On Tuesday, Canadian plane maker Bombardier announced it has signed the largest business jet sale in the company's history. Switzerland-based luxury aviation company VistaJet, which flies exclusively Bombardier aircraft, has agreed to purchase 56 Bombardier Global business jets, and take out options on an additional 86 Global jets, for a combined deal value of $7.8 billion at list prices. The value of the firm order is $3.1 billion at 2012 list prices, according to Bombardier.

Caveats include the fact that not all of the optioned planes may ultimately turn into firm orders, and that "list prices" are often steeply discounted to reach actual sale prices, especially in large orders such as this one. Deliveries are set to begin in 2014.

Whatever the actual purchase price, by units alone this is clearly Bombardier's biggest business jet deal ever, comprising a combined potential sale of 65 Global 5000 jets, 65 more Global 6000s, and a round dozen Global 8000s. And Bombardier is just tickled pink with it. Commenting on the deal, Bombardier Business Aircraft President Steve Ridolfi said: "By any standard, this is a historic order for Bombardier. It goes without saying that we are thrilled VistaJet has again chosen to grow their fleet with the industry-leading Global family."

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