Industry & News

5 Things to Look for In a Charter Pilot

Finding the Right Charter Pilot | The Early Airway

There’s always a demand for passengers to fly privately. Those who can afford the privacy and convenience to travel in a private or charter jet are also looking for a great experience. Any registered pilot can fly a commercial liner, but not everyone can or should be a charter pilot and fly for private clientele.

Commercial and private flying share many similarities, but they’re far from the same. There’s more to operating a private plane than just following workplace orders and safely transporting passengers to their destination.

If you’re currently seeking a private pilot, either for your own personal plane or for a fractionally shared aircraft, use these five attributes to ensure you find the right charter pilot every time.

Check Their Flight Experience

Generally speaking, the more flight hours a pilot has, the higher their flying skills. Flight experience isn’t the only factor, but it’s certainly the most important. It’s also especially important if you plan to charter a plane to remote locations or through bad weather, when a highly-skilled pilot is critical to flight success.

Every airline pilot needs a minimum amount of flight hours under their belt. The exact amount varies, but in the USA, it’s usually somewhere between 50 and 70 flying hours just to get a license. Further requirements depend on the job or airline in question.

Pilots start their career with commercial liners to learn the ropes and boost up their flight hours. Most commercial airliners require a minimum of 1,500 hours for full employment and licensure. For a charter pilot, you should look for pilots with around 3,000 hours or more.

Keep in mind that new pilots still need practice hours on each airplane they fly before they can carry passengers. A commercial pilot who begins to fly a small biplane, for example, still requires flying hours on the biplane even though he may have thousands of hours flying a commercial Boeing 747. This ensures pilots are proficient in each aircraft, not just a single model.

As a general rule of thumb, a charter pilot should possess about twice as much experience for charter jobs as is required for commercial flights. This is mostly because charter pilots often fly alone and on call, rather than flying with a partner.

Finally, many charter service providers want their pilots to possess an Airline Transport Pilot certificate. They must undergo this training on their own time as it’s not part of the requirements for commercial airlines. Pilots who own an ATP certificate show dedication to their craft making them suitable candidates.

Do They Fly Internationally?

There’s more involved with traveling between countries than meets the eye. First, there’s paperwork to fill out, travel visas, passports, and customs inspections to account for — all before you even fly across the border. Depending on the country in question, pilots may even be required to hold special licenses or apply for permission to fly.

The good news is that it’s generally much easier to pass through private airport customs lines than public commercial lines. Often, customs officials come directly to the aircraft to authorize passengers rather than offboarding and re-boarding passengers. Fewer people means less muss, and less fuss, but pilots should still possess at least a basic understanding of the differences.

An informed pilot can guide a passenger through the process if they’ve never traveled abroad on a private liner before. They can also assist with any unexpected issues if they arise.

Finding a charter pilot that is experienced with the nuances of international charter flights will save headaches. This is especially true if you’re heading to countries like the UAE or China, where security may be very strict. Easier customs and security is one of the main reasons clients choose to fly private.

Are They Qualified?

Just as it is within the rest of the labor market, some pilots will find ways to fluff their information or certifications. They may find the means to bypass their certifications or forge them, but such a situation is highly unlikely. It also amounts to a lack of due diligence on the part of the charter company.

Good charter airlines always thoroughly screen pilots using robust background screening processes. The right charter company will also be more than happy to share your prospective pilot’s background and qualifications, regardless of whether or not you suspect foul play. It’s about your comfort, your safety, and your confidence in the air.

If your charter pilot is currently flying for another company, ask them for their pilot’s documentation. All pilots provide their employers with their flight hour logs, proof of their ATP certificate, and any other relevant documentation. Feel free to reach out to certified pilot licensing entities and work with them to find out more if you’re feeling unsure.

Also inquire about any potential Air Transport Regulating Authority, or ATAC, protocol breaches. The ATAC serves as a governing body and has the right to enact discipline for pilots. They can even call for license removal in situations of misconduct, reprimandation, or any other issue relating to private flying. A pilot with a track record of bad behavior or protocol violations is most likely not the best choice for your company. Use your judgment when looking through their history; you may find hidden gems in spite of their records.

Can They Fly Consecutive Flights?

One of the many reasons pilots get into the private airline business is to work a flexible schedule. Private airliner pilots enjoy choosing which contracts to take. They can decide how much time to spend at home with their friends and family. Pilots may choose to remain at a destination for a day or two before scheduling a flight home. Having a pool of reliable pilots, regardless of scheduling conflicts, is always a benefit for your company.

Finding a charter pilot who will go the extra mile to take consecutive jobs with no downtime is even better. They will strengthen your business and expand your ability to provide transportation or services, either within your business or without.

You’re sure to stumble across clients that need to travel consistently in a short amount of time. Some of them may require back-to-back flights on a regular basis. Make sure you have a handful of dedicated pilots to cater to these customers and their needs when you create your partnership and you’ll be set.

Are They Customer-Oriented?

Private flying places the pilot in intimate connection with the person or persons flying, especially if the plane is small. The client wants a pleasant experience, whether it’s their first time in a private plane or it’s the 50th time this year. Because most private luxury charter clients expect an elevated level of service, pilots should be prepared and equipped to respectfully deal with clients if and when the situation arises.

If just one or two people fly, it may be too expensive to provide flight attendants. Often, the pilot takes on the most important of these roles instead. Your pilot may need to handle ground logistics for the passenger. They may have to arrange destination or airplane catering services, or fulfill other special requests. Check with each charter pilot you consider and judge their personality; are they pleasant? Can they provide a memorable experience for your passengers?

Here’s an example of when this may come into play. A celebrity charters a flight to England; they bring their child. The child wants to see the cockpit or meet the pilot. This seems like such a small request, but if denied, it could create significant public fallout for the charter company or business using it. If accepted,  you could turn the celebrity into a returning client or even an outspoken supporter.

The ideal charter pilot is one who is exceptionally qualified with aircraft and possesses strong customer interaction skills. Remember: the pilot you choose is the face of your business. Even if you’re just hiring a charter to transport important business colleagues to your location to close that big deal, the pilot matters. They need to cater to your clients and be personable in the process, but the most important factor is talent, experience, and safety.

Aircraft Alex Early Travel Tips

Jet Charter Owner Approval


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?

A top of the line plane such as a Gulfstream G650 will always 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:

  1. The owner would like to keep his/her plane free for him/herself over the dates you’re attempting to book it for.
  2. Your trip doesn’t bring in enough revenue to justify the aircraft being dispatched. (Generally seen only on newer/larger planes)
  3. 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.

Travel Tips

Lightweight Carry-Ons for Your Next Vacation

If you are not planning on traveling via private jet, extra checked baggage can really add up. Fitting as much as you can into your carry-on will help relieve the pain of travel. Try to bring these to maximize space and weight.

  • Inflatable Pillow: A place to lay your head in comfort and weighing only a fraction of a pound sounds like a perfect way to improve your trip without breaking the bank.
  • Travel Towel: Regular towels use fluff to absorb liquids, and that fluff can take up a lot of space. Travel towels utilize materials with better absorption properties to save packing room.
  • Packing Cubes: Organization is key when lugging clothing around the world, and lightweight packing cubes will keep your clothes wrinkly-free as well as grouping like-weather clothes with each other.


Click here for the full article from Tech Insider.


Airplane Seats Inspired by Formula 1

At the most recent Aircraft Interiors Expo, AirAsia signed an order for a large shipment of aircraft seats inspired by Formula 1 designs.

The seats envisioned are to be placed inside A320s, a smaller commercial flight model, but are designed to fit more passengers into the current floor plan with increased comforts. The seats will have pockets for storage of tablets, and in seat power to allow for limited charging of devices.


Click here for the full article by Marisa Garcia.

Travel Tips

Four Reasons to Use a Private Miami Jet Charter Service

Instead of trying to buy a ticket for a crowded and dirty commercial airplane, arrive in style on a private jet charter. Miami is one of the most popular places to travel to in order to enjoy these activities:

• Walking on the beach
• Local street festivals
• Museums
• Concerts
• Delicious food
• Sport venues

With its year-round warm temperatures, Miami is one of the most popular places in the world to visit, but getting a plane ticket at the last minute isn’t easy. Fortunately, it is possible to hire a private jet to travel safely to Miami to enjoy an activity such as a family wedding or to see a new sculpture exhibit at an art museum.

Benefits of a Private Miami Jet Charter

One: Saving Time

Rather than needing to arrive several hours before a flight time, anyone who hires a private Miami jet charter can wait until it is time to leave. Luggage is loaded directly onto the plane, and no one needs to have a body search before getting on-board.

Two: Flexible Flight Plans 

Anyone who hires a Miami jet charter can have a flexible flight plan that is based on an independent schedule rather than a commercial airline’s timetable. Pilots have access to airports in Miami and are able to request landing permission at a variety of public or private airports.

Three: Traveling in Luxury

A private Miami jet charter includes a clean and luxurious aircraft with perfect climate-control, professional crew-members and delicious food that is prepared in a top-of-the-line on-board kitchen. The air in a private plane smells fresh, and the upholstery on the extra-wide seats is spotlessly sanitized.

Four: Bring Along Friends and Relatives

It is frequently impossible to obtain multiple seats on one flight to Miami, but with a private jet charter, it is easy to bring along a group of relatives and friends. After the plane is in the air, the pilot will give permission for people to walk around, and everyone can have a fun and relaxing time during the flight.

If you are reading this on anything other than The Early Airway it is stolen content. Follow us on Twitter@TheEarlyAirWay. Come and visit our blog at

Travel Tips

3 Surprising Facts About Private Jet Travel

Have you had it with the tiny airplane seats in coach or even business class? Are you tired of trying to stuff all of your liquids into 3-ounce Ziploc bags, taking off your shoes and waiting for what seems like hours to go through security at the airport? Join the ranks of celebrities, athletes and millionaires by flying via private jet for your next vacation. Private jets are no longer only for the rich and famous. Here are three more surprising facts about the elite world of private jet travel.
Private Jet Is an Economical Way to Travel
It used to be that private jet travel was very expensive. But, things have changed. Private jet companies are following the lead of hotels and offering last-minute deals on unused inventory. This makes it vastly more affordable for the Average Joe to fly via a private jet.
Some recent private jet flights have sold seats for as low as $90 a person, including tax from Oxford, Connecticut to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Another deal was found for a flight for four people from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. This flight went for $499 for four people. That is about $124 per person. Current commercial flights from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas start at $455 per person and that does not include baggage and other fees.


Private Jets Have Access to 5 Times the Number of Airports Than Commercial Airplanes
People often think that when they take a private jet, they will be more limited in the number of airports that they can access compared to commercial travel. Actually, the opposite is true. Flying via private jet opens up access to many more airports. Charter or private jets can take off and land to more than 5,000 airports in the United States. By comparison, commercial airlines only have access to only 550 airports.
Many Private Jets Are Equipped to Handle Large Business Meetings
Companies often charter private jets because they are equipped with everything that is needed to conduct meetings. This saves a lot of time and productivity. Some private jets are even equipped to handle large business meetings. The Boeing Business Jet, for example, can accommodate approximately 23 people. It has lounge spaces, a wet bar, leather reclining chairs, a drop-down flat screen television and even a bedroom on board. The galley kitchen is larger than many New York City apartments. Other business amenities often found on private jets include access to email, the internet and video conferencing.


If you are reading this on anything other than The Early Airway it is stolen content. Follow us on Twitter@TheEarlyAirWay. Come and visit our blog at



Japanese Chefs Flourish in Paris

A new generation of Japanese chefs have shown the world their mastery of the French cuisine. So much so that they now run some of the largest and most successful French restaurants in Paris.

These chefs range in techniques and styles from modern to traditional, and exemplify these categories as far as to become textbook entries. Even the way they run their locations have variety, but most tend towards young, loud, and fun, yet discerning.


Click here for the full article on New York Times.


Thinking About Chartering a Private Jet? Here Are the Main Types of Jets

Private jets are the ultimate way to travel. The costs of private jet travel have been steadily decreasing recently, but the luxury and exclusivity of this form of travel remains the same. If you are thinking about pampering yourself with a private jet charter for your next vacation or business trip, read on to learn about the different types of jets available.

Light Jets and Very Light Jets
Very Light jets will typically accommodate three to four passengers. These cozy jets are ideal for shorter flights, typically two to three hours in duration. The Phenom 100 is a solid choice in the very light segment. The cabin was designed by BMW and features exceptional attention to detail and luxury. Four passengers can be comfortably accommodated. The Phenom 100 has a large enclosed lavatory. The baggage compartment is one of the best in its class.

Light jets accommodate six to eight passengers. These offer more room than a very light jet and are cost-effective, as well. If you’re looking for economical, fast transportation, a very light jet such as the Lear 35 is a good choice.
Mid-Size and Super Mid-Size Jets
Mid-size jets offer speed, comfort and a longer flight distance than light jets. They are the most versatile private-jet size. These jets offer more space and features compared to lighter jets. Mid-size jets typically seat from seven to nine passengers. They often feature enclosed lavatories, stand-up cabins, advanced entertainment and more luggage space than light jets. The Gulfstream G150 is one of the more popular mid-size jets. It offers a spacious cabin, exceptional speed, good performance and a high-quality cabin.

Super mid-size jets accommodate eight to nine passengers. These jets offer high performance, roomy cabins at competitive rates. The Bombardier Challenger 300 is a super mid-size jet that offers superior comfort and performance. It has the ability to depart on challenging runways and offers great distance. The cabin is comparable to larger aircraft.
Heavy Jets and Jumbo Jets
Heavy jets can accommodate 10 to 14 passengers comfortably. These jets have long-range capabilities and roomy cabins. First-class seating is available on most heavy jets. Full pull-out tabletops are available on most. Many contain private sleeping areas. Heavy jets typically employ one to two pilots and flight attendants to ensure that the needs of the passengers are being met.

Jumbo Jets are the largest aircraft and typically seat 20 to 60 passengers. The most popular jumbo jets used for private flights include the Boeing 727, Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737. These jets are ideal for large groups. Some of these jets include bedrooms, conference rooms and kitchens.


If you are reading this on anything other than The Early Airway it is stolen content. Follow us on Twitter@TheEarlyAirWay. Come and visit our blog at

Travel Tips

Advantages of Private Jet Rental

Renting a private jet may seem like something only rich people can do, but there are several advantages to traveling that way that can make it worthwhile for those of more modest means.

When it comes to comfort while traveling on a plane, you can’t beat a private jet rental. You will get personal service from the minute you show up to the jet center until you disembark at your destination. This can include specialized meals, sleeping availability and a number of other amenities that you won’t get when flying commercial, even in first class.

A private jet rental offers you a level of convenience that you can’t get flying commercial, even if you are part of special airline or government programs. With a private jet, you don’t have to worry about long ticketing or security lines or how much luggage you can bring along. You also will be traveling with only a few other passengers, some of whom you may know, so you won’t have to worry about unruly passengers.

Flying private is a huge advantage over flying commercial when it comes to speed. Though private planes travel at about the same speed as commercial airliners, you can get to your destination much faster by not having to connect through hub airports and you can save a significant amount of time by not having to go through baggage check or other procedures that can slow you down.

Though private jet travel is not quite as safe as commercial air travel statistically, it is much safer than general aviation overall. And most private jet rental programs let you have some say in the type of plane you fly in and its age, so you can feel confident that you are safe while flying.

With so many advantages to private jet rental, it is definitely worth your consideration. While it is not cheap, it is something that you don’t have to be fabulously wealthy to be able to afford.

If you are reading this on anything other than The Early Airway it is stolen content. Follow us on Twitter@TheEarlyAirWay. Come and visit our blog at

Travel Tips

Arrive to Miami in Style with a Private Jet

Throughout the years, Miami has remained one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations. Known for the art deco district, the beach, vibrant nightlife, and delightful dinning, this city provides visitors with just the right mix of relaxation and adventure. In order to experience this unique lifestyle, many people decide to rent a private jet to Miami. Along with the many luxuries, booking a private jet has practical benefits.

One of the most popular reasons to book a private jet is to avoid busy airports. Unlike traditional commercial flying, travelers can drive directly to the tarmac for private jet travel. Therefore, guests can also avoid long lines and parking hassles. Additionally, private jet travel reduces the possibility of lost or damaged luggage.

When customers pursue private jet travel, they can decide the best flight departure for their busy schedule. As a result, travelers can avoid connecting flights at various airports. Another perk of private jet travel is that the aircraft will wait for guests if they are running a little late.

By completely avoiding public airport terminals, travelers can rest assured that their plans remain confidential. Therefore, guests can engage in important business meetings or relaxing vacations without any concerns.

Personal Service
During a private jet flight, the attendants are extremely eager to satisfy the travelers’ every need. Guests are presented with an extensive array of food and beverage choices, which accounts for any dietary concerns or special issues. Attendants also offer travelers catered meals that ensure an absolutely delightful dining experience on the private aircraft.

Private jet travel provides the ultimate in luxury on every scheduled flight. Many private jet cabins are equipped with spacious and comfortable seats as well as large windows that offer spectacular views. Most private jets are also completely soundproof; therefore, guests will definitely enjoy a truly relaxing flight.

The many benefits of private jet travel have encouraged thousands of travelers to book a flight with companies offering these services. When visiting one of the world’s trendiest and flashiness cities, travelers should consider booking a private jet to Miami.

If you are reading this on anything other than The Early Airway it is stolen content. Follow us on Twitter@TheEarlyAirWay. Come and visit our blog at

Exit mobile version