To help you get the very best from your jet charter you may want to check through some of this information.
We will always make you aware of anything of particular significance to your flight.
If you have any questions about anything not covered here please don't hesitate to call or email us, we are here to help.
Charter or Scheduled?
Broker or Operator?
Do I control the schedule?
Are small Aeroplanes Safe?
Do I go through Normal Security?
What about ownership, fractional ownership or jetcards?
Charter or Scheduled?
When you hire an aircraft you hire the whole aircraft, every seat and every inch of baggage space, all yours to use at no extra cost. With enough people in the group a private charter will often work out cheaper than a business or first class ticket for everyone individually.
And of course, charter of your own aircraft brings a range of advantages. You have your own schedule, privacy to relax or conduct business, more streamlined and civilised security arrangements, bespoke catering, personal attention from start to finish and careful co-ordination of transport at the beginning and end of your charter.
Broker or Operator?
Aviastra is a broker. Our staff have worked in both capacities and we are confident that for you, the client, working with a broker is the best choice. There is no reason why you should pay more for all the advantages a broker will offer (See Price Guide), sometimes you will even pay less. The advantages include:
Most of the information you need is in our Aircraft Guide including sizes, capacities, facilities, some technical data and examples of flight times. Alternatively, let your Flight Manager make the selection for you based on their experience of literally hundreds of types. Sometimes there is just a personal preference, often we can even ensure that you have the same flight crew and cabin attendants as on a previous charter if you so wish.
Points to consider are the size of your party, the length of journey and the amount of luggage. For long journeys smaller aircraft are not necessarily cheaper. Selecting the most appropriate aircraft is all part of Aviastra's service to you.
Do I control the schedule?
Essentially, yes! In fact this is one of the great advantages of private aircraft charter. Short notice changes, meeting over-runs or finishing early can all be easily accommodated. Charter aircraft wait on you, not the other way around.
For your safety professional air crew work to a rigid set of rules regarding duty times. If ever such restrictions look like they may have a bearing on your flight we will let you know and quickly present alternatives to your itinerary.
Usually the closest airports to your initial point of departure and your ultimate destination. Although larger jets can have runway length restrictions many do not and so you have the choice of many more airports than on a scheduled flight limited to major and international airports. Smaller airports are quicker and closer, often your road transport can go straight to the aircraft side.
Very small airports can present restrictions on all weather capability, night time operations and opening hours. Your "Airport Guide" on this website has plenty of information but it is there for your interest as much as anything. Please do not feel that these decisions are solely down to you - Aviastra's service includes making all these arrangements work perfectly for you.
Are smaller aeroplanes safe?
Yes - just as safe as larger aircraft. Because we only ever use fully licensed, accredited and audited operators your crew and aircraft will have followed exactly the same procedures of training, checking, licensing, engineering and planning as large airlines. Aircraft of whatever size operate to the same standards and procedures.
See Your Safety for further information.
Do I go through the same security?
In principle yes - but you'd never notice. You will seldom find yourself in long queues in public waiting for an inhospitable security gate. Much of the formalities are done on your behalf, by us, behind the scenes and when security checks are required they are quick, courteous and private. See the sections Security and Passports & Visas for further details and the travel information you will need to provide.
What about ownership/jetcards/fractional ownership?
Owning an aircraft, wholly or fractionally, has some very significant fixed cost not to mention the loss of capital to purchase an aircraft. The smallest light jet starts at $3m to purchase and thereafter the sky really is the limit! Insurance, crew, parking, fuel surcharges, management and maintenance can all be charged out but such services are expensive. Sharing these costs with fractional ownership unfortunately means that availability is also shared. Bear in mind that different flights require different aircraft - the range, type of airport and number of passengers all has a bearing on efficiency and suitability.
If flying 500 or more hours a year then ownership is worth considering but for most it is an unnecessary cost and commitment.
Jet cards do offer a discount saving but they require pre-payment, often starting at $100,000. You also find yourself committed to one broker, we believe that we should earn and have to continue earning your business.
On Aviastra's behalf you will only ever be looked after by organisations which have satisfied the requirements of our auditing process. There are two main areas we check:
The aircraft operator - All the aircraft operating companies will hold an Air Operator's Certificate or the equivalent as issued by their appropriate National Authorities. This certification is exactly the same as that held by national airlines and ensures that operators are regularly checked to ensure the highest standards of safety in flying, maintenance and passenger care. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA - UK), The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA - US), and all other National Authorities have websites where you can see who holds this certification. There are links to some of these sites here:
Handling Agents - From the moment you arrive at an airport you will be personally looked after a representative from a passenger handling organisation. They will ensure your safety and comfort at all times.
Security is important but it doesn't need to be made difficult or intrusive. The security requirements of your charter flight will depend the size of the aircraft you fly in, the number of passengers, the country and whether or not you have or will cross international boundaries.
Your security arrangements are made separately to regular schedule passengers, in fact you will normally pass through a completely separate and private facility. Whatever the level of security checks required you will always be looked after quickly, courteously and discreetly.
The need for carrying passports and holding the correct visa is unaffected by your status as a private charter flight passenger. Your requirements will depend upon your own nationality and the countries into which and through which you will fly.
Regulations can change from time to time. See our News section for updates.
For international travel we will ask you for the following information:
- Full Name
- Date and Place of Birth
- Home Address
- Passport Number
Private aircraft charter is the preferred form of transport for many celebrities, sports people, government dignitaries, and VIPs. Discretion and privacy is an assumed requirement for all our flights. If additional security is required then Aviastra will make necessary arrangements. Often we work in concert with pre-existing security teams.
Aviastra handles all information relating to you with the strictest confidence. We operate standards required by the Data Protection Act 1988.
We will only ask you for information required to plan and conduct your flight and only retain it for your future flights if you have given us permission to do so.
Our Data Protection Act Registration Number is Z1841377, go to http://www.ico.gov.uk/ESDWebPages/search.asp and enter our registration number.
Generally there is no problem carrying pets on a charter flight within Europe and North America without quarantine but there are some requirements that need to be fulfilled. Each country operates to different criteria but overall the following is required:
A pet passport
Microchip pet identification
Rabies vaccination and evidence of efficacy
Worm and tick treatment
There are only certain airports that permit the transit of pets.
Regulations can change from time to time and are slightly different for different countries. We recommend calling us to ask for the latest information or for regulations for a country outside Europe and North America.
UK Regulations - http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm
US Regulations - http://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_pets/
European Regulations - http://europa.eu/abc/travel/pets/index_en.htm
It is quite normal to carry sporting weapons on charter flights and of course for a shooting trip it is a necessity (as is carrying your dog, see above!). Many airlines now refuse to carry sporting guns although there is no legal requirement for them to do this.
To carry your weapon on board a private charter flight the following is required:
Weapons and ammunition must be packed separately in secure, solid and lockable containers and will be stored separately in flight. Both may not be accessible during flight.
The weapon must be licensed to the passenger carrying it.
A maximum of 5kg of ammunition per passenger is allowed.
We must be advised before travel of the intention to carry weapons and ammunition.
Privately hired jets are far more comfortable than scheduled aircraft but nevertheless some awareness of the effects and health issues of flying is recommended.
Aviastra Flight Charter has a team headed by medical professionals who arrange Air Ambulance flights for those suffering illness or injury while away from home. They will be happy to offer general advice regarding passenger charter flights. Your own doctor should be consulted if you are in any doubt and the specific requirements of the operating company will also be important. Call us if you have any questions.
Aircraft are usually pressurised to the equivalent of being eight thousand feet above sea level. This can make the air a little dry. Fortunately the cabin service on private jet charters includes plenty of refreshment. High performance aircraft make most flights fairly short while intercontinental flights will utilise aircraft with bathroom facilities as luxurious as any hotel.
Compounded by de-hydration the main cause of this condition is prolonged periods of immobility, mainly seated. It is not something to worry about particularly when you have your own aircraft; there is plenty of space and comfort to move around the cabin or stretch out and relax as you prefer.
Flying while Unwell
A sensible line must be drawn - any condition likely to cause sudden collapse or severe illness should make you question whether you should be flying. That said, the comfort and space of charter aircraft makes minor illness much easier to tolerate.
Fear of Flying and Air Sickness
Both of these conditions are made worse by anxiety and not knowing what is happening. Private jet flights involve a much greater level of care and service to passengers and far better communication between you and the crew of the aircraft. Your crew will always be happy to talk to you about the circumstances of the flight and do whatever they can to make you feel more at ease.
Flying while Pregnant
It is generally best to follow the guidelines used by most airlines. Generally it is not a good idea to fly beyond the week 34 of a pregnancy or in any other circumstance where labour could be expected to start within 36 hrs. Of course the comfort and space of a private jet cabin makes the sometimes relative discomfort of later pregnancy much more tolerable.
Once again, the wise choice to charter your own aeroplane pays off; we will advise you of the appropriate choice of aircraft to carry with you most kinds of sports equipment. The majority of private jets and larger air taxi aircraft were designed very much with golf clubs and skis in mind anyway!
Aviastra Flight Charter is not a travel agent or tour operator and as such we do not sell or make available travel insurance. Naturally your journey is supported by our Terms and Conditions applying to situations where the flight cannot take place.
You will want to know how much you can carry and if there is anything you are not permitted to carry.
Luggage allowances with private jet hire are very generous; charter aircraft are designed with luggage in mind. It is quite normal for passengers to have several suitcases each and plenty of hand luggage. If you think you would like to carry more just let us know and arrangements will be made for this to be accommodated on the aircraft.
The normal rules on restricted items in bags and hand luggage still apply to private charter flights although a common sense attitude is applied.
In general you may not carry the following:
Compressed, disabling or flammable gasses - e.g. camping stoves, culinary blow torches, mace, CS gas, pepper spray. (Hair curlers are permitted)
Any form of explosive or pyrotechnic device, separately or built into any item.
Poisons - including mercury or mercury filled devices.
Corrosives, Acids & Solvents.
If using the entire capacity of the aircraft, children under the age of two on the date of travel do not require a separate seat. Baby carriages fit well into charter aircraft seats and are secured with the normal seatbelt.
We recommend that you make full use of the space of the aircraft and feel free to bring toys, games and all the other supplies little people require!
Charter aircraft pressurise and de-pressurise in the same way that larger aircraft do. Some children find the sensations this produces in the ear troubling. Usually sucking a sweet solves the problem. If your child is particularly sensitive to pressure changes just inform the pilot and the descent profile can usually be adjusted to make changes much more gradual.
Disabled passengers will be accommodated at all stages of your journey with the minimum of fuss. The ground handling agent looking after you will make all necessary arrangements for vehicle transport to the aircraft if required.
Some very small aircraft will struggle to accommodate a wheelchair. Please advise us of any requirements or questions you may have.
Aviastra Flight Charter Ltd, Registered in England & Wales 6887340, VAT Reg GB 972 6118 08, T: +44(0)1202 375444, F: +44(0)1202 375411, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
A: Basepoint Centre, Aviation Business Park, Bournemouth International Airport, BH23 6NX, United Kingdom. ATOL Exempt See also Aviastra Air Ambulance