The Structure of the wordwide Private Charter Market

You have found yourself in a situation where you are considering taking a private flight for a not far away business trip (after you have read the first post in the blog, You could not have considered not…..), you find yourself confronting a selection from  quite a considerable number of options, without knowing how to differentiate between them.

Firstly, it is important to know the structure of the private charter suppliers’ market.  Thus you can become orientated and understand more easily the proposals put before you.

The Private Charter suppliers’ market is divided generally into two –

  1. Air Taxi Operators authorized by the local aviation authorities to operate business jets directly, one or more.
  2. Charter broker companies that lease the aircraft from different charter operator companies in order to dispatch a flight the customer requested .

Let’s begin with the Charter Operators –

These companies are organizations that have received a license called Air Operator Certificate (AOC).  The license is given by the Civil Aviation Authority of that country in which the company operates and includes details of the aircraft authorized to be operated in the company.  The number of aircraft operated in a private aviation company can be one or two , but usually ranges around 3-5 aircraft and in a few cases, even more, up to a few dozens.

With the license there are also quite a few obligations involving standards for operating aircraft and the maintenance of them.  Requirements of the Civil Aviation authorities  also include the aircrews flying the company’s aircraft.  The pilots must undergo continuous training on the aircraft they fly, they must pass periodic flight reviews, should possess the minimum experience on the aircraft and also must maintain their proficiency on it, including passing theoretical tests on the aircraft systems during its normal operation and during emergency.

The aircraft operated by aviation companies, are not always owned by them.  Therefore, leasing the aircraft for private flights by customers of the company is not always the main aim of their operation.  There are large corpporations that are not aviation related companies that purchase a business jet for use by the owners of the company and its managers. In order to reduce the expenses of the aircraft, they allow an Air Taxi operator with an appropriate license, to operate the aircraft under its operation license.  When the company managers and employees  are not flying the aircraft, the aviation company can charter the aircraft to occasional customers and pass to the owners of the aircraft part of the income received, according to the agreement between them.

Furthermore, a number of large companies purchasing the above aircraft set themselves up as air taxi operators in-house so that they can lease the aircraft to outside customers legally, when the aircraft is not being used by the mother company managers.

Obviously there are many business jets that are owned by charter operators that are operated by them, and their sole aim for maintaining them is to sell as many hours as possible  paid for by private flights of the company customers.

Charter Broker Companies

These companies, and LynxJet-Private Flights among them, select the most appropriate aircraft for performing the flights that their customers request and lease them from approved Air Taxi opertaors for the flight to be carried out.  The process is completely transparent from the point of view of the customer since all his coordination relating to the private flight and its accompanying services are made with the flight consultant in the charter broker company, and the customer does not have to concern himself with working with another organization.  These companies have many connections in the private aviation market and they can lease for carrying out the requested flight one of tens or hundreds of aircraft at the disposal of the charter operators with whom they are in contact.

There are quite a few cases where charter operators decide not to deal at all in the marketing of flights with their aircraft and do not allow direct contact between them and the final customer.  In these cases, the companies leave the sales of flights in the hands of only one charter broker company, or more and those are the ones working with the customer.   Today, there are no legal standards over which charter broker companies must operate, which also leaves the market wide open for non-professional organizations.  However, many companies choose to belong to a professional association (such EBAA, European Business Aviation Association, or the NBAA, American Business Aviation Association, and more) and take upon themselves the standards of those organizations.

After you have studied the market, you are ready to move forward.  In the next post, I will go over the correct way to select, in my opinion, the private flight supplier for your next flight.

About Author

Zur Banner

Business Jets captain and flight instructor, Air traffic control officer (Res,). Holds an LLB and BA degrees from Tel-Aviv University. LynxJet Private Flights CEO.