There was a time when very light jets (VLJs) were a trend in aviation as manufacturers saw the tremendous potential for small, efficient, and simple aircraft. That enthusiasm has been dampened by several unsuccessful and troubled endeavors. Nevertheless, there are a lot of great very light jets available today.
You or your family might want to travel on a reasonable jet, or you may want to travel with a few coworkers to an out-of-state event. During these periods, where you don’t require a lot of space, you may consider flying in very light jets.
Some of the biggest perks of flying via a very light private jet include privacy, cost-effectiveness, and unparalleled comfort. These jets provide additional features that you can enjoy such as comfortable sleeping areas, contemporary showers, well-equipped board rooms, and plush seats with an abundance of leg space.
Whether you intend to buy a very light jet or want to buy one, you have to know the one that will be most suitable for your needs and preferences to guarantee a comfortable and enjoyable trip, every time.
What is considered to be a Very Light Jet?
A very light jet is also known as a personal jet and was formerly called a microjet because of its small size. It is controlled by one pilot and can surprisingly contain a maximum of 4 to 8 passengers. But the maximum weight they can carry is typically less than 10,000 lbs.
Despite being much more convenient than flying commercial, these very light jets often do not have the same level of amenities or upgrades that larger private planes do. They provide a convenient way to travel between locations.
Benefits of Very Light Jets
Since most countries have now re-opened their air travel, passengers and aircrew are paying more attention to how they travel by placing a stronger focus on their health and safety. Providing a higher degree of safety and additional benefits, private aviation exceeds the needs of passengers. The benefits of very light jets include:
The security and health risks associated with private jet travel are significantly reduced when using a private jet. An analysis by GlobeAir AG, a leading European very light jet (VLJ) operator reveals that those that fly commercial will pass through 700 touchpoints on every flight, while those traveling through very light jets encounter only 20 touchpoints.
Thus, private aviation carries a 30 times lower risk of contagion than commercial aviation. Also, very light jets travelers enjoy the privilege of using private terminals where they can relax before takeoff, without the stress of commercial airline terminals. This enables them to interact with only a few people, further reducing their exposure to health risks.
- Remote destinations
Very light jets have become attractive means of air travel because of their capability to access remote airports. If you want to land in a rural location with a small runway – for a personal or business trip – a very light jet may be your only option. Additionally, private jets can take off and land on shorter runways enabling them to serve many mountains and island destinations.
- Value for your money
In recent years, very light jets have become more affordable, with their costs going down by 30 to 50 percent, bringing them closer than ever to the rates of first-class and business class tickets on commercial flights.
Private travel may work out less expensive over time for frequent flyers who log 150 flight hours a year or for those traveling in groups.
Previously, a super-midsize private jet for a flight between New York and Miami would cost $18,000, according to a study by another Swedish business-to-business technology company, Avinode. The cost of booking it today is around $10,000. The cost of chartering a super-midsize jet can range from $1,000 to $1,200 per passenger, as a super-midsize jet can seat up to 10 passengers.
Several other programs, such as private jet charter, fractional ownerships, and memberships in jet cards, can enable travelers to fly privately on demand, removing the cost of full aircraft ownership and making private travel more affordable.
The next biggest advantage of private flying is the convenience of not having to waste time and money standing in line at airports. For corporate executives and entrepreneurs, whose time is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, being able to fly as they please is more convenient than losing time and money at airports.
One-way commercial flights take about 90 minutes at the airport, while international flights can take up to three hours.
As a result of private jet travel, passengers will not have to wait long at the terminal to go through immigration, customs, and boarding.
Flying with a private jet is a great way for executives and business moguls to maximize their hours onboard, stay productive, and stay on top of their businesses – and since time is only as valuable as money these days, flying by a private jet contributes to profitability.
Private travel also provides the flexibility and freedom to fly on your schedule, which is especially convenient for busy travelers or those who need to leave on short notice. Passengers can rebook their flights according to their specific needs since private aircraft can be arranged in a few hours. Particularly with critical medical and repatriation flights, private travel is more beneficial than ever when travel policies are constantly changing.
- No missing baggage
Whenever you fly privately, you can load your luggage directly onto the aircraft, so you are unlikely to lose any luggage. In addition, most private jets come with storage areas in the cabin that can be accessed during flight. Private flights have fewer baggage restrictions, so you can bring as much baggage as you need. Several factors, including the number of passengers flying on your charter, the type of jet, and the range, may limit baggage capacity.
- Security and privacy
Many athletes, celebrities, government officials, and other prominent figures prefer private travel for its unparalleled privacy. Passengers can travel away from curious eyes in a private terminal and on an aircraft that respects and protects their privacy.
Business travelers and ultra-rich individuals who keep working while on the road have the luxury of traveling in a private jet, where they can study sensitive documents and information in a secure environment without being a target of eavesdropping or corporate espionage.
The first-class suites on commercial aircraft are usually not nearly as luxurious as those on private jets. The finest in air travel, private jets offer spacious cabin spaces, plush leather seats, and a master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.
All of the passengers’ belongings can be brought into the cabin with them without the need to worry about anything else, including liquids, and luggage is virtually unlimited.
An exceptional service experience is rounded off with a premium menu offering gourmet catering, the latest in-flight entertainment systems, and attentive staff.
Which are the Best Very Light Jets?
Speed: 423 mph
Value: $4.9 million
Among private jets in this size category, the Cirrus Vision Jet is one of the most beautiful. The simplicity of the design means that you feel comfortable and luxurious with it. Here are the standard features you will find:
- Parachute system for the Cirrus Airframe
- 423 mph is the maximum speed
- Cockpit for Garmin Perspective Touch+TM
- Exploration of known ice systems
- Five adults can sit together on modular seating
- A climate-controlled air conditioner
- Exceptional visibility thanks to large windows
- Interior made of leather
- Four or more USB power ports
- Fits inside a standard hangar of 42 feet (12.2 meters)
Speed: 430 mph
Value: $3 million
In exchange for the price increase, Eclipse Aerospace offered buyers a real jet. The company delivered the first newly installed Eclipse 550 in 2014, equipped with auto throttles, traction control, and a new avionics system developed by Innovative Solutions & Support, which provides for easy operations on the airplane and minimizes pilot workload. In addition to the traditional flight management system, the PW610Fs are controlled with full-authorization digital engine controls.
Unfortunately, Eclipse Aerospace is no longer in business, as it went bankrupt in 2009, and about 260 aircraft were built, and the company is still in (officially) chapter 7 bankruptcy, but you never know. In 2008, the “Air-Taxi” concept was disrupted by the demise of Day Jet, the company that had 1400 orders for the aircraft.
ONE Aviation (of Cirrus fame) raised the Eclipse from the ashes, and only ten of these planes were built in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Following the completion of four more aircraft, the company will cease producing 550 aircraft to focus on the new “Canada” model of the aircraft.
The jet has the following additional features:
- Flying over 1,300 miles
- If needed, the armrests can be folded away for more space
- Additionally, this aircraft is touted as being one of the quietest on the market. You could appreciate it depending on how you intend to use the ship
- 430 mph top speed
- The climate control system includes air conditioning
- Visually stunning windows
Speed: 465 mph
Value: $4.5 million
Are you wondering what your options are? A very light jet like the Embraer Phenom 100 is another excellent choice. The cockpit looks amazing thanks to its modern design and updated, digital controls from Garmin.
The aircraft was designed with a minimalist approach, getting rid of what isn’t needed. The aircraft is easy to fly, which removes many items from the flying checklist. With its simple nature, you’ll be up and flying in no time.
Using lessons learned from the Brazilian airplane maker’s highly successful line of regional jets, this lightweight jet is built from scratch and designed to be ultra-simple.
In comparison with other light aircraft, Phenom’s checklist has 70 percent fewer actions. A BMW-designed interior and oval fuselage make the Phenom 100 stand out from its competitors.
When designing this Embraer, great attention was paid to comfort. The following are some key features:
- A room that can accommodate 5 to 7 people
- 465 mph maximum speed
- BMW designed the interior to be comfortable
- Interior made of leather
- Climate control with air conditioning
- Windows that are visible from the outside
Speed: 465 mph
Value: $4.6 million
With the launch of the Citation Mustang, Cessna gained a foothold in the light jet market. Cessna eventually stopped producing the Mustang and switched to another approach.
By adding a new consumer-grade cockpit suite of avionics and high-efficiency engines to its legacy CitationJet 1 (CJ1), the company was able to save costs.
The Cessna Citation Mustang is the smallest private jet in the Citation family. A total of six passengers may board, including two pilots. A spacious interior, as compared with other private jets of this class, is one of its main assets. Other features include:
- 465 mph top speed
- Half of the United States can be reached via this jet
- Visibility is enhanced by large windows
- The interior is lined with leather
- A/C and climate control
- Cargo storage outside the airport
- Controls for digital audio in the cockpit
Speed: 372 mph
Value: $3.9 million
Don’t be fooled by the propeller on the Daher TBM 900. This commercial jet is powered by a turbine engine, and given how fast it is and how much range it has, it deserves a place among the list of the fastest aircraft.
Its low operating costs make it competitive with many light jets but faster than those available at the moment. Despite being the last on our list, the Daher is not the last very light jet. One of the most popular business jets is the Daher TBM 900.
Featuring a propeller on the front, it may turn some heads. However, do not mistake this for a lack of an updated option. The distance and efficiency of this private jet are better than many in its class. Additional features include:
- 372 mph top speed
- There is room for up to six passengers
- The climate control system includes air conditioning
- A window for easy viewing
- Cabins with comfort
- The aircraft can fly more than 1,500 miles
The Cost of Flying a Very Light Jet
The cost-effectiveness of private jet travel may surprise you. Not only will it save you airport time, but it will also minimize fatigue during travel, improve your work productivity, and allow you to arrive closer to your destination.
You should be able to buy the new Cessna CJ4, which costs about $9 million if you’re on Forbes’ “richest” list or an A-list celebrity. Change in your pocket, right? In reality, though, a private jet rental is preferable for the majority of travelers. In contrast to owning a private jet, chartering a jet offers all of the benefits of owning one without the price tag and hassle of regular maintenance.
Additionally, you don’t have to settle for one airplane. If you’re taking your boardroom overseas, then you’d need a different plane for your weekend trip over to the Hamptons. With a jet charter, you choose the aircraft that is most cost-effective for your needs each time.
The cost of hiring a very light jet varies depending on the distance traveled and the chosen aircraft. A short 40-minute flight could cost around $2,800, while the jet lease cost of a one-and-a-half-hour flight in a mid-size jet will be about $34,500 because you’ll need a bigger jet and will fly for a longer time.