It was once only A-list celebrities and government officials that organised Private Jet Hire for travel to meetings or an all important film festival. However this type of aviation has become increasingly popular and with such benefits as a 20 minute check in, a considerable baggage allowance and flight time to suit it’s easy to see why.
As soon as prospective passengers learn that hiring a private jet can be a cost effective way to travel, the next question is usually “Is it safe?” Quite often air charter brokers or agents spend time explaining that small jets are just as safe as large airline carriers and that all aircraft undergo exactly the same stringent tests regardless of their size. Working aboard a Business Jet Charter flight is regarded as a career rung above the major airlines; therefore the crew are usually very experienced and have many hours on their licenses.
Another safety measure that passengers often opt for is to book their journey through an air charter broker. Brokers keep ahead of the latest airline news and operator blacklists. Essentially they are the eyes and ears of their customers ensuring that all maintenance documents are checked prior to each and every flight.
Once the safety fears are put to rest, many business travellers can get very excited about the potential for, well, doing business. High flyers often despair of time lost in the air which they could be having confidential conversations with associates. Even when opting for business class on an airline, the check in and baggage pick up waiting time can have even the calmest CEO stamping on the floor. Most airports have a separate terminal for passengers travelling on private jets (called Fixed Base Operators or FBO’s in the USA) where customers check in and adhere to the safety procedures. Passengers only need to check in twenty minutes before departure and arrival formalities may only take between five and ten minutes. When time really is money, this is a massive saving on the usual airline procedures.
Choosing an aircraft can be a daunting task due to the amount of operators in the market today. There are various types of Aircraft Charter jets available for both short and long haul journeys and passengers can now travel as far as Singapore (13 hours) on a private jet. Accepting a fuel stop on a long haul journey can keep the price down but it is best to gain advice from an aircraft broker on the practicalities of this.
It is important to look at the position of the aircraft and how far they are situated from the start or finish points of the flight. This is a critical cost factor as the operator may charge a premium for the time taken to return the aircraft to its origin. Other factors to consider are: baggage allowance especially for skis and golf clubs; restroom facilities; catering requirements and the sleeping capacity available for long haul flights.
Often air travel can be stressful and time consuming which is why many people are now choosing to hire private jets. Even if money is not a concern, hiring rather than buying is still the most acceptable means of executive air travel as there are no large upfront costs and fast depreciation rate.
However passengers should consult an air or Cargo Charter broker. This will mean translation of industry jargon and will ensure that they get the flight at a good price. Brokers will have a discount system of between 5% to 20% and access to the latest deals and the occasional “empty leg” flights where the customer only pays for a one way ticket. Most importantly they will have experience of different operators and will ask the right questions about all the service and operational standards of every flight that they recommend. So with the ease of a broker on side twinned with the other benefits it is easy to see why this way of travel is no longer solely for the super-rich and famous.