Things to Consider Before Hiring a Private Air Charter Service

According to estimates, there are over 2,600 air charter operators in the United States alone. Add this to the thousands that operate in other places around the world and you’ll surely be amazed at how this business, despite of the prices involved, can actually attract patrons.

 

Air charter, the business of renting out an entire aircraft instead of selling individual seats to passengers, is really taking off and doing well as a business. Many businesses and private individuals have seen the beneficial aspects of air charter. Whether the trips are intended for business or pleasure, lots of people and entities do favor on-demand private air travel and they have good reasons for it. But as a charterer, you should determine the competence and capability of an air charter operator before making a deal with them. To ensure that you are dealing with a reliable, safe and secure operator, here are the aspects you should check in a prospect company:

 

1. Background and Experience

 

When checking this aspect, you must confirm

 

  • that the operator is duly certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the body that regulates all forms of civil aviation

 

  • that the company has been in the aviation and air charter business for years

 

  • the types and models of aircraft specified in the charter certificate

 

  • any major refurbishment on the aircraft to be used in the charter

 

  • the number of aircraft and crew of the company

 

  • any sanction or enforcement action made by the FAA against the operator or any of its crew members

 

  • the experience and competence of the crew

 

2. Capability to Ensure Safety and Security

 

  • check the company’s safety record and take note of any accidents or incidents recorded

 

  • take note of the steps or measures taken by the operator to ensure safety

 

  • check if the company has gone through a third-party-audit and take note of the findings and measures taken to correct them

 

  • ask for procedures the passengers must go through to comply with the company’s security program

 

  • verify if the crew are provided training in compliance to FAA rules and how often these are conducted

 

3. Aircraft Maintenance Program

 

  • check which maintenance program the company is using for its aircraft (CAMP, AAIP or factory)

 

  • ask how the operator handles maintenance situations especially if it happens during a trip

 

4. International Operations

 

If your charter involves an international flight, you should check

 

  • whether the operator has flying experience to or from the country you want to go

 

  • the measures that the company applies to ensure safety/security

 

  • whether their services include assisting clients with immigration and customs

 

5. Customer Service

 

  • ask the company about its service standards

 

  • check whether the pilots, flight attendants and ground crew are trained in customer service

 

  • inquire about the company’s rating as far as customer satisfaction is concerned, and ask if it has supporting documents to prove it

 

  • ask how many hours their aircraft should be at the airport prior to departure time

 

  • ask which department will take care of complaints in case irregularities happen during the course of the air charter

 

6. Aviation Insurance

 

  • check the existence of the operator’s current aviation insurance policy

 

  • check if the operator’s insurance covers you in its policy

 

  • check if the operator’s insurer can issue a waiver of subrogation as well as a certificate of insurance for the chartered aircraft

 

7. Problem Resolution

 

  • Ask for procedures you or the company will undertake should problems arise during the course of the charter

 

  • Ask for the name of the substitute charter operator should problems that necessitate the service of another operator arise.

 

Many people might be thinking that because of the costs involved, air charter is a lonely business.  That is not really the case because it is actually booming. The presence of thousands of air charter operators is proof that the business is alive and sailing smoothly. A majority of companies do advertising in order to attract customers. Some are even implementing inbound marketing for aviation to make their presence felt online.

 

photo credit: Aero Icarus (flickr.com)


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