How do we choose our private jets?

When you decide to hire a private jet for business or pleasure, you want to know that the aircraft you travel in is suitable, safe and that the operator is reliable. If you’re travelling with your family and friends or business colleagues you also want to know that they’re safe and the flight is legal.

There are hundreds of operators available to choose from and over 1,500 charter aircraft in Europe alone. So it can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to sourcing a private jet. This is where a good charter broker is extremely helpful.

Some of our charter enquiries come from first time private jet travellers and executive PA’s who we know have a job where they are under pressure in order to get the best price for their boss. We also get friends or concierge companies of professional footballers asking for either price matching or can we beat this price.

The price is either from a website which gives an estimate of the cost of the flight or they have used another charter broker. As they just look at the price it’s difficult to compare quotes as the aircraft quoted maybe older, may not be a direct flight, pet friendly or needs owners release if a last minute flight.

However this method that many of them use, asking three or four companies and then comparing on price alone, leads to a race to the bottom and eventually standards of charter flights.

This is not the best way to go about booking a flight. We do suggest you stick with one or two good ‘charter brokers’ who genuinely have your best interest at heart.

SALA

The highly-publicised fatal crash on 21 January of a Piper Malibu PA-46-310P carrying Premiership footballer Emiliano Sala has put the practice of illegal or “grey” chartering – where aircraft that have not been approved for paying passengers are used for air taxi services – under the spotlight.

Being a former professional footballer our Managing Director Adie Mike was saddened but certainly not surprised by this accident knowing how many footballers shop around for flights.

Unfortunately footballers these days are surrounded by a lot of people who claim to be able to help them find flights or know someone who has looked after them before either buying clothes or cars. They don’t do any due diligence and neither do the majority of the people who they trust to book flights.

These people or companies have no idea of how to charter aircraft, they just basically wing it and get the cheapest plane they can. There’s more to finding a suitable aircraft, as discussed earlier. The majority of flights we do go ahead with no fuss, but when something does go wrong then that’s when using a reputable charter broker comes in handy.

You may need to source another aircraft last minute, due to a mechanical issue, there maybe issues with the weather and the passenger has to go to another nearby airport or if the passenger cancels at last minute, then costs could be incurred. Having someone in the industry looking after your needs is invaluable in times when it goes wrong.

If a flight is performed illegally it could invalidate any otherwise applicable insurance coverage, including the passenger’s own life insurance.

Director Adie Mike,

I received an email from the PFA (Professional Football Association) which i am a member of, highlighting the danger of illegal charter.

This is a step in the right direction, but i feel this should have been done prior to the unfortunate death of Sala. Professional footballer’s travel on private jets on a regular basis and they and the people who book flights for them should know this and use reputable charter brokers. At least it’s now being recognised by football authorities.

The Civil Aviation Authority

Please note the following message and attachment from The Civil Aviation Authority which The FA have agreed to distribute on their behalf::

The Civil Aviation Authority (‘CAA’) wishes to raise awareness around the risks of illegal public transport using unlicensed aircraft for commercial purposes. The use of such aircraft is a risk to the safety of passengers carried.

The CAA has updated its guidance material and reminds the users of aircraft being charted commercially that the operator is required to hold an Air Operators Certificate, this means that they are properly regulated and operate to internationally recognised safety standards.

If an aircraft is operated on a commercial basis outside of these regulations then it is likely that the flight will be illegal and that any insurance could be invalidated.

If  anybody has any specific questions on this matter, then they are invited to make contact with the CAA who can give further advice if needed, either through the e-mail addresses in the attached or through the CAA’s website which can be found at:

https://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Information-requests/Make-an-enquiry/

https://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/About-us/Contact-us/

The FA are distributing this message on behalf of the CAA for information purposes only. All queries regarding this information should be directed to the CAA.


OTHER FACTORS

Unlike some charter brokers, we don’t base our choice of aircraft based on price alone just to get the client and the job. We want to provide top class service for each and every client that we work with. We don’t want to put our clients on any old plane.

We also take other factors into consideration, when searching for private jets on our professional marketplace, before sending clients a quote.

Embraer Phenom 300 at manchester airport

Factors include the type of aircraft, the age of the aircraft, the reliability and flexibility of the operator, their safety record, insurance, cancellation policy, flexible booking terms and whether the aircraft requires owners release.

These are the main factors that we look at when searching for aircraft on your behalf.

Being based a private jet terminal we have an advantage over many other brokers/travel agents/concierge companies, in that we get to see the actual aircraft, inside and out. We also get to meet and chat to the pilots who will be flying you and your family or friends. This to us is an extremely important part of our job.

For example we had a charter flight on a Embraer Praetor 600 from Manchester, we were here to meet the crew when it arrived the night before departure. We spoke to the pilots and told them about the clients, what time they will arrive etc. We asked about the security screening, catering, onboard amenities for our passengers and weather for the flight en route to New York.

It helps to ensure a smoother travel experience for the passengers, crew and operators when we work together like this.


SAFETY RATINGS

Make Sure They Are Legal and Safe.  When we search for aircraft on our professional charter marketplace platform, we check the safety ratings of each operator.

Some of the operators who may not have a Wyvern or ARGUS, doesn’t mean that they aren’t up to the standard as we have found that they are just as reliable and good as those with the extra safety certificates.

With WYVERN’s proprietary Safety Intelligence Report (SIR). These reports confirm their legal status as an operator with national authority, pilot experience, aircraft condition, enforcement actions, incidents, and accident history.

The ARGUS Ratings program is synonymous with safety in the aviation industry. Clients will be confident when they schedule a flight with a company that takes their safety as seriously as they do.

With ARGUS each operator is monitored to ensure their standards remain aligned with the ARGUS Ratings standards. Unsuspecting clients who tend to shop by price—as they would on any commercial airline—may buy into these charters without suspecting they’re illegal.

Earning an ARGUS Charter Operator Rating demonstrates the operators adherence to an internationally recognized standard. ARGUS Rating is well known worldwide as a standard of excellence.

It’s important you do your research and we will do that for you when searching and selecting aircraft for your charter flight, as standard.

You can’t put a price on your safety.


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Please note: Prices shown are estimated prices for charter of whole aircraft – alternative routes, aircraft and airports are also available upon request. This estimated price is subject to availability, slots, traffic rights and schedule.

 

 



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