With all of the varying structures for private aviation these days (from outright ownership to fractional programs to jet cards, traditional charters and beyond) it can be difficult to understand exactly who is providing the service. There has also been a proliferation of specialized brokers selling retail charter, which has to be fulfilled by a certificated Aircraft Charter and Management (ACM) Part 135 operator. Accordingly, here are questions you should ask when booking private charter:
1—Who is the operator? Regardless of who is selling you charter, the operator must be disclosed. If this key piece of information is not readily disclosed, you should ask before moving forward in the booking process.
2—What are the operator’s top safety ratings? Most Part 135 operators in the U.S. are rated by a number of safety rating organizations. Some of these organizatiosn, such as Wyvern and Argus, are for profit companies. Others, such as the Air Charter Safety Foundation are non profit entities. These organizations provide audits on and review an operator’s procedures, documentation, etc. If you are not sure what constitutes a satisfactory rating, ask an experienced and qualified firm or consultant for help.
3—Is there an intermediary between the operator and the customer? Because of questions 1 & 2, this is important to know in order to evaluate specific aspects of the charter quote.
4—If there is an intermediary, what role do they perform? Some charter brokers provide specialized service for unique charter functions, such as long band tours or business “roadshows”. If this is the case, their experience can be helpful in identifying potential logistical issue areas associated with the prospective charter itinerary.
5—If there is an intermediary, how (and how much) are they paid? An informed buyer of charter will want to understand these points and how it impacts the pricing of their trip. A respectable intermediary should be willing to disclose their participation in a transparent manner.
There are a lot of important areas to understand with regard to private air travel. A savvy consumer will want to have the correct information to make a data-driven and informed decision.
About Global Aviation Infrastructure
Global Aviation Infrastructure is a leading aviation management company which provides Fixed Base Operation (FBO), Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Aircraft Charter and Management (ACM), and aviation infrastructure management for aviation asset owners, corporations, airports, private equity firms, family offices and financial institutions. For more information please visit www.aviationinfrastructure.com
For more information please contact:
Steven Levesque, Principal
+1 (843) 412-6881