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for time-critical shipments

What are time-critical shipments? 

Time-critical shipments are those that must arrive as soon as possible in order to minimize cost of disruption of supply chains and production lines or to meet any other urgent delivery deadline. Urgent cargo can range from confidential documents, pharmaceuticals, fashion items, aerospace parts to automotive spare parts or heavy and oversized time-critical freight such as aircraft engines, relief goods or medical equipment.

What are the time-critical transport modes Air Partner offers?

  • Onboard courier (OBC): This transport mode is also known as hand carry. It’s the fastest transport mode for smaller shipments. It offers the highest security and reliability as the freight is personally accompanied. Our global network of couriers, holding a variety of visas, are carefully selected and trained professionals who transport urgent goods by air on scheduled passenger services.

  • Aircraft Charter: Air cargo charter is the most flexible time-critical transport for any kind of urgent shipments that cannot be hand carried with our Onboard Courier Service. We charter any kind of aircraft for our clients - anytime, anywhere. From a helicopter or a private jet to any larger cargo aircraft depending on the cargo size and volume.

  • Next Flight Out (NFO): Your packages will be picked up at any time and be placed on the next available scheduled flight. We also ensure that your cargo receives specialized handling through customs.  

How quickly can you respond?

We deliver a quote quickly within 20 minutes after your request - 24/7, 365 days per year to ensure the delivery process starts as soon as possible. Due to our experience and good relations with airlines and airports, decisions can be made quickly and efficiently.

What information do you require for a charter or OBC quote in order to be able to act as quickly as possible?

      • Time and date, when your cargo is ready 

      • Pick up & delivery address 

      • Type of cargo and value 

      • Number of pieces, dimensions, weight per piece, total weight

      • Stackability / breakability of pallets

      • Any special handling information 

Is my air freight or OBC delivery tracked? 

When you book with Air Partner our exclusive online order confirmation and real-time tracking system RED-TRACK will give you total visibility at every stage of your shipment. Your delivery is personally monitored every minute 24/7. You receive a secure online access to track the delivery progress. SMS and email event notifications can be transmitted to multiple contacts, but you keep the complete control. RED-TRACK is also an online order confirmation and movement authorisation tool that enables online-contracting to accelerate the booking process.

How does the operation of an urgent charter flight look like? 

In only 8 steps your cargo arrives at the consignee’s location:

Step 1: Request sent to Air Partner and acknowledgement response received in return.

Step 2: Air Partner quote within 20 minutes.

Step 3: Client confirmation of offered charter flight option.

Step 4: Receipt of all flight details and authorization in RED-TRACK.

Step 5: Collection of cargo and delivery to airport and positioning of aircraft.

Step 6: Loading of aircraft and departure.

Step 7: Landing & unloading of aircraft, loading of the delivery truck.

Step 8: Arrival at consignee’s, delivery receipt signed, POD copy to client.

You will receive SMS and e-mail notifications during the whole journey, at every step of the way.

What are the most selected aircraft for time-critical charter flights?

Ranging from turbo prop to heavy jets, they all have their different benefits. We see a diverse range of requirements that come to us for time critical consignments every day. That means that the choice of aircraft always vary. Here is a selection of the most common charter aircraft used for time-critical requests.

    • Saab 340 F: The SF340 is able to load a significant amount of euro pallets, with generally good availability of aircraft within Europe.

    • Cessna Citation: The Cessna Citation is a passenger jet which is suitable for the transportation of small boxes. It is significantly faster than a turbo prop aircraft but usually more expensive.

    • Metroliner: The Metro 3 is a very economic aircraft and ideal for time sensitive shipments on short haul flights. The large cargo door allows loading of euro pallets.

    • AN26: The Antonov AN-26 is an ex-military aircraft, which is similar to the Fokker 27 in capacity and performance but less expensive to charter. It is best suitable for moving heavier cargo to remote destinations with short runways but it is also widely used for ad-hoc flights within Europe. 

What is an OBC? 

An Onboard Courier (OBC) moves small packages and documents on scheduled passenger flights - 365/24/7. It is one of the fastest modes of cargo transportation and is also known as hand-carry. Air Partner is works with a global network of couriers that accompany the freight personally. They are carefully selected professionals with customs know-how, to ensure security and a smooth transport for extremely urgent and sensitive smaller goods.

What can be sent by OBC and are there any limitations? 

OBC consignments can be any smaller consignment that a person can transport on a passenger flight or private jet. It can be automotive components, aerospace parts, tooling, confidential documents, oil & gas equipment, production line components, prototypes, electronics, fashion items or medical samples. Dangerous goods are of course not permitted.

What industries is Air Partner working with?

We work with freight forwarders for time-critical freight from businesses and industries across the globe. Our dedicated Charter and OBC specialists are experienced in understanding the particular challenges and intricacies of each industry sector such as: Aerospace, Automotive, Energy, High-Tech, Pharma, Sport and Humanitarian Aid.


What do I need to consider in order to find the right time-critical logistic provider?

  • Speed & Flexibility: Your time-critical logistic provider should be able to offer flexible bespoke solutions, considering the urgency to ensure a smooth process in the fastest way possible.

  • Transparency: For any urgent consignment it is important that your cargo provider offers you a reliable tracking system that keeps all delivery processes and timings transparent.

  • Expertise & Reliability: Your emergency logistic provider should have the expertise and long-time experience for you to be able to expect your shipment to arrive on time. This means being aware of possible risks and challenges that could be faced in each specific time critical project. Good preparation avoids problems.

  • Cost-effectiveness: When it comes to budget, cost-effectiveness should include value and quality.   

Why should I choose Air Partner?

  • Your time-critical business is safe with us – we work exclusively with freight forwarders

  • 24/7 operations and personal account manager

  • Individual service: Airport-to-Door, Door-to-Airport, Door-to-Door solutions

  • Fast quote within 20 minutes of your request

  • Unique supply chain visibility with RED-TRACK

  • Over 55 years of experience in global aviation

  • Global office-based specialists from the charter and time-critical industry

Request a quick quote