Air charter

Air charter is the business of renting an entire aircraft (i.e., chartering) as opposed to individual aircraft seats (i.e., purchasing a ticket through a traditional airline).


Charter, also called air taxi or ad-hoc flights require certification from the associated country's regulating body such as the FAA in the U.S. The regulations are differentiated from typical commercial/passenger service by offering a non-scheduled service. In the U.S. these flights are regulated under FAA Part 135[1]. There are some cases where a charter operator can sell scheduled flights, but only in limited quantities[2].

The same regulations also apply to Air Ambulance and cargo operators.

Types of service

There are several business models which offer air charter services from the traditional charter operator to brokers and jet card programs:

  • Charter Operators – certified by their associated government body such as the FAA for US carriers have legal authority to advertise and conduct flights for hire.
  • Air Charter Broker – Charter Brokers arrange flights on behalf of their clients, acting as an "Authorized Agent"[3].
  • Jet card – Programs offered by both brokers and operators where a customer is offered a fixed hourly rate for a specific jet category and the broker or operator sources a jet from the available charter fleet.
  • Online marketplace – Online Booking platform where the client can choose and book the desired aircraft directly with the operator [4].

Aircraft categories

Charter aircraft categories include:

There are an estimated 15,000 business jets available for charter in the world. The US market is the largest, followed by the European market with growing activity in the Middle East, Asia, and Central America.[5]

See also


  1. "FAA Part 135". FAA. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  2. "NBAA Guide to Selling Charter by the Seat" (PDF). National Business Aviation Association. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  3. "Jet Charter Broker". Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  4. "Charter Marketplace App". Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  5. Asp, Maria. "Private Jet Charter and Sales 2014". Sand Aviation Publishing. Retrieved 5 May 2015.

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