Aerospace & Defense

Bigger, farther and more connected: The new biz jets

Inside Bombardier's new private jet

FlexJet Chairman Kenn Ricci calls it the new world of flying executives and wealthy individuals around the world.

They want more in the air and are willing to pay for it.

"People that have been accustomed to a certain convenience, and they've been used to that domestically," Ricci said. "I think I've seen their needs go more international since 2008, but as that's happened, I think they've wanted the same custom, convenience, time savings they've had domestically."

The corporate jet, which has long been used by executives to fly internationally, is increasingly being used to fly further and reach even more remote locations overseas. To meet that demand, FlexJet is buying 50 Gulfstream jets, including the G450, G650 and the new G500.

As Ricci took CNBC through a mock up of the cabin of the new G500, he explained how the world has changed for the corporate jet flier.

The seating and work area onboard Bombardier's Global 7000.
Meghan Reeder | CNBC

Gone are the days of the midsize jet where the executive and his staff were primarily sitting in their seats the whole flight, where they were out of touch with the rest of the world.

Today, the large cabin business jet with full connectivity in the air is the way to fly for an increasing number of Fortune 500 CEOs, executives in private equity and yes, a few very wealthy individuals.

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"Having the Wi-Fi is the most important thing," he said. "They love the chairs, they want to have a nice dinner, but being in touch all the way around the world, which we're capable of doing, is extremely important in what they're up to."

Bombardier's big bird

In the battle of big biz jets, the Bombardier Global 7000 stands out—and how can it not?

It's 110 feet long, can carry 17 passengers and has a range of 8,000 miles, so you could fly directly from Washington, D.C., to Beijing.

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"We're seeing very strong demand for the Global 7000," said Eric Martel, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, Aerospace.

A mock up of the Global 7000 is being shown to the American public for the first time at this year's National Business Aviation Association convention in Orlando, Florida.

Bedroom suite onboard Bombardier's Global 7000 business jet.
Meghan Reeder | CNBC

The highlight is the plane's four cabins, including a rest area with a bed.

"The long-range jet market has come back and grown steadily, despite what happened in 2008," Martel said. "Companies need to reach out to the world, to new markets, more than they did five years ago."

At $72 million, the Global 7000 is one of the priciest new business jets hitting the market in the next couple of years.

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The first one is schedule to be delivered in 2016.

Demand for large-cabin planes is the reason overall sales of corporate jets have gradually recovered following the recession.

A new report by Honeywell finds 46 percent of the jets that are expected to be ordered this year are likely to be large-cabin models.