Private charters are more than a means of transportation for corporate and luxury. While some may view private jets as convenience vehicles, private aviation is a multi-faceted industry that supports over 1 million U.S. jobs and generates nearly $220 billion annually, making it one of the largest contributors to the country’s positive balance of trade. Private flights provide an exceptional way to travel for business and pleasure, but they offer so much more.
Commercial airlines can reach about 550 airports, but most only use about 70 major hubs throughout the country. This means that thousands of communities do not have easy access to seemingly convenient commercial flights. Chartered flights have access to a network of over 5,000 airports in the U.S. Access to a greater number of locations supports the country’s economy, as over 40 percent of private business aircraft fly to towns with little or no commercial airline service. For some in remote areas, private aircraft are the only means of obtaining necessities, such as food, clothing and hygiene products.
Sports- and Event-Related Travel
Sporting events follow strict timelines. Private charter flights allow teams to travel together without the risk of incidents, such as flight delays, equipment losses and security threats. Sports fans also rely on private flights to make it to their favorite games despite their busy schedules. Smaller airports near football stadiums, for example, receive up to six times more traffic during Super Bowl weekend. Other popular events that bring an influx of private aircraft include Art Basel in Miami Beach and the Masters Golf Tournament in Georgia.
Prolonged road travel is costly and places unnecessary stress on animals. Many individuals, zoos and organizations use private aircraft to quickly transport animals safely. A June 2013 New York Times article reported that Kentucky farms regularly transport horses, their grooms, tack and equipment on special chartered flights. Some owners charter a Boeing 727 for a single prize-winning horse. The same jet has stalls for up to 21 horses.
Chartered flights are on the front line in times of crisis. Companies and private citizens lend their aircraft and pilots to volunteer organizations to provide life-saving services in communities around the world. This amounts to 15,000 flights each year, according to No Plane No Gain. Volunteer pilots—about 25 percent of business aircraft pilots—fly over 118,000 hours annually for medical and charitable missions, such as:
- Transportation for Red Cross workers, National Guard units and soldiers
- Transportation for patients who need medical procedures
- Disaster relief to transport aid workers, medicine, clothing, food and other supplies
- Emergency transportation of blood, organs and serums, such as donated bone marrow
Improved Business Productivity
Businesses of all sizes use chartered flights to improve their bottom line. The hassle of showing up to an airport a couple hours before a flight to check-in and go through security is non-existent when you fly private. With Wi-Fi on many planes, employees can work and remain in communication throughout a flight. In fact, nearly 70 percent of passengers on private business aircraft report being more productive in the air than at the office, according to No Plane No Gain. Private charters also facilitate the ability to transport a variety of materials that are difficult to carry or not allowed on commercial flights, and passengers can visit multiple destinations in a single day.