• Passengers 7

When Cessna redesigned their popular CJ2 private business jet, known for its low operating costs and high performance, the result was the CJ3. With a larger cabin and significantly reduced fuel burn, it’s an upgrade in every sense and one of the most popular private jets to charter in its class.

About this aircraft

  • The Cessna Citation CJ3 was certified in 2004 and over 400 were made until production ceased when the CJ3+ launched in 2015.
  • The comfortable cabin usually accommodates six or seven passengers, depending on the configuration.
  • The CJ3 is renowned for its practicability and economy, making it perfect for short-haul charters of up to three-and-a-half hours. 
  • With 1,000 lbs (453kg) of baggage capacity, there is room for up to nine bags.
  • Externally, the CJ3 and the upgraded CJ3+ are identical. Inside, the CJ3’s Collins ProLine 21 cockpit has been updated to a Garmin G3000 integrated flight deck. 

The CJ3 entered the market in 2004, following on from the successful CJ1 and CJ2. Despite Cessna going on to introduce the CJ3+ in 2014, the CJ3 remains one of the most popular charter jets on the market.

Interior design

The CJ3’s modern interior combines functionality with comfort. While the cabin is slightly smaller than competitors such as the Learjet 75 and Phenom 300, it’s designed to maximise available space. The CJ3+ comes with additional modern comforts such as LED cabin lighting, a Satcom phone, a media centre and wireless cabin technology that allows passengers to connect to Wi-Fi and XM radio. 

Some CJ3s are laid out to feature a club-four seating configuration in the front and two forward-facing seats in the rear, with large chairs and table spaces for working and dining. An enclosed lavatory at the rear of the aircraft can be used as an extra passenger seat if necessary. There’s also space for a small galley at the front of the aircraft. An executive formation is also popular, with a seventh passenger seat instead of the galley at the front of the aircraft.  

An executive formation is also popular, with an eighth passenger seat instead of a galley at the front of the aircraft.       

Below are examples of the club and executive configurations on a CJ3 and CJ3+:

Interesting facts to learn before you fly

  • The CJ3 is slightly slower than its competitors, but makes up for this in range – it can connect London with much of Europe and Los Angeles with Chicago. In some favourable conditions, the CJ3+ can even fly coast-to-coast in the US.
  • Despite the CJ3’s flight economy, it allows for a surprisingly high payload for a light jet, meaning heavier luggage can be brought on board than some of its competitors.
  • Only cold dishes can be served on board, as there’s no space for a microwave oven.  
  • The CJ3+ has more modern comforts than the CJ3, including upgraded wireless technology.

Technological features

The Citation CJ3 is powered by two Williams FJ44-3A engines, each offering 2,820 lbs of thrust. Natural laminar flow wings offer improved fuel efficiency, while it also has an increased payload and maximum take-off weight, fast climb speeds and short runway performance. The cockpit is fitted with Rockwell Collins avionics and designed for single-pilot operation.

The CJ3+ retained the CJ3’s airframe and body, but features a newer Garmin G3000 avionics system and a FADEC system for digital engine control. The CJ3+ also has LED cabin lighting and upgraded wireless technology.


Model 525 of the Cessna CitationJet series set the groundwork for the subsequent CJ, CJ1, CJ2, CJ3 and CJ4 models. The CJ3 was unveiled in September 2002 at the National Business Aviation Association convention and took its inaugural flight in April 2003 before the first aircraft was delivered in 2004. Production continued until 2015, when the upgraded CJ3+ was introduced, and over 400 CJ3s remain in operation today.


The Cessna Aircraft Company is a general aviation manufacturer based in Kansas that has been in operation since 1927. The company was established by farmer and mechanic, Clyde V. Cessna, who assembled his first plane, a French Bleriot, from a kit using his own water-cooled engines. Cessna became famous for manufacturing small-size piston-powered aircraft primarily designed for private and business use.

In 1940, Cessna signed a contract to produce 33 Cessna T-50s for the US Army and later, 180 of the jets for the Canadian Air Force. The company later expanded to manufacture corporate jets and has since become the leading private jet manufacturer in the industry. Its Citation XLS range is one of the most popular private jet options on the market. In 1985, Cessna was bought by General Dynamics, before being purchased by Texton Inc in 1995.

Cessna’s parent company, Texton, is a global aerospace, security, defence and technology conglomerate which also manufactures Beechcraft and Hawker jets. The company specialises in creating bespoke mission-specific jets for government, military and commercial customers using innovative aircraft design. Today, Cessna produces numerous turboprops, pistons and private jets.


The average cost of the Citation CJ3 is $3.1M for a 2004 model to $6.2M for a 2014 model. The price of a new Cessna CJ3+ starts from $8 million, depending on installed equipment and cabin finishing. A pre-owned CJ3+ can cost from $6-7 million.

Charter rates

Charter rates for the Cessna Citation CJ3 can vary greatly depending on the length of the journey you have planned, as well as the airports you decide to fly in and out of.

If you would like to book a private charter flight on the Cessna Citation CJ3, then why not contact our team? For information on other private jets available for charter, browse our list of available private aircraft.

Wet lease rates

ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) wet lease rates for the Cessna Citation CJ3 can vary depending on the age of the aircraft, length of the lease term, the number of block hours being guaranteed and the average cycle ratio.

Charter this aircraft

Speak directly with an ACS broker to discuss your requirements

Key details

  • Aircraft type Light Jets
  • Passengers 7
  • Cruise speed 769 km/h / 478 mph
  • Range 3,222 km / 2002 miles


  • Luggage space 1.8m³ - 65ft³
  • Enclosed lavatory Yes
  • Flight attendant No
  • Pressurised cabin Yes

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