Welcome Your IET account

Private jet charter and types of private jets

Are you considering switching to a private jet charter? Use our handy guide to learn about the different classes of private jet and the facilities you’ll enjoy.

With cramped conditions and hundreds of passengers, commercial flights really aren’t a lot of fun. A private jet charter offers a completely new experience which is very affordable, especially for groups traveling together.

Unlike a commercial plane, with a private jet you pay one price as you’re renting the whole aircraft, not purchasing a single seat. Therefore, the more people there are to share the cost, the cheaper it works out to be! If you’re new to the world of private jets you may be unaware that there are many different classes. To get you started, here’s a brief run-through of each type of private jet and what you’ll find onboard.

Very Light Jets

Very light jets are sometimes known as VLJs or compact light jets, and are aircraft that are best suited to short-haul flights. VLJs are economical to run and very versatile, being able to use very short runways for take-off.

You won’t normally have a flight attendant on these jets and it’s 50/50 whether there will be a bathroom. There’s space for 4-7 passengers on each flight, with a maximum distance of 1174 nautical miles before the jet needs to refuel.

Some of the best-known aircraft in this category includes the Embraer Phenom 100, Cessna Citation Mustang, and the Eclipse 500.

Small Cabin Jets

Another common term for these aircraft is light jets, which are the next step up to VLJs and ideal for business travel. A cost-effective solution, small cabin jets have space for up to eight passengers on average and a maximum flight time of 2-3 hours.

You will normally have a toilet on board but a flight attendant is not typically included.

The Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A, Cessna Citation CJ4, and Dassault Falcon 10 all fall within this classification.

Super Light Jets

If you want a light jet but with a dash more luxury, step up to a super light jet. Also able to accommodate eight passengers, there is even more space, comfort and high-quality touches aboard a super light jet. Although the capacity is the same as on a light jet, with this category of aircraft you’ll find there’s far more room inside the cabin which can feel very relaxing.

Super light jets are still versatile enough to be able to take off from private airstrips and can travel for a maximum of 2030 nautical miles.

The Gulfstream, G-100, Learjet 45XR, and Citation Excel are all examples of this type of jet.

Midsize Cabin Jets

Retaining the economy but adding more options for comfort, it’s midsize cabin jets. By this point you can choose from a selection of aircraft, including both short and longer distance jets as well as some which are designed to travel faster.

Inside the cabin you’ll see some differences too such as pull-down beds, proper bathrooms and a luggage area which is expansive. Eight passengers normally board these jets but they’ll be traveling in a sublimely spacious environment. This may be useful if you’re taking a longer flight, such as the seven hour trip across the water to the US.

It is possible to have a flight attendant on some of these but it’s not universal.

Some of the jets which are classed as midsize include the Lear 45, Hawker 800/800XP and Embraer Legacy 500.

Super Midsize Cabin Jets

Super midsize cabin jets ramp up the luxury compared to the class of jet below, with just a small hike in passenger capacity. There are not normally more than 12 passengers aboard these jets but the setting will be very spacious with room to relax and chill out.

Traveling on this type of jet is still cost-effective but they can often go further or faster than the other classes below, providing more options for travel and convenience.

The Learjet 35, Cessna Citation Sovereign, and Learjet 60XR are all super-midsize cabin jets.

Large Cabin Jets

Sometimes known as heavy jets, large cabin jets are big with a capacity of 10 passengers as well as onboard flight attendants. Incredibly luxurious with sumptuous surroundings, comfort is the priority on these jets. This means private sleeping quarters, generously-sized seating and pull-out table surfaces.

Large cabin jets can take to the air for nine hours without having to refuel, a total of 4000 nautical miles.

The Gulfstream II and Challenger 605 are great examples of a large cabin jet.

Ultra Long Range Heavy Jets

Peek onboard and you’re likely to find celebrities such as Simon Cowell relaxing in the seating as this is the type of jet which finds favor with top celebrities. Capable of flying up to 6500 miles, a jet needs the ability to cover at least 6000 miles to count in this category.

Indulgent, spacious and decadent, these luxury jets provide a home from home while up in the sky. There are beds which are totally flat, a high enough roof in the cabin to fully stand up, plus a full, enclosed bathroom to freshen up in.

The Bombardier Global 6000, Gulfstream G550, and Dassault Falcon 7X are all types of ultra long range heavy jets.


There’s no higher class of private jet than a bizliner which offers the opportunity to totally customize the flying experience. Although these immaculately designed jets come with their own suggested layout, this can be changed to suit your desires. Do you need a conference room? A multimedia theater? Or maybe a haute couture dining experience? Tick, tick, tick. Simply let the maker know what you’re looking for and the jet will be configured accordingly.

Appreciate Jet Luxury

If you’ve never been on board a luxury jet, you won’t appreciate just how opulent the setting is and the difference it can make to travel. Now you know the difference between the different classes of private jet, all that is left for you to do is book one and climb onboard!

Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.

Recent articles

Info Message

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.

Learn more about IET cookies and how to control them