2 ft) and is 1.09 meters (3.6ft) longer than the 7X, both business jets can carry the same number of passengers on board. The 8x cabin, which is the longest cabin of any Falcon ever made, has a maximum seating capacity of 19 passengers.
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In 2021, depending on interior options and other customer requests, the cost of a Falcon 8X business jet starts at $58 million.
9. Gulfstream G650ER
The Gulfstream G650 ER is a large, long-range business jet manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace. The aircraft entered production in 2013 as an extended-range version of the G650 model.
Powered by two Rolls-Royce BR700-725A1-12 engines, the Gulfstream G650ER offers roughly 7,666 kilograms (16,900 pounds) of thrust and features larger fuel tanks than the G650, which provides the aircraft with the flexibility to fly longer routes at higher cruise speeds.
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In comparison with the G650, the size of the G650 ER’s fuel tank allows the jet to be refilled with an additional 1,814 kilograms (4,000 pounds) of fuel, bringing its total fuel capacity to 21,863 kilograms (48,200 pounds).
Gulfstream Aerospace states that the G650 ER can serve 13,890 kilometer-long (7,500 nm) routes at a maximum speed of 956 kilometers per hour (594 miles per hour). The jet’s fuselage design is notable for its eight oval-shaped 71,12 centimeter (28 inches) cabin windows. These are located on both sides of the plane. The body of the aircraft is metal, while its empennage, winglets, and engine cowlings are made from composite materials.
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With a cabin volume of 68.55 cubic meters (2,421 cubic feet), the jet is typically configured with 16 passenger seats and four seats for crew members.
Sans interior furnishings, the price tag for a G650ER business jet is between $63.7-71.9 million.
8. Bombardier Global 7500
The Global 7500 is another ultra-long-range high-speed jet, which was developed by Bombardier Aviation and entered service in 2018.
The aircraft was originally called the Global 7000, before it was renamed Global 7500 in 2018, when the manufacturer extended its range. The aircraft, which is famous for its cabin space and range capabilities, was built to satisfy the needs of ultra-high-net-worth individuals. With a cabin volume of 78.89 cubic meters (2,786 cubic feet), the typical configuration of the jet boasts seating for up to 19 passengers and four crew members.
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It is the only business jet in its category to offer four living spaces for its passengers, including a conference suite, an entertainment suite, a living room, and a work area, while operating journeys up to a range of 14,390 kilometers (7,770 nm). Such performance capabilities allow passengers to jump on non-stop flights connecting New York and Hong Kong.
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The aircraft is powered by two GE Passport 20 engines, which provides 8,582 kilograms (18,920 lbs) of thrust during take-off and helps the jet to reach a maximum cruise speed of 882 kilometers per hour (548 miles per hour). The Global 7500 also features a new high-speed transonic wing, which significantly optimizes the plane’s aerodynamic efficiency, as well as a Global Vision flight deck and a Rockwell Collins avionics system.
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Depending on customer requests regarding the interior, the Global 7500 business jet can cost around $73 million.
7. Boeing Business Jets MAX9
The Boeing Business Jets MAX family consists of BBJ MAX8, BBJ MAX9s, and BBJ MAX7 aircraft. These aircraft are all positioned as narrowbody executive airliners and are also known as VIP airliners or bizliners. They are considered to be the most expensive type of private jet on the market as they can provide the customer with the greatest capabilities and space.
Unveiled in 2016, the MAX7 aircraft is the newest variant in the BBJ MAX family. Similar to the BBJ MAX8 and the BBJ MAX9, the MAX7 is powered by CFM LEAP-1B engines and is equipped with advanced winglets that provide the VIP airliners, which are 13% more fuel efficient, Boeing says.
By size, the MAX9 is the largest business jet in the MAX family with a fuselage length of 42.1 meters (138.1 feet). The jet is closely followed by the medium-sized MAX8, which reaches 39.5 meters (129.7 feet) in length. But, when it comes to range, the BBJ MAX7 takes the lead and is capable of flying 12,960 kilometers (7,000 nm). In comparison, the BBJ MAX 8 can fly up to 11,710 kilometers (6,325 nm), and the BBJ MAX9 has a range of 11,710 kilometers (6,325 nm).
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The MAX7, which has a cabin capacity of 82.1 sq. meters (884 sq. feet), can fly from 19 to 172 passengers. However, this is 17 fewer travelers than the MAX8, which offers a cabin size of 104.1 sq. meters (1,025 sq. feet). Meanwhile, the MAX9 boasts the largest cabin among the BBJ MAX family jets with a capacity of 104.1 sq. meters (1,120 sq. feet). The jet can accommodate up to 220 travelers.
In 2021, a list price for the family of BBJ MAX jets starts at $91.2 million for the MAX7, around $99 million for the MAX8, and approximately $107.9 million for the family’s largest jet, the MAX9.
6. Airbus Corporate Jet ACJ319neo
The Airbus Corporate Jet's (ACJ) 319neo jet is a business variant of the commercial Airbus A319neo aircraft. With a spacious cabin and impressive range capabilities, the jet holds the lead position in the narrowbody executive airliner category as one of the most expensive VIP jets. The highly-rated VIP jet completed its first flight in April 2019. Offering its customers two engine options, the CFM LEAP or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G, the ACJ319neo is equipped with five additional center tanks in its cargo hold, dedicated to increasing the jet's fuel capacity. Owing to its additional fuel tanks, the ACJ319neo is capable of flying a range of up to 12,500 kilometers (6,750 nm) or 15 hours non-stop.
The aircraft interior features a wide cabin with a volume of 190 cubic meters (6,710 cubic feet), which is large enough to seat eight passengers. The manufacturer also offers numerous options for the cabin to be configured to meet customer requirements.
At a starting price of $105 million, the cabin can be configured with living quarters, a cinema and dining rooms as well as conference rooms.
5. Airbus Corporate Jet ACJ320neo
The ACJ320neo aircraft is considered to be the longest-range single-aisle business jet in the A320 family. The aircraft serves as a narrowbody bizliner and is able to carry a significantly high number of passengers compared with other business jets.
The ACJ320neo is based on the commercial variant of the A320neo aircraft. According to the manufacturer, the executive airliner features 2.4 meter-tall (7.10 feet) Sharklets wingtips that help to cut fuel costs by 4%, reduce drag and improve the jet‘s performance during takeoff and landing. Offering a 37.57 meter-long (116.8 feet) and 11.76 meter-high (38.6 feet) fuselage with a wingspan of 35.8 meters (117.5 feet), the aircraft features a wide passenger cabin with a spacious bedroom, conference room, and dining areas in the main lounge, as well as a private bathroom with a separate lavatory, shower, and washbasin.
The cabin size of the ACJ320neo, which is 14 sq meters larger than the ACJ319neo, makes it suitable for governmental and corporate functions and can carry up to 25 passengers up to 11,000 kilometers (6,000 nm)
The cost of the ACJ320neo, which is equipped with CFM LEAP or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines, starts at $115 million.
4. Boeing Business Jet 787-8 VIP
The Boeing Business Jet 787-8 VIP is the private jet version of Boeing's bestselling 787 Dreamliner. The former could be purchased for approximately $220 million and fly to almost any city across the globe without having to stop to refuel.
However, if the commercial 787-8 variant is capable of carrying 248 passengers in two-class seating, its VIP version is able to transport as many as 25 travelers.
Compared with the commercial variant, the executive airliner has a significantly greater range. For instance, the 787-8 VIP jet can serve a range of up to 18,418 kilometers (9,945 nm), while the 787-9 VIP has a range of 17,566 kilometers (9,485 nm).
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The average cabin space offered by various VIP Dreamliner variants is roughly 2,323 sq. meters (2,500 sq. feet). The customer can set up their ‘mansion in the sky’ at a starting price of $224 million, where the jet comes in a ‘green’ condition.
3. Airbus Corporate Jets ACJ330neo
With a starting price of $296 million, the ACJ330neo is one of the most expensive business jets in the widebody executive airliner category.
Designed for an exclusive VIP market, the ACJ330neo is famous for its performance, offering 14% greater fuel economy per seat compared to its predecessor, the A330, which is a commercial passenger widebody aircraft.
Launched in 2014, the ACJ330neo is based on the commercial variant of the A330-300. Powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the bizliner can fly a longer range of up to 19,260 kilometers (10,400 nm) or more than 21 non-stop hours. In comparison, the A330 is capable of flying as much as 13,330 kilometers (7,200 nm).
The ACJ330neo business jet has new winglets, a fully-faired pylon, a new design for flats, slats, and upper belly fairings as well as the nacelle, which has improved the general aerodynamics of the plane.
In a standard configuration, with a cabin volume of 457.2 cubic meters (16,147 cubic feet) the ACJ 330neo can fly 25 passengers. The cabin design stands out for its air renewing system, which refreshes the flow of air every two minutes, alongside its sound insulation.
Airbus claims that its ACJ330neo boasts the quietest cabin in its class. The aircraft comprises a master bedroom, an office, a bathroom, a spacious lounge with seating grouped at round tables, as well as concentric circle seating for crew members, a galley and four VIP guest suites, each featuring an office that can be converted into a bedroom, plus an ensuite bathroom with shower.
2. Airbus Corporate Jets ACJ350
The ACJ 350 business airliner is the latest edition to the Airbus Corporate Jets VIP aircraft fleet. The aircraft is dedicated to flying 25 VIP passengers for a range of up to 20,557 kilometers (11,100 nm) or 22 hours without refueling. The VIP bizjet is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB 84 engines, which allow the aircraft to reach a top speed of Mach 0.89.
Launched in 2016, the ACJ350’s cabin is fitted with four VIP guest suites. If needed, each of these ensuite offices can be turned into additional bedrooms. The cabin is almost 51.8 meters (170 feet) long, more than 5.4 meters (18 feet) wide, and 2.4 meters (8 feet) tall, and yields 240 square meters (2,910 square feet) of floor space.
Much like other manufacturers, Airbus offers its customers the chance to customize the interior of the ACJ350 jet. This could include a grand entryway, above-deck crew rest areas, as well as forward and mid-cabin gourmet galleys, a forward master stateroom suite with bedroom, a bathroom with a shower, and a private office.
The aircraft can also be fitted with a mid-cabin lounge, an oversized circular dining table with seating for 10 passengers, three junior staterooms with a shared bathroom and shower, and an aft-cabin media room/theatre, which features a dozen reclining seats and a large flat-screen monitor mounted to the aft-bulkhead.
Depending on interior options, the price starts at $317 million.
1. Boeing Business Jet 747-8 VIP
The Boeing Business Jet 747-8 VIP aircraft is positioned as the world's largest business jet currently in active operation. When measured from nose to tail, the jet equals 76.2 meters (250 feet). Based on Boeing's commercial passenger aircraft, the 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’, the BBJ product line consists of VIP-configured variants dedicated to serving as widebody executive airliners.
The General Electric GEnx is the only engine available for the 747-8 VIP, which provides the bizliner with one of the highest ranges of any other aircraft manufactured by Boeing.
According to the company, the private version of the ‘Queen of the Skies’ can fly a range of 16,537 kilometers (8,929 nm) and can carry 100 travelers on board. The aircraft also offers 444.63 square meters (4,786 square feet) of cabin space.
For comparison, the commercial passenger aircraft version of this aircraft has a range of 15,000 kilometers ( 8,000 nm) at Mach 0.855 when carrying 467 passengers in a three-class configuration.
The VIP jet boasts an upgraded flight deck as well as an improved wing design with raked wingtips, spoilers, ailerons, double-slotted inboard flaps, and single-slotted outboard flaps. Its wingspan reaches 68.5 meters (224.8 feet).
Much like its commercial variant, the 747-8 VIP utilizes numerous technologies developed for Boeing 787 Dreamliners. This includes flight deck technologies and instrumentation, engines, as well as wing configuration.
Boeing 747 nose
However, the customized interior of a tri-level widebody business jet may require a significant financial investment. It can be fitted with a stateroom, lounges, bespoke storage units, a master bedroom suite, kitchen, a number of offices, a conference room, and an enormous dining room. It could also be fitted with private sleeping suites above the main deck, between the upper deck and the tail.
So, what’s the going rate for this ‘mansion in the sky’? Well, the Boeing 747-8 VIP business airliner comes with a whopping price tag of $367-370 million.
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