In this article, we will be discussing how much does a commercial plane cost? Our team has researched and reviewed the airplane price list to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a shopping guide with the features you can consider when buying a plane.
how much does a commercial plane cost
Boeing (NYSE:BA) is well known for its hugely popular 737, as well as its 747, first introduced in 1970, and its 787 Dreamliner. But there’s also a new, 400-seat aircraft — the 777X — that’s still on the drawing board, and it’s predicted to become the biggest-selling airplane in the market after its first delivery in 2020.
Investors cheer when Boeing beats out rival Airbus for lucrative contracts as it generates more revenue and higher profits. At the Paris Air Show just last month, Boeing crushed Airbus by announcing commitments for 437 new airplanes compared to only 182 for its rival.
IMAGE SOURCE: BOEING.
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The big seller was the 737 MAX family of aircraft, which scored 418 commitments from buyers, mostly for the new 737 MAX 10, though Boeing also received 125 commitments for the 737 MAX 8. The rest of the commitments were for the 787 Dreamliner.
Notably absent were orders for the iconic 747, which underscores why Boeing is phasing out the aircraft.
In its latest “Current Market Outlook,” which forecasts industry demand out to 2036, Boeing eliminated a separate callout for very large aircraft that previously contained the 747, choosing instead to merge it into a combined “medium/large passenger widebody” category.
Boeing says the planes aren’t selling (Airbus says likewise in relation to its A380 airplane) because few carriers have the capabilities and routes to handle planes with more than 400 seats. The 747 is a 400-seat aircraft, but can be configured to cram as many as 660 passengers onto a single plane. In fact, Boeing only has 23 747s in its backlog of airplanes, the fewest of any of its aircraft, and it produces just one plane every two months. Obviously it’s not committing many resources to it.
AIR FORCE ONE IS A BOEING 747. IMAGE SOURCE: U.S. AIR FORCE.
Flying into turbulence
Airbus was quoted as mocking Boeing’s decision to abandon the market. “They would do that,” said Airbus sales chief John Leahy, according to IndustryWeek. “The 747-8 isn’t selling. We have no intention of sharing that market with them.” Airbus noted it remains committed to producing very large airplanes because of growing passenger traffic and congestion on routes.
That still might be a foolish stance to take since Airbus didn’t sell a single A380 last year, and Boeing doubts it will be able to sell the remaining 107 aircraft that Airbus has in its backlog. Indeed, Airbus is struggling to maintain production of the 550-seat model at one per month, and its biggest deal at Paris was for 100 A320neo (short for “new engine option”) single-aisle jets.
That’s where Boeing sees most of the market moving. In its long-range forecast, it sees single-aisle planes accounting for 72% of all aircraft deliveries in 2036, valued at $6.1 trillion.
airplane price list
Boeing plans on grabbing more than its share of that market. It’s churning out 42 737s per month and has a backlog of 4,500 orders, making it the most in-demand aircraft in Boeing’s fleet. Even though they’re the cheapest planes Boeing produces, it makes up in volume what it gives up in price. Not surprisingly, the 747 is one of its priciest aircraft (though not the most expensive), but with few sales, it really doesn’t matter what they cost.
Below are the production rates for each family of aircraft Boeing produces, its order backlog, and the average price of each family of plane.
|Aircraft Family||Production Rate (per month)||Backlog||Average Price||Notes|
|737||42||4,506||$103.4 million||Plan to increase to 47/month in Q317Plan to increase to 52/month in 2018Plan to increase to 57/month in 2019|
|767||2||106||$202.6 million||Plan to increase to 2.5/month in Q317|
|777||7||124||$344.2 million||Plan to decrease to 5/month in August 2017|
|787||12||679||$270.9 million||Plan to increase to 14/month by end of the decade|
DATA SOURCE: BOEING.
As noted, the 737 is the cheapest of its aircraft, with the 737-700 going for just $82.4 million. The most expensive? The 777-9, which retails for $408.8 million.
The needs of the airline industry are not static, but dynamic, as can see by Boeing’s outlook, which forecasts 4,200 fewer planes needed than last year’s report suggested. The number of single-aisle jets needed is also lower.
One thing that doesn’t change? Boeing’s leadership role in delivering the latest, most technologically advanced aircraft in the market.
The inspiration behind the Boeing 727 was the aim to create an aircraft that could operate out of smaller airports that had short runways not suitable for larger aircraft like the Boeing 707. Boeing’s new plane needed to be able to descend quickly into airports while avoiding buildings and other obstacles close to the runway. To achieve this, Boeing developed a large and sophisticated flap system to provide extra lift at low speeds.
In another first, the 727 came with a small gas-turbine engine auxiliary power unit (APU) that eliminated the need for a ground power supply to start the engines. This innovation turned out to be a big selling point for airlines operating in less developed countries.
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At the same time Boeing recognized the potential of this aircraft in the late 1950s, rival Douglas was working on the DC-9. Around the same time over in Europe, the British Aircraft Corporation was designing the BAC1-11.
Knowing they needed to sell a minimum of 200 aircraft to make the 727 a success, Boeing announced on December 5, 1960, that they had received orders for a total of 40 aircraft from Eastern Airlines and United. By the time the aircraft made its first test flight in 1963 orders were still well-below the break-even point. In a gamble to drum up business, Boeing sent the 727 on a tour of 26 counties where the aircraft clocked up an impressive 76,000 miles (122,310 km).
In 1965 the 727 crashed three times
In eerily similar circumstances of what happened with the Boeing 737 MAX, it appears as though Boeing rolled out the aircraft without giving pilots sufficient training. By November 1965, Boeing had witnessed three of its 727-100 aircraft crash within three months of each other, killing a total of 131 people. Investigators looking into the crashes discovered that some pilots did not fully understand the flap system and were, therefore, allowing the planes to descend at too great a speed.Advertisement:
Despite calls from some politicians to ground the 727, Boeing and the flight safety board were adamant that nothing was wrong with the plane. The authorities did, however, come out and say that 727 pilots needed more training and that Boeing should modify the flight manual procedures regarding the final approach.
Despite all the reassurances that it was a safe aircraft to fly in, passengers boycotted the plane for a good six months until confidence in the aircraft returned.
The last 727 delivered in 1984
Boeing’s original production run was for 250 aircraft, but the larger 189-passenger 727-200 version proved so popular that the Renton factory built 1,832 of the jets, far surpassing the original target. After 22 years in production, the final Boeing 727, a 727-200F model, was delivered to Federal Express in September of 1984.Advertisement:
By 2003 nearly all airlines had retired the loud, thirsty, planes in favor of quieter, more fuel-efficient aircraft like the 737 and larger Boeing 757. Despite its precarious start in life, the Boeing 727 ended up being one of the best-selling commercial jets in aviation history. Hopefully, a similar turnaround and redemption can happen for its current 737 MAX.
What are the most popular private jets?
With private aviation showing robust growth over the last few years, latest demand for exclusive flight services exceeded pre-recessionary levels over the course of 2017-2018. This is underpinned by strength across all segments of the industry including private jet rentals and used jet purchases. In this market currently, the most popular private planes are:
- Bombardier Challenger 350: According to data released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Bombardier Challenger 350 made 60 deliveries in 2018 continuing its upward trajectory from 56 in 2017. Offering excellent range of 3,200 nautical miles (5,926 kilometres) integrated with leading-edge technology, cabin comfort and design, it is consistently the first choice of experienced flight operators around the world. Powered with an impressive range of performance attributes, the planes are designed to purvey an exclusive private jet experience.
- Cessna Citation Latitude: After entering the private jet landscape in 2015, the Cessna Citation Latitude has consistently ranked amongst the top 10 best private medium jets in a host of range and performance metrics. As the most-delivered midsize jet for the third year in a row, the Cessna can accommodate 9 passengers with a seats-full range of 2,877 nautical miles. Offering increased comfort through a lower cabin pressurization, the Latitude also offers the most spacious cross-section of any Citation built by Cessna.
- Embraer Phenom 300: From 2013 to 2016, the Phenom 300 (now 300E) was the most-delivered light private jet in the world. As the fastest and longest-range single pilot aircraft in the world, the planes are designed with gen-next avionics, impressive cabin space and a top speed of 834 kilometres per hour. Seating 11 passengers, these planes are powered to achieve peak ranges of 3,650 kilometres.
What are the best business jets?
While business travel was traditionally regarded as the primary use of private jets, latest technology advancements and increased wealth have made private flying – which is considered the most expensive form of flying – more accessible to leisure travellers as well. Nevertheless, the corporate market still represents a substantial share of the overall industry. Below are some of the planes best equipped for corporate travel:
- Embraer Legacy 600: Via the feature of a spacious cabin space, the Embraer Legacy 600 can accommodate up to 13 passengers and is segregated into three areas within the cabin plus a galley and washroom. This makes it ideal for business travel, enabling the passengers to work, relax and interact separately while the galley is large enough to house a 3-course dining menu configure option. For clients travelling in larger groups or preferring to bring more luggage aboard the plane, this aircraft offers an exclusive experience that lies at the intersection of comfort and economy.
- Airbus ACJ 319/320 NEO: While the commercial counterpart has seating for 160 passengers, the Airbus ACJ in its private jet avatar accommodates approximately 18. The space is instead taken up by conference rooms, dining tables, and a VIP suite that boasts a bedroom, en-suite shower and office. Coupled with trademark fuel efficiency and quieter engines, the Airbus ACJ 319/320 is a recurring favourite of top 10 lists, business executives and sports personalities.
- Dassault Falcon 7X/8X: While the Dassault made its name in the military and commercial aircraft space, the larger Falcon jets carved out a niche in the business space due to their impressive range (5,950 nautical miles), a digital flight control system and an ability to customize the plane’s interiors into 30+ formats depending on usage priorities. With the versatility to make both long-range and short-range trips courtesy of a tri-jet engine, the Falcon models offer speed, efficiency and improved comfort.
Best private jets for international travel
Over larger, long-haul flights, commercial travel can often be cumbersome, time-consuming and inefficient. For clients seeking to alleviate these factors when travelling internationally, the following options have consistently been recognized in media articles as the latest champions of long-range travel:
- Gulfstream G650ER: Passengers looking for comfort, range and high speeds need to look no further than the G650ER that offers a range of 14,000 kilometres with 14 hours of flying time. Coupled with best-in-class cabin altitude of 3,290 feet, and a cabin that is longer and higher than any other ultra long-range private jet, the plane has seating for 19 passengers and can carry up to 103,600 lbs. of luggage. Inside the plane, there is a flexible cabin design with the option to customize the layouts to passenger preferences, handcrafted seats, digital audio/video equipment and porcelain dinnerware for a truly high-class experience.
- Bombardier Global 6000: The closest competitor to the Gulfstream is the Bombardier Global 6000, eponymously named for its ability to fly 13 hours or 6000 nautical miles (11,000 kilometres). Powered with industry-leading technology and performance, the 6000 is designed to provide a smooth ride, complete with wider leather seats, hardwood flooring and ultra-fast digital connectivity. All cabin controls are available at a single click while a large media bay enables passengers to wirelessly watch movies, mirror live streaming or display documents onto HDTV monitors, making it the perfect option for long-haul flights.
- Boeing VIP Dreamliner: As the most expensive option on the private jet charter market, the Dreamliner was originally designed to carry up to 335 passengers and bags. In the private jet version, it can carry up to 40 passengers for a range of 15,000 kilometres (17 hours flying time). The Dreamliner is separated into a master suite with a close en-suite washroom, a spacious main lounge, a guest cabin, and kitchen.
Most luxurious private jet interiors
While private planes have certainly enjoyed the largest resurgence in recent times following the recession in 2008, there are some models that truly stand out even amongst this exclusive set of aircraft that are reputed for luxury and resplendence. Some of the latest, most expensive, and notable ones include:
- Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental BBJ: As the most expensive plane in the world, the 747-8 Intercontinental BBJ has approximately 4,800 square feet of space with a full office, bedroom and grand dining room, which can further be transformed into a corporate boardroom based on the passengers’ usage needs. As far as luxurious interiors go, the Dreamliner is headlined as the “Queen of the Skies” with a $403 million price, dazzling passengers with gorgeous interiors complete with wide, leather seating, and a breathtaking design that can be configured into the passenger’s preferences.
- Boeing 757: The plane probably holds a place in recent public memory as President Donald Trump’s personal air travel vehicle of choice after he bought it for approximately $100 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011. Powered with Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan engines, the plane has a silk-lined master bedroom, master bathroom with 24-karat gold features, big-screen entertainment with leather seats, dining room, private guest room, 2 bedrooms, galley and main lounge – all features that serve to exemplify the palatial aura.
Which is the best private jet to buy?
Due to the increased popularity of charter flying and an undeniable asset appeal, private planes have attracted a range of long-term investors who seek to leverage its demand from high net-worth individuals and/or other flying enthusiasts. However, private jets are multi-million dollar prospects from an up-front capital outlay perspective with that must be managed carefully. As such, a premium is placed on value retention and durability over the life of the plane.
- Cessna Citation family planes: In the private jet market, Cessna planes have a reputation for being workhorses. In a study conducted by AVBuyer in 2015, three Cessna planes (CJ3, CJ2+ and CJ1+) ranked in the top 10 private jets that had the lowest depreciation (assuming standardized policy) over 10 years. It speaks to the resilience and longevity of the planes across different versions. However, beyond their operational excellence, Citation jets also fulfill a key need for prospective private jet owners. By fulfilling a popular goal to have a private jet that is still within affordable price parameters, the Cessna family of planes the preferred choice of many corporate houses and “newly-rich” business executives.
- Gulfstream G550: A new G550 is worth approximately $61.5 million depending on configurations. In the same study mentioned above, it achieved 10-year depreciation of 35% i.e. 65% price retention after 10 years. As the most successful model in Gulfstream history, the aircraft is equipped for long-range flights, with annual costs of $2.85 million equating to a per hour cost of $7,135 (assuming 400 flight hours).
- Embraer Lineage 1000E: With a $53 million price tag, the Embraer 1000 and 1000E version pack a punch with its overall offering. In the ultra-large segment, it offers the lowest cabin altitude with a maximum range of 4,500 nautical miles that enables it to go from London to the US east coast, Riyadh from Beijing and Lima from Los Angeles. It is also for this reason that it is a popular choice amongst buyers from the Middle East.
Most luxurious & fastest private jets in the world
Users of private planes primarily value three things: comfort, convenience and time. As such, it is pertinent to explore the aircraft that provide luxury matched with speed for truly exclusive experiences tailored towards discerning travellers:
- Dassault Falcon 900B ($45 million): The fuselage of the Dassault Falcon 900 is built from a combination of materials including Kevlar, titanium and carbon fiber allowing the jet to weigh significantly lower than other in-class twinjets. This then translates into significant fuel economy and a top speed of 644 miles per hour with a range of 4,598 miles. Equally impressive on the interior, the 900B carries on the Dassault Falcon tradition of spacious cabins, leather interiors and quality craftsmanship to provide an unparalleled luxury flight that delivers passengers refreshed and on time to their destinations.
- Bombardier Global 7500 ($73 million): In December 2018, the G7000 entered the markets and consolidated its place as one of the fastest private jets in the world with a top speed of 650 miles per hour. In 2021, the aircraft’s cabin then won the Red Dot Design Award for its clean aesthetics, viewing windows and leather interiors. At an impressive range of 7,700 nautical miles, this flight coalesces luxury and speed like no other.
Best private jet trips
As private jets have proliferated in popularity, there has been a good level of interest in rentals for milestone birthdays, large celebrations and other milestone moments in people’s life. From a leisure perspective, some of the most popular private jet destinations include:
- Rome and Paris: In Europe, Rome and Paris remain tourism hotspots frequented by people from all over the world. In recent times, airport statistics have showed accelerated inbound activity from private planes in these two destinations. Offering a delectable range of historically significant attractions, natural beauty, and cultural appeal, these two cities encourage big-ticket purchases by offering excellent infrastructure to accommodate private flying and value for money over the duration of the stay.
- Las Vegas: The social scene of the American city is legendary the world over, and has been crystallized over the past few decades via media articles and Hollywood. It is no wonder then that Las Vegas ranks as amongst the go-to places – particularly amongst the younger demographic – for luxurious social gatherings and life events.