A guide to group air charters

A guide to group air charters

When transporting larger groups or parties – whether for a sports event, music tour, business trip, or special event – relying on commercial flights is inconvenient and limiting.

Alternatively, a group air charter flight provides flexibility, convenience, and, in some cases, is a more cost-effective option.

Keep reading for a full rundown on the ins and outs of group air charter.

What is a group charter flight?

A group charter flight involves booking an aircraft for group travel, allowing you to move hundreds of people from one destination to another without having to deal with the inconveniences associated with flying with a commercial airline, such as long queueing times and limited seat availability.

With a chartered flight, you get a crew and an aircraft large enough to carry your group. Chartered flights allow you to travel on your own schedule in your own private aircraft. You’ll also have access to more airports worldwide, allowing you to select your own departure and arrival preferences.

Here are some of the situations in which chartering a private group flight is preferable to booking seats on a commercial flight:

  • Sports teams: Whether you need to fly your team for an overseas match or a pre-season tour, a group air charter flight allows you to easily transport your team and the necessary equipment.
  • Tour operators: If you’re a tour operator organising a specialist tour, a group air charter flight enables you to provide your customers with a bespoke and memorable travel experience.
  • Corporate events: Choosing a group charter flight allows you to transport hundreds of team members to a business event in accordance to a custom travel itinerary.
  • Repatriation flights: Group charter flights are often chosen by governments and embassies to repatriate citizens, as they afford flexibility and the opportunity to choose from an extensive fleet of aircrafts.

How much does it cost to charter a plane?

The exact amount depends on a variety of factors, including the type of aircraft required, positioning and repositioning fees, fuel uplift requirements, airport costs and surcharges – to name a few.

As a general guide: The average cost of chartering a private plane for group travel can range from £1,200 – £20,000+ per flight hour.

This range is significant, which is why it’s recommended to choose a broker, like Airmacs Aviation – to source the most cost-effective option for you.

What are the benefits of an air charter service?

There are several advantages associated with choosing a group charter flight over booking seats on a commercial flight:

  • A bespoke travel experience: An air charter enables the charterer (client) to enjoy a travel experience tailored to their specific requirements. For group travel, this means they can travel to their destination with ease and comfort. In some instances, it can be more cost-effective to charter a plane than to transport multiple people on a commercial flight.
  • More availability: Air charter also allows for travel when commercial flights between the required destinations are unavailable or fully booked.
  • Increased privacy: For high-profile individuals, an air charter service offers an increased level of privacy and discretion.
  • Non-stop flights: An additional benefit of a group air charter is that you can avoid long airport layovers during your journey. Although, this does depend on the range of the chosen aircraft, the availability of slip-crews and the overall budget.
  • Better baggage allowance: When travelling on a commercial flight, your group’s baggage allowance will be limited to the aircraft’s capacity. With a group charter flight, you can discuss your baggage requirements with the airline broker during the booking process, and they can secure the appropriate aircraft for your needs.
  • Luxury experience: Transporting a group of people on a group charter flight enables you to request specific luxury details, such as a private lounge experience before the flight, or a six-course in-flight meal.

How many seats are on a charter plane?

The number of seats on an aircraft charter depends on the type of plane you need. There are several aircraft specification types available for group air charter. Here are the options:

  • Turboprops: More substantial than piston engine aircraft, turboprops have a passenger capacity of 6-70.
  • Private jets: There are many different sizes of private jets available for private hire. Therefore, their capacity ranges from 6-19.
  • Narrow and Wide Body: The conventional passenger aircraft types can also be booked on a charter basis. As such, the highest seating capacity of a narrow-body aircraft is 295 passengers, while wide-body aircraft can accommodate between 250 and 600 passengers.

The type of plane you choose will not only depend on how many passengers you need to transport but also on any additional luggage or equipment you’ll need to take on board. Discussing your specific requirements with Airmacs Aviation will allow them to find an aircraft best suited to your needs.

Is it cheaper to charter a plane?

Whether or not it’s cheaper to charter a plane depends on what you’re comparing it to. If it’s in comparison to purchasing a private jet outright, it will always be cheaper to charter a plane, even if you fly frequently. Not only is it expensive to buy your own jet, but you must also take into account factors such as operating costs, unforeseen incidences, and the year-on-year depreciation of the jet’s value.

When comparing chartering a plane for group travel to travelling on a commercial ticket, flying private is likely to be more expensive. That being said, the increasing popularity of air charter means it is becoming more affordable. Additionally, a private charter allows for more luxury, flexibility, and speed. This means you’re able to cut down on journey times and utilise your time to the maximum. Particularly handy if flying your employees out for a conference, or a group of friends headed for the slopes.

How do you charter a private plane?

There are two ways to book a group charter flight: you can book directly with an operator or via a broker.

When booking a group charter flight with a broker, you can benefit from the long-term relationships they’ve built with various aircraft operators, meaning they will be able to negotiate a better deal. A broker will also have extensive knowledge of an operator’s capabilities, and the foresight to connect the aircraft prior or following commitments to match your specific route and dates, a cost saving that can then be passed back to the charterer.

A broker also has more flexibility and access to a larger database. Aircraft operators are limited to their own fleet, but brokers have the network to find an alternative option which might go unexplored if relying on domain searches, or public domain info alone.

Finally, booking a group air charter flight with a broker means they’ll be able to handle any specific requirements for you, such as flight briefs, catering preferences, and crew requirements.

For more information on group air charter solutions, please contact Airmacs Aviation. One of our aviation experts will be more than happy to discuss your specific requirements.

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