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Midsize Jets

Is this the future of business travel that
offers cheap flight solution?

Midsize Jets are highly sought-after by today’s corporate leaders for business travel. They are the epitome of luxury, flying passengers to their destinations without the hassles of crowded airports, frustrating layovers, and rigid security protocols. Unlike commercial airlines that need to dwell on the logistics of carrying a large number of passengers to and fro safely and conveniently, private jets like the midsize jets have to simply focus on the tastes and the preference of the elite that fly them. Despite the growing popularity of private jets, the biggest concern that lies behind chartering a private jet is the high cost (see Figure 1), which can range anywhere between USD 1,000 to USD 11,000 per billable flight hour. Owing to such growing concern, Research Nester analyzes if the adoption of midsize jets can actually offer cheap flight solution to business class travelers.

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Midsize Jets can travel a distance of around 3000 nautical miles at speeds of 400 to 500 miles per hour in about 4 to 5 hours. Some midsize jets can fly coast-to-coast non-stop, while others may need to make a quick stop for fuel. A few examples of midsize jets include the Learjet 45, Hawker 750, Citation Excel, Legacy 500, and others.

These private jets can accommodate about 7 to 9 passengers onboard. Their cabins have a height of nearly 5 feet 8 inches and a width of about 5 feet 9 inches. Their length varies between 17 to 20 feet, depending on the style of the aircraft. The baggage area is pretty large and is able to hold several handbags and suitcases. The aircraft cabin lighting provides a great ambience to the passengers, while the cabins also sport elegant reclining seats for passengers to enjoy quiet and comfortable long journeys.

Modern midsize jets have washrooms, Wi-Fi, and a flight phone for the convenience of the passengers. They are small enough to be cost- and fuel-efficient and large enough to carry a sizable group. These midsize jets are perfect for family trips as well as business travels. They offer several benefits like flexibility in travel, time saved in boarding and disembarking, and the avoidance of queues at packed airports. Some aviation companies offer personalized private jet services like catering to special dietary requirements of the passengers and so on.

Hawker 800XP is one of the best-selling midsize jets. It can fly up to 2,650 nautical miles. Citation Latitude is another long-range midsize jet that is equipped with an Pratt & Whitney’s PW300 aircraft turbofan engine which provides a range of about 2,850 nautical miles. Gulfstream G100 with a flight range of 2,440 nm and the Bombardier Challenger 300 are other popular midsize fixed wing turbine aircraft. These jets offer reliability, performance, and comfort.

A midsize jet can be rented at USD 3,000 to USD 4,500 for a one-hour flight. The global aviation company, Vista Jet, operates on a subscription-based model. Members can sign up for about 50 hours of travel to any place of their choice. It will be just as if they were owning the jet. Clients can travel across continents and visit private islands, and other destinations that are inaccessible by commercial planes.


Midsize Jets Market

Outlook and Future Scope

According to Honeywell's 31st annual Global Business Aviation Outlook, there will be around 8,500 new business jet deliveries worth over USD 270 billion between 2023 to 2032, which is up by 15% compared to the forecast done the previous year. The midsize jet segment has been growing by more than 35% year-on-year compared to the pre-pandemic era.

Midsize

Jet-Setting Trends

Aircraft manufacturers, operators, and other service providers have been striving to provide a superior flight experience to the discerning corporate jet traveler by incorporating comfort, ease of travel, luxury, speed, and efficiency into their range of midsize jets. Here are a few trends to spot in the coming years.

Improved Range and Speed

Private jet travelers want to avoid layovers, stopovers, transit stops, or other stops for fueling. They want to get to their destination as quickly as possible. Dassault Falcon 20, a midsize jet, from the Dassault Falcon series is well-known for its high speed of up to 550 mph. Apart from speed, the new-age executive is looking for long-range private jets, the development of which is currently underway. In the midsize category, the Gulfstream G150 has the longest range of about 2,750 nautical miles with all its 7 seats occupied and around 3,130 nautical miles with four passengers. The Citation Excel can travel a range of nearly 3,120 nautical miles with four passengers without having to stop for refueling.

Emphasis on Design

Every year, private jet operators from all around the world visit the Business Jet Interiors World Expo to learn about the latest trends and innovations in business jet designs. Big fashion houses are roped in to add their magical touch to the aircraft cabin interiors. The Fashion designer, Donatella Versace, has designed luxurious interiors for private jets. Business jet manufacturers are offering customized interiors that deliver an amalgamation of suave and superiority to suit the tastes of the high-flying elite.

Demand for In-flight Entertainment and Communication

Executives want to be connected to their businesses and be able to access the best of in-flight Wi-Fi (entertainment) when they are aboard their private jets. Aviation companies are installing high-definition surround sound so that business teams and families can turn the cabins into screening rooms and conduct meetings, play games, listen to music, or watch movies. Wi-Fi can help them catch up with their friends over voice, text, or e-mail.


The Future of Aviation

The demand for private jets has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is expected to continue over the coming years. For instance, Wheels Up Experience Inc., a private jet charter organization, reported an increase of 5% year-over-year growth in its active members to 12,661 during Q4-2022, up from 12,040 in Q4-2021, while in the 3rd Quarter, the number of active members increased by 12% in the year 2022 over 2021. On the other hand, the aviation sector is expected to grow massively over the coming years and witness an average growth of about 4% annually over the next two decades (See Figure 2). Besides this, the aircraft manufacturers are in the transition towards sustainable solutions to lower aviation CO2 emissions. Here are some of the major trends towards sustainability in the aviation sector, w.r.t. private jets.

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Strengthening Sustainability Factor

The corporate traveler may be jetting all around the world, but he is not without worrying about how these travels may impact the environment. To alleviate their concern, airframers and operators are reducing their carbon footprint, adding more value to their businesses. More than 55% of operators surveyed were planning to make their operations eco-friendly. Nearly 35% of them believe that the use of Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) such as aviation biofuel can help achieve the goal. Many believe that fewer or slower private jet trips can conserve energy and reduce pollution. Increasing passenger capacity per jet might do the trick, according to a few of them. Dassault’s Falcon is supposed to be one of the most environmental-friendly jets in the world with everything from the mining of raw materials to the manufacture, from cabin service to its end of service, all having been made sustainable. Gulfstream aircrafts G150, G280, G450, G550, and G650 have been using Honeywell’s renewable jet fuel. Embraer Executive Jets have deployed new technology to cut down emissions and reduce noise. The jet aircraft manufacturer, on 7th of February 2023, also signed an agreement with Air New Zealand to promote the Energia project of Embraer, which focuses on introducing zero emission airplanes for the future.

Growing Demand for Fractional and Leased Jets and Charter Services

Shared use of jets is projected to grow in the next decade owing to economic reasons and for their easy availability, reliability, safety, and flexibility of travel. Even the air-taxi business is expected to thrive in the coming years due to advances in technology and discontent toward regular airline services. Jets such as the Cirrus SR22 are making air-taxi service safe and cost-effective. Pretty soon, a majority of the public will be able to afford to travel in private jets via air taxis. Another trend in the midsize jets field would be a renewed interest in the regulation of brokerage. This will benefit the passengers as they will gain a superior travel experience as well as be assured of better economic security when they buy from a broker. There will be more focus on improving safety and service standards and not just meeting pricing and compliance regulations.


In Conclusion

Whether customers wish to avoid crowded airports or the long security lines for commercial aircraft, whether they just wish to travel on a whim or fly their business team to a private island, midsize jets offer the comfort and ease of traveling without disruption. On the other hand, with the focus of midsize jet manufacturers on manufacturing fuel efficient jets, the variable costs of these jets, which is largely borne by fuel costs as well as maintenance costs, is expected to reduce drastically, thereby providing a cheap flight solution to business class travelers. Furthermore, with the availability of semi-private charter options, wherein private jet service providers offer booking of a single seat as individuals does on a commercial flight, the overall costs of first-class luxury travel amongst travelers is projected to reduce drastically. Moreover, in order to stay afloat, the private jet segment needs to stay tuned to the evolving preferences of its sophisticated clientele who are willing to pay top dollar for a luxurious experience high up in the sky. On and all, the demand for midsize jets and its related markets would prosper significantly in the coming years (see Figure 3).

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swara-keni
Swara Keni

Head- Global Business Development

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