Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, Inc. signed its biggest deal ever Tuesday, when it accepted an order potentially worth $7.8 billion from Switzerland-based luxury charter company VistaJet, both companies announced in a statement.

The agreement is for 56 of the firm’s Global Jets -- valued $3.1 billion -- with VistaJet holding the option to buy a further 56 planes.

In a statement VistaJet said the purchase served dual purposes of helping increase the number of aircraft it possesses, currently 50, and making sure it maintains “the youngest fleet in the sky.”

It noted the planes would be used to provide connections to underserved destinations in Africa and Asia. Delivery of the aircraft is expected to begin in 2014.

Analysts saw the announcement as a big plus for Bombardier.

"VistaJet is a longtime Bombardier customer and exclusive operator of Bombardier business jets," National Bank Financial analyst Cameron Doerksen told Reuters. "The company had previously indicated that it was contemplating additional large orders, but the size of this order has to be considered a surprise."

Steve Ridolfi, President of Bombardier Business Aircraft, noted in a statement that “by any standard, this is a historic order for Bombardier.”

Investors sure seemed to agree. Toronto-listed shares of Bombardier, Inc. (TSE:BBD.B) recently traded up 25 cents, or 8.01 percent higher than the previous day’s close, to C$3.37