Hire a Cessna Citation XLS/XLS+ Super Light Jet

American aircraft manufacturer Cessna launched the XLS in 2004 as a further development of its Citation Excel midsize jet. The Excel was announced in October 1994 as the 560XL model and took off for the first time on 29 February 1996. The idea was to make the features of the exclusive Citation X available to a broader market segment and to offer an alternative to twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Until production was switched to the Citation XLS, 308 examples were produced.

Compared to the original variant, more powerful Pratt & Whitney engines and a glass cockpit were installed in the XLS. In the latter, multifunctional LCD displays replaced the countless analogue gauges, allowing the focus to be on the most relevant information. Almost four years and 330 jets produced later, Cessna launched the XLS+ variant in 2008 with improved engines and a new nose.

According to the common business jet categorisation, the XLS/XLS+ (also XLS Plus) jets are assigned to the midsize business jet segment. They are appreciated, among other things, for their spacious cabin, which comfortably seats eight passengers.

Eye candy of the skies: The Cessna Citation XLS in flight
Cessna Citation XLS in flight

Advantages of a Cessna Citation XLS / XLS+ as a rental aircraft

  • Spacious passenger cabin: The Citation XLS+ offers generous head and shoulder room, allowing passengers to move and stretch out with ease. With a width of 167 cm, the XLS+ is one of the largest midsize jets. Both the XLS and Plus variants feature extra-wide, sliding seats for maximum flexibility.

  • Crease-free travel: The wardrobe in the Citation XLS+ enhances cabin functionality and provides additional storage space. The luggage capacity of 317 kilograms allows travellers to carry more - around 17 pieces of luggage in total.

  • Best-selling: Decisions to purchase a luxury jet costing around US$14 million are not taken lightly. The fact that 1,000 of the 560XL series have already been delivered since 1998 underlines the popularity of the light, medium-sized jet. Welsh professional footballer Garath Bale, currently under contract with Real Madrid, is one of the proud owners of an XLS+.

  • Safety and efficiency thanks to leading avionics technology: With the Garmin G5000, Cessna now uses one of the world's most advanced avionics systems in its XLS+ jet. In daily operations, this means less work for the crew and a smoother and more efficient flight from A to B for the passengers. Many operators of Citation Excel and XLS jets also take advantage of Cessna's aviation upgrade offer.

  • Reliable workhorse: Owners value the XLS and XLS+ for their reliability with a good payload-range ratio. This is underlined by two figures: 99.4 per cent of the delivered aircraft are still in service (as of 2021). And the worldwide fleet of the 560XL has accumulated an impressive five million flight hours to date.

The nose of the Cessna Citation XLS

Disadvantages of a Cessna Citation XLS / XLS+ as a rental aircraft

  • No efficiency winners: Cabin comfort is a key feature of the popular Cessna jets. This comes with trade-offs in terms of flight efficiency. Compared to other midsize jets such as Bombardier's LearJet 75, Citations are slower and consume more fuel.

  • Requires two pilots: Neither the Citation XLS nor the XLS+ are single-pilot jets. A second pilot in the cockpit means a higher level of safety, but also adds cost. Those looking for an aircraft of comparable size with a single-pilot certification might find possible alternatives in the Pilatus PC-24 or Phenom 300e.

The original Citation Excel and its successors, the XLS and XLS+, have earned a leading position in the light medium business jet market for good reason. The Citations offer a winning combination of cabin comfort, size and engine performance. The approximately 6-metre-long cabin offers ample legroom and six fully flat reclining leather seats.

There is a wide range of other options in the midsize jet market. Some are even under the same parent company, Textron Ins. These include, for example, the Hawker 800XP, which can seat up to 13 passengers and has a much longer range. The Hawker model could be the preferred option for overseas flights. Outside Textron's product range, the Bombardier Learjet 40XR and 45XR compete in the same market segment. Both have similar cabin volumes and comparable ranges. However, as Bombardier has ceased Learjet production, the number of available Learjet rental aircraft is expected to decrease.

Independent awards underline the outstanding position of the Citation XLS/XLS+ in various aspects: In 2016, the popular Cessna jet was awarded the "Best of the Best" award by the luxury and lifestyle magazine Robb Report. The award recognised the agility of a light jet paired with the cabin volume of a midsize jet. Cessna has already received the "Best of the Best" award as category winner a total of 29 times.

Aircraft data

Technical data

Aircraft categoryMidsize Business Jet (also: Super Light Jet)
ManufacturerCessna (Textron Aviation Inc.)
ModelCitation XLS/XLS+
Number of pieces producedMore than 1,000 (Complete 560XL Series, as of March 2021)
Start of productionXLS 2004 - 2008 XLS+ Seit 2008
EngineXLS 2 x Pratt & Whitney PW545B XLS+ 2 x Pratt & Whitney PW545C
PriceXLS Approximately 4 million USD (used 2008 model) XLS+ 14,640,000 USD (new price 2021)
Crew2 Pilots
Toilet1 (rear)


Starting distanceXLS 1085 m XLS+ 1085 m
Landing stageXLS 1444 m XLS+ 969 m
Maximum speedXLS 802 km/h XLS+ 817 km/h
ReachXLS 3.683 km XLS+ 3.660 km
Maximum flight altitude13.716 m


Snappy from the inside, too: The cabin of the Cessna Citation XLS
Cabine volumeXLS 11,9 m³ XLS+ 13,1 m³
Cabin (length x width x height)XLS 5,66 m x 1,65 m x 1,70 m XLS+ 5,64 m x 1,68 m x 1,73 m

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much does a Cessna Citation XLS cost?

A used Cessna Citation XLS costs between $3.3 million for a 2004 model and $4.3 million for a 2009 model, while the XLS+ produced since 2008 has a price tag of $14.64 million according to the list.

Is the Cessna Citation XLS certified for single-pilot operation?

No, the Cessna XLS is not certified for single-pilot operation. Alternatively, the slightly smaller Citation Encore+, which was produced until 2011, could be used. This is considered the largest business jet that can be flown by a single pilot. On the other hand, if you are considering switching to a two-pilot aircraft, the XLS/XLS+ is the right choice. Many pilots appreciate the fact that the broad Cessna portfolio allows them to switch to larger aircraft in small steps without having to change their familiar manufacturer.

How does the Citation XLS differ from the XLS+?

The main differences in model improvements usually involve upgrades to avionics and engines. This is the case with the Citation XLS: the Pratt & Whitney PW545B engines of the XLS have been replaced by the more powerful PW545C in the XLS+. The newer XLS+ is therefore somewhat faster and, thanks to the fully digital engine control (FADEC), more fuel-efficient. As for the avionics system, the aging Honeywell Primus 1000 was replaced by the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21. The latter has a modern electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) with four multifunctional LCD screens. Visually, the nose of the XLS+ has been modified to improve aerodynamics during flight.

How many Citation XLSs have been sold so far?

At the end of March 2021, Textron (NYSE: TXT) announced the 1000th delivery of a 560XL series jet. The series includes the Cessna Citation Excel, Citation XLS and Citation XLS+ models.

Which airports can be served by a Citation XLS?

The range of the Citation XLS allows direct flights between most intra-European destinations - for example from Athens to London. Its excellent take-off and landing capabilities allow the use of short runways such as those at Bern, Lugano and Cannes airports. The Citation XLS was also designed for the steep approach to London City Airport.

Cessna Citation XLS

Citation XLS door and body
Citation XLS cabin
Cessna's elegant midsize jet: The Cessna Citation XLS on the runway
Citation XLS Engine

Cabin Specifications




Plan of the interior cabin layout of the Cessna Citation XLS and XLS+ private jet

Length: 5.64 meters

Height: 1.73 meters

Width: 1.68 meters



Range Map

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