Bombardier Inc. has made the biggest sale of business aircraft in its history, potentially worth up to $7.8 billion if all options are exercised, the Montreal-based company announced Tuesday.

VistaJet, a private European company that provides luxury chartered flights, has placed firm orders for 56 Bombardier Global jets valued at $3.1 billion and acquired options for a further 86 Global jets.

'We are thrilled VistaJet has again chosen to grow their fleet with the industry-leading Global family.'—Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft

VistaJet currently operates a fleet of Bombardier aircraft based in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and West Africa.

The new purchase is part of VistaJet's goal of making business aviation more accessible to emerging markets, said VistaJet chairman Thomas Flehr, who founded the company in 2004.

"This order is the most significant milestone for VistaJet and is a testimony to our successful strategy that focuses on global coverage," Flehr said in a joint statement by the companies.

"Our customers need to fly point-to-point across the globe, and in many instances at short notice."

Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, said it was also 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," Ridolfi said.

VistaJet has placed firm orders for 25 Global 5000s, 25 Global 6000s and six Global 8000 jets. Deliveries will begin in 2014.