A Solution to Your Charter Woes: Fractional Ownership Meets On-Demand Needs

Fractional Aircraft Ownership

The aviation industry has been busier than ever with a record number of travelers eager to get away following the onset of the pandemic. While travel initially stalled in 2020, the rebound has since stressed the industry in several ways, including lack of capacity, leaving private flyers wondering, “Will there be an aircraft available?” Charter flights, which have traditionally been the popular choice for those who fly less than 25 hours a year, have been particularly difficult to come by with the increase in travel. This has caused private flyers to scrutinize the few charter options available while also considering other options.

Where have the charter flights gone?  

Many aircraft available to charter are managed aircraft, which the owners traditionally open to charter when they’re not using it themselves. Post-pandemic, those aircraft owners are now flying more, leaving fewer private jets and other aircraft open for charter. Additionally, with more people flying, there are fewer idle aircraft to meet the demand. Private flights in the U.S. for February saw a 43% increase over the same timeframe in 2021 and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing. With jet card sales having been paused or slowed through the pandemic, many travelers turned to charter for their flight needs.

The cons of charter

Even before this increase in demand, charter flyers needed to be cautious when selecting an operator. Reliability, safety, and costs should always be carefully vetted. Some charter flyers have found themselves stranded without a flight because there was a maintenance issue or the pilots weren’t available. There isn’t always a guarantee that your charter flight will be fulfilled if something goes wrong.

Charter flyers are often in the dark about the age and maintenance records of the aircraft, as well as the qualifications of the pilots. Some flyers are disappointed with the condition of the aircraft that arrives for their flight – sometimes decades old and not well kept. And while the FAA is cracking down on illegal charters, it’s still possible to fall victim to an unscrupulous operator. Checking ARGUS ratings and flying with well known, reputable operators known for their aircraft maintenance and pilot training is key.

Despite all your research, your charter flight may end up costing more than you ever expected. Even the most reputable charter operators have been known to hike prices during peak demand. Be aware of the potential for inflated prices and surprise fees before you finalize the arrangements.

Fractional offers a solution

One of the best features of charter flights is the on-demand capability. Fractional aircraft ownership in the PlaneSense® program allows private flyers that same benefit, with the added advantage of exceptional reliability, safety, and pricing. PlaneSense® share owners fly on their own schedule, with guaranteed availability that allows them to fly when and where they need. While charter aircraft may often be 25-30 years old, the average age of the large, continually growing PlaneSense® fleet is currently at 5.2 years. This means pilots have the latest technology and state-of-the art systems to allow for safe operation. Pilots go through a rigorous training program so clients know the pilots of their private jet are among the best in their field. The PlaneSense® fleet is also meticulously maintained by its dedicated maintenance operation, which has long been recognized for excellence.

Finally, there are no surprises when it comes to pricing in the PlaneSense® fractional program. Flyers know all their costs up front, and they don’t fluctuate based on demand.

It’s up to the consumer to be wary of going with a company that doesn’t have the appropriate licensing.

Ask the important questions before you fly

When considering charter or any operator for your flying needs, it’s imperative to ask yourself and the operator the following:

  1. Who are the pilots?
  2. How old is the aircraft?
  3. How often is the aircraft being maintained? Further, who is conducting this maintenance? What is their training?
  4. What are flight restrictions and costs associated with peak flying times?
  5. What should I expect on the day of a scheduled flight? Are there variables that might change the course of the flight?
  6. What are the guarantees I can expect?

For more information about how the PlaneSense® fractional program can support your flying needs with world class service and reliability, contact us today at 866-214-1212 or sales@planesense.com.

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