An Intro to Business Aviation Charter 101

Charter – Who Needs It?

Patrick Margetson-Rushmore  |  14th April 2015
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Patrick Margetson-Rushmore
Patrick Margetson-Rushmore

Patrick Margetson-Rushmore is a founding member of LEA and is responsible for the overall strategic development...

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With options abounding, an increasing number of businesses are considering the advantages of Business Aviation, and especially private charter, notes LEA’s Patrick Margetson-Rushmore…

Private charter flights are similar to scheduled airline flights in terms of actual flight-time to reach your destination. However, the benefits of chartering your own business jet become very apparent when you consider the conveniences provided.

Private flights, unlike commercial airline flights, are not bound to strict schedules or destinations, and they can be tailored to suit any itinerary. As a result, private charter flights are rarely delayed or cancelled – you make your own schedule.

Similarly, the check-in procedure takes place at your own speed. Although your bags are still scanned and you must pass through a scanner yourself, there are none of the long queues associated with the scheduled airlines. For this reason, you only need to turn up for your flight around 15 minutes before departure.

Once you’ve passed through security, your bags are stowed on the aircraft by the cabin crew, eliminating the lost baggage scenarios we’ve all come to dread. Private air charter makes good business sense in terms of flexibility, efficiency and privacy.

Why Charter?

Companies charter for many different reasons: perhaps it’s to fly a team around the continent for an investment tour; maybe for a trip to a manufacturing base; or possibly to bring clients to your headquarters to discuss the latest products and deals. Regardless, Business Aviation gives travelers the freedom to go where they want, when they want.

Time is money and businesses are realizing it is more cost-effective to have their employees working instead of waiting for canceled or delayed commercial airline flights. Many companies conduct business or staff meetings whilst in-flight or use the time to discuss confidential matters, free of the interruptions and disruptions associated with airline flights.

When is Charter Right?

This is an important debate to have when considering entering Business Aviation. How many hours are you planning on spending in the air per year?

• If it’s less than 150 hours annually, full jet ownership is unlikely to be the best solution for you. Charter is the more likely solution.

• If you already charter regularly and your travel time amounts to around 250 hour annually, fractional ownership could be a better prospect.

• If you’re not a regular charter user but are interested in purchasing an aircraft, why not take the opportunity to charter a few different aircraft types to various destinations you’re likely to travel to and gain a better understanding of which aircraft type fulfils your mission needs best?

• For those who already own a private jet, what happens if you need to travel at short notice and your jet is already in use? Or in similar fashion, have you considered a back-up plan for if your aircraft is a long-range jet and you have occasional need to reach a destination with a shorter runway than the aircraft can operate on? On such occasions, many charter operators offer a supplemental lift policy allowing you to charter another aircraft to take you to your destination. Similar policies and agreements can also be used when your aircraft is undergoing any maintenance, repairs or overhaul and is unavailable for flight.

The decision of whether one flies business-class or on a private jet is not led by the individual and their personal preference; it is led by the business deals that need to be made! People use business jets to be in the right place, at the right time to complete deals effectively and efficiently.

Business Aviation offers the opportunity to reach more remote locations, get to meetings more quickly, visit more than one destination in a day, and to use the time onboard and at the meeting more productively. A charter solution makes all those advantages even more accessible for even more companies!

Next time, we’ll consider the advantages of ad-hoc charter and charter cards…

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