Everyone who flies privately has known that the charter market has experienced unprecedented growth over the past 2 years, and many have experienced the challenges of that growth first hand. The biggest issue that is plaguing travelers at the moment is aircraft availability – there are not enough planes to serve everyone who wants to fly!
Holidays are the most impacted times, as families hope to jet away on a vacation away from work and school. December 26th and January 2nd are notoriously the busiest days of the year in aviation. So what can you do to ensure that you have the best chance of securing an aircraft for your upcoming trip? Air Planning recommends the following:
1. Lead Time: Air Planning recommends reaching out 4-6 weeks in advance in order to have best options of aircraft in your area. Air Planning is able to secure last minute private jets, even same-day charters, however booking your trip 4-6 weeks in advance can allow you to have the best selection of aircraft in your area. If you are looking at a last minute private jet, check out our tips for securing, or learn more about Empty Legs.
2. Planning further ahead for the holidays: For flights that occur in December for Holiday travel, we recommend booking your trip 8-10 weeks in advance. This is the busiest time of the year, and the earlier the better!
3. For those trips that you are planning several months in advance (6-12 months) - while it is possible to secure an aircraft, several carriers are reluctant to quote that far out, and you are likely going to pay a little more. If the trip dates are set and you would like a particular type of aircraft secured, this may make sense for your group. We will often offer a qualified estimate for planning purposes, and then cover the market for hard quotes when appropriate.
4. Ask about the operators history: Air Planning has been in business for over 20+ years, and therefore has a trusted network that they use to perform flights for their clients. Air Planning will only use ARGUS and/or Wyvern rated operators who we have thoroughly vetted to ensure our client’s fly with the best. When leveraging Air Planning’s experience, you know you are working with the best in the business. Learn more about Air Planning's standards for private jet safety.
5. Back Up Plan: This is where Air Planning will step in! In the event of a mechanical issue that prevents your aircraft from performing your flight, your account executive at Air Planning will step in to source your replacement. Air Planning will also be able to assist with other planning recommendations if needed in certain scenarios.
6. Larger Group = more time: The time frames referenced above will be sufficient for any executive jet charter, however for groups of 30 or more, we recommend planning much further in advance, as there are even fewer narrow body and wide body aircraft for charter than there are executive jets. We recommend 6-9 months of planning for any large group charter of 30 or more passengers.
Followings these time lines and using these tips can help you book a stress free vacation on your own private aircraft. Once you have your destination in mind, please give us a call – we welcome the opportunity to fly you!