Bombardier Challenger 650 Charter: Rent the economical Large Jet

The Bombardier Challenger 650 is the fastest, longest-range and newest business jet in the popular Challenger family. The Canadian aircraft manufacturer's current portfolio is one of three available models, along with the Challenger 350 and Challenger 3500. The luxury aircraft was unveiled to the public for the first time in 2015 at the EBACE air show in Geneva. It occupies new, performance-optimized engines, an upgraded avionics flight management system, and a redesigned aircraft cabin compared to previous models. The first client handover took place in August 2016. The aircraft has its home airport in Germany and has complemented the fleet of 430 Bombardier business jets deployed in Western Europe.

Bombardier Challenger 650 on the airfield
Elegant even on the ground: The Challenger 650 at the airport

The prestigious private aircraft is manufactured in the province of Québec, Bombardier's home country that is Canada. More than half of all Challenger 650 aircraft have their home base in North America and approximately 30 percent in Europe.

The Challenger 650 is the updated version of the Challenger 605, featuring two additional seats and carrying up to 12 passengers. The improved engines with higher thrust performance allow a shorter take-off distance. The modernized galley supports faster preparation of enjoyable meals on board.

First things first: In 1980, the first production model of the Challenger series, CL-600, was delivered for customer use. At the time still under the sovereignty of the Candair company, the first Challenger was primarily promoted for its comparatively roomier cabin and more economical fuel consumption. Many competing jets in the 1980s had even narrower fuselages and cramped cabins. Nevertheless, commercial success initially failed to materialize: Only 10 models were sold by 1982. In the successor model, CL-601, the Lycoming engines were replaced by the more powerful CF34 turbines from General Electric. According to industry experts, this decision was largely responsible for the rising sales figures of the Challenger series. The takeover of the floundering company by Bombardier in 1986 also saw the series refined into several models. This decision was favoured by the stretchable design, which had already been envisaged by the development engineers for the first model. In the years that followed, the triumphant advance of the popular private jet families took its course: the 500th aircraft was delivered in May 2000, and the 1000th in December 2015.

In addition to being used as a comfortable business jet, Challenger 650 aircraft have also been in service as ambulance jets for Swiss Air-Rescue (Rega) since 2018.

Challenger 650 in flight over Singapore
World-Class is in the Air: The Challenger 650 in flight over Singapore

Advantages of a Challenger 650 as a rental aircraft:

  • Low operating costs: Low spare parts costs, long maintenance intervals and high fuel efficiency make the Challenger 650 the aircraft of choice not only for those willing to buy: Charter customers benefit from more favorable rental prices, especially on longer trips when the share of variable costs predominates. The engines, which have been optimized compared to the predecessor model, give the 650 additional takeoff thrust with reduced fuel consumption in flight.

  • Wide cabin: Larger seats that convert into comfortable berths: The Challenger's cabin offers what is perceived as the scarcest commodity on many long flights: Freedom of movement in abundance. Combined with the large windows, angled touchscreens and fine wood surfaces, it provides the ultimate flying experience on long-distance flights.

  • Coordinated design experience: The design of the Challenger 650 is such that the cockpit and cabin merge perfectly: Pilots and passengers are offered optimal comfort and control. The detailed design of the seats and cabin trim was inspired by luxury furnishings and high-end automotive interiors. It forms a great aesthetic synergy with modern technical cabin features.

  • Fast Internet: In 2017, Bombardier became the first private jet manufacturer to offer the revolutionary Ka-band high-speed Internet for business jets in the Large Jet segment. The industry's fastest in-flight internet connection offers global coverage thanks to sophisticated satellite technology. Passengers can surf the Internet, stream video or hold a video conference as quickly and effortlessly as at home or in the office.

  • Established series: The Challenger brand is synonymous with private jet success: It is the best-selling business jet family of the past decades. With an impressive cabin, smooth flight characteristics and low operating costs, Bombardier's Challenger aircraft continue to be a sought-after product despite cyclical fluctuations. Many employees, pilots and customers have enabled and accompanied the success over many years.

  • Manufacturer: Bombardier

    Speed: 482 kts | 893 km/h

    Range: 4000 nm | 7408 km

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Disadvantages of a Challenger 650 as a rental aircraft:

Challenger 650 aircraft cabin
To fall in love with: A look inside the Challenger 650 cabin
  • High acquisition costs: Excellence and exclusivity have their price. In the case of the Challenger, it is around 32 million US dollars for the latest model. The lower operating costs compared with the competition are also priced into this figure, which is seen as a competitive advantage in the purchase decision. The high acquisition costs are reflected in the rental price, especially for shorter flights. The comparatively high penetration of the jets could have a dampening effect on charter costs - especially in phases of low demand

  • Oversized for small travel groups: Thanks to its wide cabin and long-range, up to 12 passengers with luggage can travel comfortably to long-haul destinations.  Its advantages come into their own when smaller alternatives feel cramped after a few hours. However, if the trip lasts only a few hours or if only a few seats are needed, the Challenger 650 might seem oversized. For those who are already committed to traveling in a Challenger, the smaller Challenger 350 could be a compelling alternative.

Overall, the Challenger is hard to beat when chartering a modern, spacious and long-range business jet. Introduced in 2015, the 650 is the latest and by far the best Challenger variant: a symphony of widebody design and comfort features combined with the newest avionics and optimized engines. The improved engines allow a higher workload and enable greater range, even to and from particularly high altitudes or hot airfields. But the most striking feature remains the luxury jet's spacious cabin.

For those not yet committed to a Challenger, the Gulfstream G280 or the Dassault Falcon 2000LXS are possible alternatives for rent. The Gulfstream is distinguished by its fuel economy at a lower speed, shorter range, and aging cabin design. The Falcon offers the same range, at lower speeds and reduced fuel consumption. The Challenger and the Falcon are confusingly similar in terms of cabin design: thanks to a similar choice of colors and surface materials, both aircraft exude an exclusive luxury atmosphere.

According to Bombardier, the Challenger 650 and its predecessors have already sold more than 1,000 units. This would make it the best-selling large jet of all time. This is probably more appreciated at Bombardier headquarters than one of the countless, but often insubstantial, luxury design awards, on whose lists the Challenger 650 has so far been searched in vain.

Bombardier Challenger 650

Aircraft data

ManufacturerBombardier Aerospace
ModelChallenger 650
Number of pieces produced91
Production PeriodSince 2015
Engine2 x GE CF34-3B MTO
PriceStarting from 35.500.000 USD
Crew1 Pilot, 1 Co-Pilot
Toilet1 (behind)
Aircraft categoryLarge Jet


Take-off route1.720 m
Landing distance732 m
Maximum speed870 km/h (Mach 0,85)
Range7.408 km
Maximum flight altitude12.497 m


Passenger capacity12
Maximum payload with full tank543 kg
Capacity of the most common rental variant12


Cabin volume32,45 m³
Cabin (length x width x height)7,8 m x 2,41 m x 1,83 m

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much does a Challenger 650 cost?

On average, a used Bombardier Challenger 650 will cost around $15 million. Ex-factory, the best Challenger jet currently available new costs about $35.5 million in the base configuration.

How many passengers can fly in a Challenger 650?

Bombardier lists the maximum number of passengers on its Challenger 650 aircraft as 12. This number of seats can also be assumed for most rental variants. Due to the generous cabin dimensions, with a few extra centimeters in width, there is enough room for either a relaxed or concentrated flight, even with a full complement of passengers.

How does the Challenger 650 differ from the Falcon 2000LXS?

The Challenger 650 and the Falcon 2000LXS look very similar at first glance and even more so at second glance: in addition to the external appearance, the cabin dimensions are also almost identical. Despite many similarities, there are also some differences: with a new price of $32.35 million, the Challenger 650 jet is about $2.75 million cheaper than a new Falcon 2000LXS. The new Challenger has a 10 percent larger cabin volume. In return, the Falcon scores higher in maximum flying weight and range. 

How many Challenger 650 jets have been sold so far?

By mid-2019, Bombardier had built 91 Challenger 650 jets. In total, the Bombardier Challenger 600 family of business jets comes to more than 1,000 sold since 1980. It is considered the best-selling Large Business Jet family of all time. The majority of available jets have their home base in North America, followed by Europe and Asia.

Which airports can be served by a Challenger 650 jet?

With its steep approach certification, the Challenger 650 can fly to the popular London City Airport. Other challenging airports such as Aspen and Lugano can also be safely approached by experienced pilots without any problems. This allows business travellers to fly closer to their final travel destination. Of course, the Challenger Primus also cuts a fine figure at major commercial airports.

Cabin Specifications




Length: 7.8 meters

Height: 1.83 meters

Width: 2.41 meters



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