Four Great Online Air Charter Resources
This is a post by guest author Pat Lambrix of Soluna Air Charter. Pat was asked to contribute to our business aviation blog because of her experience and expertise in chartering aircraft. Any thoughts expressed below are entirely Pat’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.
There have been recent innovations in air charter and aircraft search technology that aid travel planning for brokers and consumers alike. However, finding the right fit for your aircraft needs and flight combinations can still be confusing when the available web search platforms are increasingly numerous and competitive among one another with the services offered. We once relied exclusively on the Air Charter Guide for reference and the personal relationships with operators. Establishing relationships with operators builds trust in their safety ratings, customer service and professionalism, which is still a way of business today. However, the latest web tools can give your flight business access to more information and decision-making tools than your personal network of relationships can alone.
Here are four web tools that can help with everything from search, safety check and rating, and even crew total time:
FlightPartner is a centralized reservation system for the air charter marketplace and air charter auctions on a cloud-based platform. FlightPartner offers a fully automated quote-to-booking workflow. Their business-to-business scheduling system utilizes innovative technologies to provide real-time scheduling between air charter brokers and air charter operators. Within sixty seconds, a trip can be quoted, requested and confirmed; eliminating the need for traditional time-consuming methods of trip requests. Additionally, there is a full-feature air charter bid system that provides an opportunity for negotiating aircraft charter fees. A 60-day trial period is currently available. The program also provides:
- Single point of presence for industry professionals
- Streamlined, fully automated platform with a full trip alert system
- Substantial cost savings over current options
- Small booking fee on charter sales, allowing for low subscription rates
- Personal travel console for each broker client
- Integration with flight scheduling software
Charter Pad offers many all-inclusive charter aircraft search selections. Charter Pad features ARGUS Ratings and a link to run "TripCheqs."
The TripCheq feature provides charter operators, customers and brokers with a comprehensive analysis of a company’s credentials specific to a trip. This includes pilot certifications, type ratings, accidents, incidents, violations, operator certificates and operational control of the aircraft. The TripCheq feature is available only to current ARGUS members.
Charter Pad is free through the year 2013 and includes:
- "Auto Pilot" alerts based on your flight searches to Charter Pad and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Airmail. After sending a Request for Quote (RFQ) to the operator, Charter Pad will automatically find posts/flights that match the alert in real-time and send you those posts to your email or phone via text.
- "RFQs" is a feature whereby which you can post, archive and view which RFQs have been sent out. You can delete or edit the RFQs and resend them to operators as needed.
- "Airport Tracker" is an ability to track airport traffic live without having to leave the Charter Pad site.
Avinode is currently the world’s largest program for air charter, the world’s leading safety auditing and data management provider and an all-in-one online charter sales and operations management software. Avinode claims to have over 3,000 aircraft and over 150,000 flights requested every month. The program is impressive, yet has the largest fee for program use, making it very difficult for the independent air charter broker or small operator to utilize.
Jet Partners is growing in popularity for one-way and round-trip aircraft search for the end user. The program is user-friendly and efficient, because users can take advantage of the benefits of the Avinode fast-track system without paying the hefty user fee. Jet Partners is designed in a search matrix similar to what you might find at consumer-oriented travel sites. The program does not have all the bells and whistles that FlightPartners has; however, it is quick and has a very comprehensive database for international aircraft search.The website is also free to use.
Charter brokers are able to provide a more comprehensive service with the increase of online tools coming to market. However, the above isn’t an exhaustive list, so please share other sites that you feel would be a great addition to this list.
If you have any questions about this article or need assistance finding a charter broker for an upcoming trip, contact me at email@example.com.