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August 2018 - Vol 4, No 22 - Questions for your Charter Operator
QUESTIONS TO ASK…
Some recent research we did showed nearly 75% of you expect to charter a private aircraft, either on-demand or via a jet card - the balance saying you are already set with your own airplane or a fractional share of one.
Either way, if you are engaging in ad hoc charter, there are some 2,000 separate operators who offer private charter flights in the U.S. alone, and there are differences. In this issue we look at the questions you or your broker should ask before each on-demand charter flight.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. Private Aviation Headlines
1. Questions To Ask Your Charter Operator
2. Executive Security Reports
3. Jet Card Insider Reports
4. Best Of DG Amazing Experiences Library
A. PRIVATE AVIATION HEADLINES
1. QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU BUY
There are over 2,000 charter operators in the U.S. you or your broker can use to source private jets and turboprops for your flight. While jet card programs provide minimum sourcing standards for operators and the pilots - something we compare for subscribers at Private Jet Card Comparisons - if you are flying via on-demand charter, you and your broker will need to screen each of the options for each trip. There are 7,500 + aircraft in the U.S. that are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration under Part 135 to operate revenue charter flights, with each operator having varying standards and procedures. From the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), below are questions they recommend that you or your broker should review for each trip:
BACKGROUND and EXPERIENCE
- Who is the FAA-certificated charter operator that will conduct our charter flights? What experience does the operator have? How long has the operator been in business as an air charter operator?
- What type of aircraft is on the charter certificate? What years were the aircraft manufactured? What, if any, major refurbishments (interior, flight equipment, paint, etc.) were completed on the aircraft, and when?
- How many aircraft and crew does the charter operator have? Has the FAA ever taken enforcement action against the operator or one of its flight crew members?
- What experience does the crew have? How many flight hours total time? How many hours in make/model of each aircraft?
- If special operations (for example, mountain airports, extended over water) will be conducted, what experience (initial and recurrent) does the crew have with these operations?
SAFETY and SECURITY
- What is the operator’s safety record? Has the charter operator had any aircraft accidents or incidents? If so, what measures has the operator implemented to ensure increased safety?
- Has the charter operator been audited by an independent third-party organization? What were the audit findings, and how does the charter operator compare to other charter companies? There are three third-party resources that you will typically see reference, ARGUS, and IS-BAO, which both have three levels and Wyvern Wingman.
- What do you and your guests need to do to comply with the operator’s security programs?
- How often is training provided to the crew and what is covered in the training? For example, does the charter operator provide training above and beyond the minimum training requirements established by the FAA?
- Where is the training conducted? Is the initial and recurrent training provided in a simulator or the aircraft?
- What is the charter operator’s policy on crew flight time and duty limits? If a possible customer trip goes beyond the crew flight/duty times, how would the charter operator conduct the mission and maintain their policies?
- Will there be a flight attendant on board the flight? Is the flight attendant assigned to your flight trained for the specific make/model of aircraft you are flying on?
- Is the aircraft equipped with a defibrillator and are the crew trained in its use? Does the aircraft have a subscription to an in-flight medical assistance program in case of medical emergency?
- Who maintains the aircraft? If it is not maintained by a factory service center, how often are the maintenance technicians sent for training specific to that make/model aircraft?
- How does the operator handle maintenance situations that might arise during a trip you have booked?
- If you are planning an international flight, what experience does the operator have flying to and within the countries you wish to visit?
- What specific safety and security measures does the operator implement when conducting operations in that region?
- Will the charter operator assist with immigration and customs logistics, such as visas and customs forms?
- Do the pilots, flight attendants and other employees receive customer service training? How are they and how are they measured?
- What is the operator’s customer satisfaction rating? What documentation does the operator have to support that?
- How soon prior to the scheduled flight will the aircraft be at the airport, ready for departure? I’ve found with jet card companies, they sometimes have agreements that the aircraft are there at least an hour before. Some jet card companies require the operators they use to position the aircraft at your airport the night before for early morning departures or if there are weather issues expected.
- To whom should you complain regarding flight irregularities, safety, or customer service letdowns? Is there someone available 24/7 in case you have any of these concerns?
- What company issues the aviation insurance policy? What are the charter operator’s insurance coverage and limits?
- Will the charter operator name you as an additional insured person?
- Will the charter operator provide you with a waiver of subrogation and a certificate of insurance confirming the coverage and aircraft that will be used for the flight?
- How will the charter company accommodate you if there is a problem and the aircraft becomes unavailable after you booked and paid for the trip? Will the operator find another charter operator to conduct the flight?
- If a problem is encountered and a substitute charter operator is to be used, who is that operator and what are the substitute’s answers to these pre-screening questions
2. EXECUTIVE SECURITY REPORTS
3. JET CARD INSIDER PROGRAM REVIEWS
4. OUR MOST POPULAR SPECIAL REPORTS
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