Wheels Up acquires private jet operator Mountain Aviation

Wheels Up Mountain Aviation

Wheels Up has acquired Mountain Aviation, the 10th largest U.S. Part 135 private jet operator, adding 59 private aircraft to its fleet

The deal makes Wheels Up the world’s largest Citation X operator and sets it up to be a major player in transcontinental private jet flights

Add Mountain Aviation to the list. After acquiring Delta Private Jets, Gama Aviation Signature, and TMC Jets over the past 19 months, Wheels Up has acquired the 10th largest private jet charter operator in the country.

Citation X

Cessna Citation X

Citation X profile, including current pricing, manufacturing dates, cabin size and passenger capacity, range, speed, baggage space, fractional ownership and jet card options

Cessna Citation X Facts

The Cessna Citation X was the one-time world’s fastest business jet reaching speeds up to 700 miles per hour. A favorite of CEOs because of its ability to save time, the first type was delivered to legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.

The Citation X is still popular and can be found in the fleets of NetJets, Delta Private Jets, Wheels Up, and XOJET Aviation.

On the used market, listed Citation Xs can be found starting at $2.4 million.

Manufacturing Dates

Production Start: 1996

Production Ends: 2012

Production on the Citation X+ ended in 2018

Citation X Related Models

The Citation X was followed up by the Citation X+ in 2014 before Cessna parent Textron ended production in 2018.

Cabin Category

Super Midsize

Fleet Size

As of November 2019, Amstat lists 309 Citation Xs in service, plus 28 Citation X+s, 5 Citation X Elites

Citation X Cabin Size and Passengers

Citation X
Legendary golfer Arnold Palmer took delivery of the first Citation X, at the time the world’s fastest private jet.

Height: 5.7 feet

Width: 5.5 feet

Length: 23.9 feet

Seating Capacity: 8


Full: 2,890 nautical miles

Four Passengers: 3,125 nautical miles


High-Speed Cruise: 605 mph

Baggage Space

82 cubic feet exterior space


Fractional Ownership – Yes

Dedicated Jet Card – Yes


Used Citation Xs are listed starting at approximately $2.4 million

Other Cessna models currently in production

Compare over 150 private jet models in the Private Jet Performance Guide.

Citation Longitude

Citation Longitude+

Citation Latitude

Citation XLS+

Citation CJ4

Citation CJ3+

Citation M2

Vista Global says, Goodbye XOJET, Jet Smarter. Hello, XO

FlyXO.com is the new website that combines the two Vista Global acquisitions into a new single platform

“…a new company, new brand, new products…” – Thomas Flohr, chairman

Vista Global has merged its recently acquired XOJET and JetSmarter brands into something it is calling XO, powered by JetSmarter technology, and something it is saying is “the beginning of a new world, with instant booking and worldwide access for on-demand customers.”

Visitors to both the XOJET.com and JetSmarter.com websites as of this morning are redirected to a new FlyXO.com URL.

These are the fastest Midsize private jets

private jet charter broker

If you’re in a hurry, Cessna’s Citation X and X+ give extra speed to midsize private jets

The Citation X and X+, like the Gulfstream G650, has reached speeds of over Mach .9, just short of breaking the sound barrier and going supersonic. Perhaps as impressive as the first Citation X was delivered in 1996, and still, today is the fastest private jet in the midsize cabin category, according to data provided by Conklin & de Decker. But before we go forward, let’s talk about what’s a midsize jet? ARGUS defines midsize jets from 21,000 to 41,000 pounds at maximum takeoff weight, but there is no industry definition for super-midsize. A spokesperson for the General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association, the super-midsize designation, is a self-proclaimed marketing segment. In fact, in terms of categorizing aircraft, the operators and brokers are often selling jet cards and charters that do so, meaning one person’s midsize jet can be somebody else’s midsize jet. You will even find large light jets sometimes offered up as a midsize jet.

Now that we have that out of the way, the second-fastest midsize jet – the Premier Aircraft Falcon 50-4 – was last delivered in 1996, so it’s unlikely you will find yourself on one. Next up with Bombardier Learjet 55/55C/55B (at 564 miles per hour maximum cruise speed), Beechcraft Hawker 4000 (563 mph), Gulfstream G280 (555 mph), Dassault Falcon 2000DX (555 mph), Dassault Falcon 50 series (552 mph), Dassault Falcon 2000S (551 mph) and new Cessna Citation Longitude (548 mph).

Midsize and Super Midsize Aircraft Specific Jet Cards

While speed is not likely to be a key factor in choosing a midsize or super-midsize jet card, meaning being able to select a specific aircraft may be less important just based on how fast you can go, several jet card options do allow you to get aircraft specific and still get guaranteed availability and fixed hourly rates. Magellan Jets sells a Challenger 300/G200 jet card and Citation X/Sovereign cards in super mid. It also has a Hawker 800XP jet card, which it sells as midsize. Flexjet offers a Challenger 300 jet card, NetJets has Marquis Jet cards specific to the Citation Sovereign and X, ProspAir sells a Hawker 800XP midsize card and a Dassault Falcon 50 super-midsize card, XOJET offers both the Challenger 300 and Citation X. In contrast, Nicholas Air, which enables you to select any jet from its fleet per trip has the Citation Longitude. Also enabling you to choose a specific aircraft and offering guaranteed availability and fixed rates in the mid and super-midsize category is OneFlight International.  We also expect Wheels Up, which has delivered three Citation Xs with more on the way, to post pricing for the type soon. Right now, it is using it for customer upgrades, no a bad deal if you reserve a Citation Excel/XLS or King Air 350i and end up with one of the world’s fastest private jets.

Which midsize and super midsize jets are the fastest? Compare over 60 private jets by maximum cruise speed, normal cruise speed, and long-range cruise speed:

Aircraft NameMax Cruise Speed (mph)Normal Cruise Speed (mph)Long-Range Cruise Speed (mph)
Cessna Citation X+606606541
Cessna Citation X604604541
Premier Aircraft Falcon 50-4575527495
Bombardier Learjet 55C564514483
Bombardier Learjet 55/55B564514483
Beechcraft Hawker 4000563541514
Gulfstream G280555541528
Dassault Falcon 2000DX555528509
Dassault Falcon 50-40552528495
Dassault Falcon 50EX552528495
Dassault Falcon 20F-5552524473
Dassault Falcon 20F-5B552524473
Dassault Falcon 20C-5552524473
Dassault Falcon 20C-5B552524473
Dassault Falcon 50552496472
Dassault Falcon 2000S551521505
Cessna Citation Longitude54800
Dassault Falcon 2000547528495
Sabreliner Sabre 80 (75A)547520470
Gulfstream G100545528495
Embraer Legacy 500543528505
Bombardier Challenger 350541528528
Bombardier Challenger 300541528528
Gulfstream G200541528495
Gulfstream G150541528495
Beechcraft Hawker 1000541506460
Embraer Legacy 450539528502
Bombardier Learjet 70535502497
Bombardier Learjet 75535502497
Bombardier Learjet 40XR535502497
Bombardier Learjet 45XR535502497
Bombardier Learjet 40535502493
Bombardier Learjet 60535502487
Bombardier Learjet 60XR535502487
Cessna Citation III535491481
Sabreliner Sabre 65535502480
Bombardier Learjet 45535502479
Dassault Falcon 200529506483
IAI Astra SP529516476
Dassault Falcon 20F529501451
Dassault Falcon 20C529501451
Cessna Citation Sovereign+528528447
Cessna Citation Sovereign528528447
IAI Westwind 1524488460
IAI Westwind 2524488460
Cessna Citation VII520520480
Beechcraft Hawker 800XPR520495463
Beechcraft Hawker 900XP520495463
Beechcraft Hawker 850XP520495463
Beechcraft Hawker 800XPi517495463
Beechcraft Hawker 800XP517495463
Beechcraft Hawker 750514495463
Beechcraft Hawker 800SP509494448
Beechcraft Hawker 800509494448
Cessna Citation XLS+506506429
Cessna Citation XLS498498429
Cessna Citation Excel498498429
Cessna Citation Latitude494494428
Sabreliner Sabre 60493493471
Cessna Citation VI491491481

Source: Conklin & de Decker Associates, Inc., July 14, 2018.  Seating is standard configuration, provided for guidance only, and may vary by owner.


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About Conklin & de Decker

Conklin & de Decker, a JSSI company, is a leader in aviation research, consulting, and education with offices in Massachusetts, Texas, and Arizona. The mission of Conklin & de Decker is to enable the general aviation industry to make more informed decisions when dealing with the purchase, operation, and disposition of aircraft by furnishing objective and impartial information. Founded in 1984, Conklin & de Decker focuses on fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft operating costs, performance and specification databases, maintenance management software, financial management, fleet planning, market research, aviation tax issues, and financial, tax and management seminars.  Conklin & de Decker consults with numerous individuals, corporations, and government agencies worldwide. More information on their products and services, copies of articles published, and a unique “Members Only” section can be found on their website.

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