June 2nd, 2015
Written By: Alex M. Early, CEO of The Early Air Way
If you’ve chartered private jets in the past, then you’re probably familiar with the term “owner approval required.” For those of you who aren’t familiar however, “owner approval required” is a condition of booking for many (but not all) jet charters. What it means is that once you accept a quote that is proposed to you, the reservation is then sent directly to the owner of the aircraft you’re attempting to book who will either approve or decline your trip. If your trip is approved, then your reservation is confirmed. If your trip is declined however, the particular aircraft at hand will no longer be an option for your trip and you’ll have to move onto a different plane.
Which planes require owner approval?
Generally speaking, the newer and larger (or more valuable) planes are the ones that will require owner approval. I can’t think of a single Gulfstream G650 Heavy Jet that doesn’t require owner approval. On the other hand, there are very few Lear 35 Light Jets that do require owner approval. This is the standard, but not the rule. There are some heavy jets that don’t require approval while there are some light jets that do.
Why would an owner turn down my business?
Some charter clients can be surprised that an owner is turning down their money. There are several reasons this will happen, however:
- The owner would like to keep his/her plane free for him/herself over the dates you’re attempting to book it for.
- Your trip doesn’t bring in enough revenue to justify the aircraft being dispatched. (Generally seen only on newer/larger planes)
- Your trip has too many short legs. Short legs are not profitable for late-model, large-cabin airplanes. The ratio of landings to flight hours affects the value of an aircraft on the pre-owned market. If a Gulfstream G550 has an average flight duration of 55 minutes for example, millions in value could be lost compared with one that has an average flight duration of three hours. As such, the short flights may be declined. Furthermore, expensive maintenance is required after a certain number of cycles. A G650 owner won’t want to rush to a six-figure maintenance appointment because he/she accepted a bunch of 50-minute trips.
What happens if an owner declines your trip?
It’s unfortunate when an owner declines a trip, but it happens. What you should do in this instance is let you jet charter coordinator provide you with the next best option available and then attempt to book this. Don’t see this is an indicator that you’re working with a sub-par charter company; owner approval effects everyone.
At the end of the day, owner approval is part of the US charter marketplace and isn’t going anywhere soon. When booking a flight, it’s important to know whether or not your plane needs owner approval or not to help you make the most educated decision possible about what you’re booking.