Bombardier has clinched the largest aircraft deal in the history of private aviation following the sale of 120 Global business jets to fractional ownership giant NetJets valued at $6.7 billion. The contract which includes 50 firm orders and 70 options - also marks the first purchase by the world’s largest business aircraft operator of Bombardier business jets.

The line-up includes 30 Global 5000 and XRS Visions for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 20 Global 7000 and 8000s for delivery from 2017. Details of the 70 aircraft on option have not been revealed. “We are taking advantage of the current lull in the private aviation market to position the NetJets fleet for the future,” says NetJets chairman David Sokol. “Although we anticipate 2011 to be another difficult year, when Bombardier begins to make deliveries of these aircraft, we will be ready to satisfy the market’s demand.”

NetJets says its decision to add the Global aircraft family to the NetJets fleet was based upon owner research, a comprehensive view of flight patterns and service requirements, and NetJets’ “unique insight” into the continued global growth of business aviation. 

“The demand for large cabin, long-range aircraft has remained steady through the recent economic downturn and will continue to grow as the Global 7000 and Global 8000 - with greater range -  become available in 2017, opening new global markets, such as the Pacific Rim."

NetJets operates a global fleet of more than 800 aircraft - notably Cessna, Dassault, Gulfstream and Hawker Beechcraft types. It also has an order for up to 125 Embraer Phenom 300 which will be added to the fleet from 2013.