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Become an aircraft charter expert

Air Partner - 06 Sep 2018

When you’re new to the world of chartering aircraft, the terminology used could feel overwhelming. But don’t fret! We’ve compiled a short and simple list to cut through the jargon. Plus our experts will gladly guide you through the booking process and are always here to help explain any aviation terms and answer any questions you may have.

Having organised Group Charter for over 50 years, we are experts in our field and can help with any requirements you may have. We know it's not as simple as getting your groups from A to B its creating an extraordinary travel experience throughout your whole journey. We are able to personalise your experience both at the airport and on board, including a private terminal/check in, bespoke catering, entertainment, branded headrest covers and personalised gifts on seats. The options are endless!

With charter, you can fly wherever you want; whenever you want in the plane you want and to your own schedule.


Charter Terminology:

Aircraft parking

When an aircraft is contracted on a layover basis, it needs to park in the destination airport for the duration of the event. The costs of this are quoted in the fully inclusive price. Most airports have sufficient parking space to park aircraft overnight. However if there is a major event at that destination, the airport may become congested and parking may prove problematic. Other airports may be too small and congested to accommodate aircraft parking. The aircraft would therefore have to reposition to a nearby less-congested airfield.


Your aircraft will always be offered subject to continued availability. This means that the aircraft is available at the time of the quotation, but the capacity or the airframe can be sold at any time after that. Some airlines know their availability a year or more in advance, others only 3 or less months ahead. That's why it is always advisable to book as far as possible ahead.

Crew Duty

By law pilots and cabin crew are only allowed to fly a certain amount of hours, in order to avoid fatigue. This may have an impact on the schedule of the charter, particularly on long haul or day return operations as this may have to be operated by two sets of crew in order to work within the legal minimum.


In certain conditions, aircraft need to be de-iced, i.e. the snow and ice that has built up on the aircraft during the time on the ground needs to be removed. Handling agents deploy de-icing machines and this cost is often excluded from a charter quote.

Double rotation/2 x One Way

The aircraft picks up passengers on the outbound day and flies to its destination. It then flies back to its base airport empty to undertake unrelated flights. On the return date the aircraft will fly empty to the destination, pick up passengers and delivers them to the point of origination, which may or may not be the aircraft's base airport.

Fuel stop

If the route distance is too long for an aircraft range, the aircraft can still perform the flight, but will need to undertake a fuel stop. This would involve a technical stop en-route to the destination in order to refuel. A fuel stop will take approximately 30 minutes – 1 hour, depending on aircraft type and amount of fuel uplifted.

Fuel Surcharge

In some instances the price of fuel might change from point of booking to the day you fly, particularly if booking a long time in advance to the actual flight date. Therefore, airlines reserve the right to charge a fuel surcharge on to the charter. This will always be backed up by fuel invoices for reference when this does occur.

Handling agent

These are ground representatives who work on behalf of the airline and are based within the airports. They take care of everything ground related; check-in, airside transfers, boarding of passengers as well as dispatching the aircraft at the ramp. We work closely with them to ensure smooth running of the whole operation.


An indication is a price estimate, based on previous costs with similar aircraft type on a similar route. These are useful for price calculations. You are likely to hear this terminology if you are requesting a quote a long time prior to the flight date or the final destination has not been confirmed. As the indication is only an estimate, it does not represent the actual aircraft availability and prices can sometimes vary from the final charter rate.


This aircraft has a jet engine that generally flies at altitudes of 30,000 to 45,000 feet (10,000 to 15,000 m), as it is most economical to operate at these altitudes. Jets are not economically efficient at low altitudes, which is why propeller powered airplanes are commonly used for very short routes. A jet may be preferable to a turboprop, even on regional routes as they are the quieter and faster and can flying above weather systems, thus providing a smoother flight.


The aircraft is scheduled to stay with the group at the destination. This is only possible if the aircraft is free and available for the duration of the trip. On most routes this will be the most economic way to charter as the actual flight
hours are minimised this way.


OAC = Off Airport Check in: Our clients are sometimes not aware that there is an option to have an off-site check in. Allowing you the flexibility to check- in outside of the airport, perhaps at a hotel or on a cruise ship.
Those travelling can be checked in and have their bags taken directly to the airport from offsite. This means that when you get to the airport, your group can proceed straight to security and on to the gate. Hotel check-in has to take place a few hours prior to arrival at the airport and usually incurs additional cost, depending on hotel fees, transfers and number of passengers. An OAC is very useful for events or incentives, especially for bigger group movements, to save time and ensure a seamless process on a tight program.


The load capacity of an aircraft including passengers, luggage ans any freight

Positioning/ Ferry flights

If there are no aircraft based at the departure airport, the aircraft will need to fly empty from its home base to your requested departure airport. This empty flight is called ferry flight or positioning flight.


There are 2 main slots that will apply to each charter:
Airport slot: dependent on the airport capacity e.g. runway, handling
ATC (Air Traffic control) slot: dependent on traffic in the air along your flight path and at destination airport.

Traffic rights

In the United States, what is known as "Freedoms of the air" explains a set of commercial aviation freedoms and rights granting a country's airlines the ability to enter and land in another country's airspace, and clarifies the type of international services permitted between two or more countries. The freedoms of the air are the basis of the international commercial aviation route network (For more information: refer to Wikipedia). In the territory of the European Union there is an open sky agreement in place. This means any EU aircraft can fly in the territory of any EU member state. If a non-EU aircraft is chartered to operate within the EU, the airline needs to obtain traffic rights. All airlines within countries of origination and destination have to provide non-objections. If these airlines have availability to operate the charter, they can object, even if their aircraft are more expensive than the non-EU aircraft.


Turboprops are a smaller type aircraft with a maximum of 78 seats. This aircraft has external propellers that are driven by a turbojet engine. They are designed for regional routes of up to 3 hours with varying speed. Some fly almost at jet speed, others are significantly slower. Turboprops have a lower range and speed compared to a jet aircraft. These are more economic and in contrary to some people's perceptions, there are very modern turboprops on the market


Do you need to fly a group of people to an event? Or do you need a charter aircraft for a music tour or to bring sport teams to their next match. We can provide you with charter aircraft of any size and for any reason, anywhere in the world.

We are happy to help with any questions you might have around the charter business and to offer you available aircraft charter.

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