The best private jets of 2021 revealed

By Doug Gollan, September 21, 2021

Gulfstream, Textron, and Embraer topped the list of preferred private jets, according to a just-released survey of Business Jet Traveler readers

Gulfstream Aerospace, Textron Aviation, and Embraer Executive Jets each topped two categories in the just-released 11th annual survey of Business Jet Traveler readers.

Respondents were asked, “If you could regularly fly on any of these aircraft, which would you choose in each category?”

Gulfstream’s G650/G650ER took 53% of votes in the ultra-long-range/heavy jet category, nearly doubling Bombardier’s Global 7500 at 29%

For large-cabin jets, the G500 outpaced the Dassault Falcon 7X by a 47%-to-29% margin, with the Global 5000 at 24%.

Embraer was equally strong in light jets. The Phenom 100 VLJ beat the HondaJet by a 58%-to-32% margin. The Phenom 300 light jet topped Textron’s Cessna Citation CJ4 by 13 points. The CJ4 held second place by a single point over the Pilatus PC-24 at 22%to-21%.

Wheels Up Cares Camouflage King Air 350i
The King Air dominated twin-engine turboprops winning 77% of the vote. Photo: Wheels Up

Textron earned its wins with the Latitude in the midsize category, holding a 42%-to-24% margin over Embraer’s Praetor 500 and the Beechcraft King Air dominating twin-engine turboprops with a 77%-to-18% rout of the Piaggio Avanti P.180.

In single-engine turboprops, the Pilatus PC-12 won 61% of the vote. The Challenger 350 edged out the Longitude by a 33%-to-28% margin in the super-midsize category. Boeing Business Jet dominated the bizliner grouping with 72% of the vote.

Top private jet manufacturers

When owners were asked about satisfaction with their aircraft, on a scale of 1-to-5, with 5 being excellent, Pilatus scored a 4.59. The Swiss OEM was followed by Embraer (4.45), with Textron Cessna and Gulfstream tied at 4.33. Dassault Falcon rated 4.31.

By category, Pilatus ranked tops for aircraft reliability and cost of maintenance. Embraer was first place in aircraft value for the price paid and customer support. Gulfstream took the top spot for the cabin amenities and technology category.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of respondents who don’t now fly privately or don’t fly privately as much as they would like said “costs too much” as the most significant factor. Nearly a quarter (23%) said, “I don’t know how to choose which private aviation option would be best for me.”

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