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The Node

Why are medium jets so hot right now?

We ‘Noders’ love talking. From meetings in boardrooms across the world through to huge industry conventions, we’re always out chatting to the people who make business aviation work. In fact, the only thing we like more than talking is listening. How else can we know exactly which services and products the bizav industry will need from us next?

Lately, as we travel around, we’ve been hearing a lot of excited talk about the medium jet sector (midsize, super-midsize and heavy). We couldn’t stop ourselves from investigating. Are medium jets on a high right now and, if so, why? Here are five of our most interesting conclusions:

Medium jets fit the US perfectly. In key areas such as range and cabin size, medium jets are ideal for the vital US domestic market. You can easily find a medium jet for coast-to-coast travel (over 2,000nm) or for a popular East Coast route such as New York-Miami. Unlike many small jets, a medium jet can comfortably carry a C-suite team of seven passengers or more, but without the high cost of chartering a large, ultra-long range jet.

The numbers prove the point. For the year November 1 2017-October 31 2018, there were 100,209 ‘Trips’ (meaning journeys sourced, not necessarily booked, through Avinode) for medium jets for domestic US flights. That’s a very impressive 39% increase on the previous 12 months (72,262 Trips). Leading the way, flying from New York/New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport to Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport was the most requested medium jet service, followed by Teterboro to Los Angeles’ Van Nuys Airport. And by comparison, small jet demand is only growing at 32%, up to 76,314 Trips in the year to October 31 2018 from 57,734 Trips in the previous 12 months. Stats also prove…

Medium jets are loved in Europe too. There were 176,848 Trips for medium jet flights originating in Europe for the year November 1 2017-October 31 2018, up a lively 29% on the previous 12 months (137,091 Trips).

New is always exciting. Embraer plans to bring us the super-midsize Praetor 600 in the second quarter of 2019 and the midsize Praetor 500 in the third quarter of that year. Meanwhile, Textron Aviation is promising imminent certification of the company’s super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude. We’re pretty excited about these aircraft and so is the aviation media. And when the media starts talking enthusiastically about medium jets, everyone else is sure to follow.

Business isn’t everything. At this time of year, let’s not forget the short-field performance and large baggage space can make medium jets ideal for trips to remote skiing resorts.

To say medium jets are enjoying a revival would be misleading; they’ve never been away. At times, though, entry-level small jets seem to steal all the attention, and they certainly do great work, not least in bringing new people into our industry. And it’s no surprise the public’s imagination is so often captured by glamorous large jets, filled with even more glamorous celebrities and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. But medium jets are at the heart of the modern business aviation industry.

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