The Widest Cabin on a Small Runway: Cessna Citation XLS & XLS+

by Hangar 7 Aviation

The midsize XLS and XLS+ are the pinnacle of Cessna’s Excel series and a greatest-hits collection of features from earlier Citation airframes. The plan for the original 1994 Citation Excel was to make a plane with light jet economics and runway performance, but a comfortable, stand-up cabin. It cleverly combined favorite features from the Citation II (design roots), III (fuselage), V (cruciform tail), V Ultra (supercritical wing, airfoil, horizontal stabilizer), and X (wide, stand-up cabin) into one cohesive mid-size package. Pilots lovingly called it the “Fat V,” highlighting the marriage of excellent short runway performance and a roomy cabin.

The Citation XLS was the popular 2004 makeover of the Excel, adding a glass cockpit and upgraded engines for enhanced range and fuel economy. It was the perfected XLS+ in 2008, however, that quickly became the best-selling model of the best-selling private jet brand. The Citation XLS+ again increased the power and efficiency of the engines along with revisions to the nose for optimum performance. Both the XLS and XLS+ are renowned as midsize jets with light jet runway traits, outstanding range, a first-class cabin, and remarkable efficiency.

Lands Almost Anywhere

The Cessna Citation XLS and XLS+ boast one of the shortest takeoff distances among midsize jets. These models will take off and land on runways as short as 3,560 feet, which opens up thousands of smaller airport options versus competing models — and without sacrificing comfort or premium amenities. 

Cessna wisely positioned the XLS as a jet that could bring the success of the high-end Citation VII to a more conventional market. In terms of cost and airport options, the Cessna Citation XLS jet is more likely to compete with twin-engine turboprops than the trendy pseudo-midsize jets that try to cram large-jet sensibilities into a tight “super-midsize” package.

Width and Comfort in the Cabin

The Cessna Citation XLS interior took the wide, stand-up cabin of the Citation X and shortened it by 2 feet. The result was the roomiest 18-foot cabin in its class, with 11 windows for natural light, ample headroom, and a dropped, full-length aisle. Six to eight passengers can enjoy a lavish leather interior with extra-wide, fully reclining seats and the freedom to move about easily during a quiet, draft-free flight. The wide cabin makes for an ideal sky-high conference room, along with a full refreshment center and generous baggage compartment. The ambiance is soft and versatile, including indirect LED lighting, folding tables and even configurations with a comfortable side-facing couch.

Unparalleled Performance

The turbofan-powered Cessna Citation XLS+ outpowers competing options with its Pratt & Whitney engines that generate a class-leading 4,119 pounds of thrust. You’ll reach cruising altitude in only 15 minutes and fly from New York to New Mexico at a cool 507 mph with performance statistics you’d expect from a light jet. Pilots and passengers alike will appreciate the smooth, reliable handling of fast and efficient flights.

Cessna Citation XLS / XLS+ Cost & Utilization Trends*




In Operation



Number of Flights


For Sale



Average Distance





Total Distance

66,943,918 (nm)

Asking Price

$4.5M - $7M


Average Flight Time

1.4 (hrs)

Manufacturer Year

2004 to 2021


Total Flight Time

203,863.1 (hrs)










Block Speed Statute Miles/Hour




$2,831 ($4,289 XLS+)

Total Cost Per Statute Mile

$3.71 ($4.38 XLS+)


Cost/Statute Mile

$8.27 ($20.29 XLS+)

*Data as of December 2021. Based on the flight activity of in-operation aircraft.

Book the Popular Citation XLS or XLS+ For Your Next Flight

Get you where you’re going in comfort and land as close as possible to your destination. Our team of expert agents at Hangar 7 Aviation is ready to book a Citation XLS or XLS+ for your next domestic or international charter flight.

With Hangar 7, you get the simplicity you want from a chartered private flight with the flexibility that you need. Choose our friendly team of charter professionals for flexibility with your arrangements and a smooth, memorable trip. We handle the details so that you can focus on what matters: what you’ll do when you get there.

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