The World's Leading Private Jet Manufacturers
The growth of private travel has lead to an increasing number of manufacturers entering the market. As such, there is now a much wider variety of choice to those flying on private jets. Here is our view on the big players in the private jet market and the aircraft that have aided to build their reputations.
Airbus Industrie was first founded in 1970, before they entered the business jet market in 1997, with the introduction of the A319 corporate jet. The company boast the most modern and comprehensive jets in the world, giving customers wide and spacious cabins when travelling. The corporate jet fleet has increased with the most popular models being the ACJ318, ACJ319, ACJ320 & ACJ321. Depending on the configuration of the aircraft, they have the capacity to seat up to 50 passengers with a range of 6,000 nautical miles. The sheer size of the cabin means that it has more than three times the interior space when compared to other traditional high-end business jets. Airbus is the chosen choice of aircraft for many heads of state, government officials and presidents, including those from Brazil, Germany and Italy.
Founded in 1932 by Walter and Olive Anne Beech, Beechcraft first entered the business jet market with the Model 17 aircraft, also known at the Beechcraft Staggerwing. Best renowned for the King Air aircraft, they have also branched out with their range of mid-size Hawker jets including the 700, 800, 900 and more recently the 400XPR. They are now owned by Textron Aviation after the 2014 buy-out, which later saw their Hawker Beechcraft name retired. As a result, jet production was discontinued but the company still manufacture various military aircraft along with the King Air models.
The Boeing Company, initially founded in 1916, entered the business jet market in the late 90's with a launch based on the 737 model, capable of holding up to 30 passengers. There has been various configurations based on both the 787 and 747 models in recent years. In 2011, there was an approval to develop the 737MAX project in order to compete with the Airbus A320neo, to which they anticipate it to meet or exceed the range. The BBJ line is used for various heads of state including those from Australia, Qatar, South Africa and the UAE.
Founded by Armand Bombardier in 1937, Bombardier are now the world's third largest aircraft manufacturer. They currently construct an extensive range of business jets, grouping them into the categories of light, medium and large-size jets. Learjet, Challenger & Global are the collections that Bombardier currently offer, with the latter also offering an Express alternative, capable of holding twice as many passengers and much longer journeys. They are now beginning to expand into the commercial market, with the introduction of the C Series aircraft, built to compete with the smaller aircraft in the Airbus and Boeing fleet.
Cessna have been producing business aircraft since 1927 when they were founded by Clyde Cessna. Originally famous for small piston, turboprop aircraft, they have since developed their range and have produced numerous business jets, each carrying the flagship 'Citation' name. The company merged with Textron Aviation in 2014, the same company that also owns the Beechcraft Corporation. The Citation X+ is currently the fastest civilian aircraft in the sky, closely piping the Gulfstream G650 to the post. Cessna also have both the Longitude and Hemisphere models in the production phase, which will help the company enter into the long-range jet market.
The French company founded in 1929 by Marcel Dassault was initially renowned for producing military jets, before making their move into business aviation in 1963. Their first business jet, the Mystére 20, was later changed to the Falcon 20 in order for it to appeal to those outside of France. Following on from this, Dassault released a range of other Falcon aircraft, including the Falcon 2000, Falcon 900, Falcon 7X and Falcon 8X, the latter being the groups flagships in the ultra long range segment, coming close to those in the Gulfstream and Bombardier fleet.
Embraer are the new kids on the business jet block. Formed in 1969 by the Brazilian government to build military aircraft and commercial airliners, they moved into the private aviation market in 2002, initially specialising in turboprop planes. After the release of the Legacy model, which is their popular mid-size aircraft, Embraer later went on to develop a range of very-light jets, the Phenom 100 and 300, followed by the ultra-large Lineage 1000. The company is considering expanding its ultra long range fleet, in an attempt to challenge the market currently dominated by Bombardier and Gulfstream.
Since its formation in 1958, Gulfstream has established itself as one of the main players in the private aviation market. The company evolved from military aircraft producers Grumman, who later became known as Gulfstream and switched their focus to business jets. Gulfstream is renowned for it's large, long-range jets such as the G500, G550, G650 and G650ER, the latter being billed as the world's furthest and fastest business jet, with a range of up to 7,500 nautical miles. The new G500 and G600 models are due for entry in 2018 which Gulfstream state will bring the long range jet category to a whole new level of comfort and efficiency. In 2003, the company acquired a service centre at London Luton Airport, making it the first Gulfstream service centre outside of the US.