Private jet operators, brokers keep the music playing during the British Airways strike

As a strike by its pilots caused BA to cancel nearly all its flights, private jet charter companies said they saw an uptick in inquiries and bookings

Air Charter Service moved a 100-person orchestra and their instruments, while Air Partner saved a leadership team from missing their own corporate retreat

With British Airways canceling nearly all of its flights during a two-day strike by its pilots which ended yesterday, several private jet charter brokers and operators say there was an increase in both inquiries and flights booked.

“We saw a massive uptick for requests, both direct and from brokers,” said Bernhard Fragner, CEO of GlobeAir AG, an Austrian based operator of four-seat Cessna Citation Mustang very light jets.

What is FAR Part 135?

When you charter a private jet, you’ve probably seen a reference to FAR Part 135. Here’s what you need to know

Understand why the price of private jet charters can vary so much

Part 135 (charter) operational requirements are considerably different than Part 91 (full ownership) with much more stringent regulatory safety requirements

There are over 2,000 Part 135 Charter Operators and four different categories impacting landing in low visibility as well as the ability to find replacement aircraft if there are mechanicals or pilots if one gets sick or runs out of duty time

When you book a private jet charter flight or are shopping for a jet card, you probably have seen at the bottom of various websites, wording that goes something like this: “Company X arranges flights on behalf of its cardholders and charter clients with FAR Part 135 air carriers that exercise full operational control of charter flights at all times. Flights will be operated by FAR Part 135 direct air carriers that have been certified to provide service for Company X clients that meet all FAA safety standards.”

Jet cards show their value during Hurricane Dorian

Jet cards show their benefits as the local supply of private jets ran low, and on-demand charter customers faced skyrocketing prices

A jet card with fixed one-way rates and guaranteed availability can protect you from surge pricing when there is limited supply or high-demand

With Hurricane Dorian baring down, the local supply of private jets ran low in Florida. In other words, the many private jets available for charter had already headed out with passengers and as you might expect, there weren’t many people who wanted to come back into the path of a major hurricane.

On-demand charter customers were faced with skyrocketing prices, not from gouging but the cost as aircraft had to be ferried in for their flights.

It shows how jet cards can be an important part of your private aviation solutions portfolio, often proven whenever there are natural disasters, be they fires, floods, winter storms, family emergencies that require short-notice booking, or in the case of Dorian, hurricanes.

Fractional activity posts strong first-half gains as Part 135 dips

Private jet flying by fractional fleet operators posted a 6.2% gain while on-demand charter and jet card flights dipped 2.2% as the market overall gained 0.3%

Flight activity for the first half of 2019 was up 0.3% compared to the same period in 2018, however, it was a varied report when it came to where the gains came from. Flight hours were up 0.7% during the same period.

private jet activity first half 2019
Private aviation flight activity was up 0.3% in the first half of 2019, according to Traqpak

Flying by fractional fleet operators was the star in the first half of 2019, according to an analysis of private aviation flying by Traqpak. Fractional activity reported the strongest mid-year gain, up 6.2% during the first six months of 2019. Part 91 flight activity was up 0.7%, while Part 135 flight activity, which represents on-demand charter and jet cards, was down 2.2% for the period.

Air Charter Service says UK private jet charters powered H1 sales gains

The company sells on-demand charter and jet cards

Jet card and on-demand broker Air Charter Service said that in the first half of its financial year the company saw an increase in private jet bookings from its UK office of 8%. This is compared to industry-wide WingX statistics showing that private jet flights into and out of the UK were down by 5.4% over the same six months.

In a press release, Andy Christie, Air Charter Service’s Global Director of Private Jets, said, “We had a very good first half of the year, considering the market is in decline, with more than 1,300 private jet charter flights arranged just from our London HQ over the six month period. The increase of 8% is even more impressive when you take into consideration WingX’s figures for the UK and when compared to the worldwide industry as a whole, which has grown by just 2%.”