Used Aircraft Report For Bombardier Challenger 350
There were only two or three Bombardier Challenger 350s available for sale on the pre-owned market this spring, attesting to the tightness of the market and the attraction of the super-midsize 350.
The Challenger 350 “owns that segment,” with more than 800 jets delivered, when including the predecessor Challenger 300, says Bryan Comstock, founding partner and West Coast managing director with aircraft dealer Jeteffect. “It’s just a perfect fit. [Bombardier] hit the nail on the head from performance to the flat floor to the cabin.”
When he spoke with BCA, Comstock knew of three pre-owned Challenger 350s for sale—one each in Asia, Turkey and Pakistan—but none based in the U.S. Travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic challenged all potential buyers from seeing these and other jets.
Worldwide inventory of all pre-owned jets for sale stood at a 14-year low, Comstock says. “As a broker, I have at times over the last 20 years since Jeteffect was formed, been concerned in down markets that there weren’t going to be enough buyers to sustain our business model. But this is the first time in my career that I am more anxious about not having enough sellers,” he says.
“My experience tells me this always changes,” adds Comstock. “In fact, in 2007, when inventory levels last reached the levels they are today, within two years pre-owned choices had nearly doubled. It’s typically something unforeseen and so there’s no predicting what could derail what is currently a super-heated market. Due to the dearth of aircraft currently for sale on the open market, we have been undertaking many aircraft acquisition projects for buyers, often sourcing ‘off-market’ aircraft via our industry counterparts—banks, manufactures, etc.”
Jared Hasty, director of sales and key accounts with OGARAJETS, and other broker-dealers who spoke during a BCA webinar May 12, echoed Comstock’s observations of a tight pre-owned market across multiple business jet categories.
“Some of your aircraft makes and models just stand out as fantastic all-around in value and performance and size, and those have been absolutely cleaned out in terms of supply—your Challenger 300s, your CJ3s, your G550s,” said Hasty. “The most surprising thing was just how slow those markets were during the pandemic. But now that they’ve come back, you’re seeing supply down 40-60% and sales in the last six months eclipsing the total number of aircraft on the market currently. At this point, it’s almost completely across the board in terms of demand outpacing supply.”
Bombardier received type certification from Transport Canada for the clean-sheet-design Challenger 300 in May 2003. The twinjet entered service in January 2004 and was produced through 2014. The Canadian manufacturer unveiled the successor Challenger 350 at the EBACE convention in 2013 and certified the upgraded model in June 2014.
Bombardier has delivered 455 Challenger 300s and 376 Challenger 350s overall, with 81% of the later variant domiciled in North America, according to the Aviation Week Network Fleet Discovery database. Most of the fleet is distributed as one or two jets per operator; among the largest operators of the Challenger 350 are NetJets with 72 jets, NetJets Europe, 11; FlexJet, 30; and VistaJet, 13.
Fractional ownership provider Airshare, based in Lenexa, Kansas, in May announced the purchase of three Challenger 350s from Bombardier with an option for 17 more over the next few years. This will double the size of its fleet.
The Challenger 300 and 350 share the same type designation, but new, canted winglets on the 350 extend its wingspan by about 6 ft. to 69 ft., increasing its aspect ratio and helping to improve climb capability and high-altitude efficiency. The Honeywell HTF7350 turbofans that power the Challenger 350, each with 7,323 lb. maximum takeoff thrust, improve on the -300’s HTF7000 engine, at 6,944 lb. takeoff thrust. Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) increased to 40,600 lb. for the -350 from 38,850 lb. for the -300.
Both siblings are equipped with the Collins Aerospace Pro Line 21 avionics suite, featuring four large-format LCD displays and synthetic vision. The system supports LPV (localizer performance with vertical guidance) and required navigation performance approaches, FANS 1/A controller-pilot datalink communications and Collins RTA-4100 series Multiscan Weather Radar.
The Challenger 350 has a maximum range with NBAA IFR reserves of 3,200 nm at Mach 0.80 with eight passengers, making it capable of spanning the continental U.S. nonstop, or the west coast to Hawaii. Departing at MTOW, the jet needs 4,835 ft. of runway in ISA sea-level conditions.
The factory-new list price of a 2020 Challenger 350 was $26.7 million, according to the spring 2021 edition of the Aircraft Bluebook. A pre-owned 2018 model in the U.S. would sell for about $17 million, says Comstock.
Likely buyers include owners of Challenger 300s upgrading to the -350, as well as Hawker 800XP and Learjet 45 and 75 owners, according to Jetnet. Pilots and operators value the Challenger 350’s NextGen-capable Pro Line 21 cockpit, which is familiar to thousands of pilots, says Comstock. With a payload of 1,800 lb. at max fuel, the -350 avoids compromises and boasts the lowest operating costs in its class. Charter operators benefit from higher margins due to low operating costs and high demand.
Challenger 350 inspection intervals are 600 hrs. or 24 mos., with heavy maintenance cycles at 48 and 96 momths. The jet has 99.9% dispatch reliability, Bombardier says.
The Challenger 350 cabin comes in two configurations: an 8-seat cabin with double club seating and a 9-place version with club seating forward and a 3-place divan opposite two single seats. Roughly 70% of buyers in each of the past few years have opted for the divan-configured cabin, according to AircraftPost data.
Passengers appreciate the 350’s flat floor design, full access to baggage while in flight, and enlarged cabin windows, which provide about 18% more ambient light. The upgraded model features the “nice” integrated cabin management and inflight entertainment system Bombardier co-developed with Lufthansa Technik, and 4G connectivity via the Gogo Avance L5 air-to-ground system.
In April 2021, Bombardier and satellite communications provider Viasat announced FAA and European EASA approval to install Viasat’s Ka-band satcom terminal on Challenger 300s and 350s.