With a charter flight, you rent the entire aircraft, rather than just one seat. The aircraft can be large or small, and flights can be one-way or round-trip. The charter could be made on a flight-only basis, might include ground services such as transportation to or from meetings or could be part of a complete vacation package. Charter flights offer more flexibility than scheduled flights, with a wider choice of destinations and tailor-made itineraries.
Time saving - this is one of the most significant reasons for using private aircraft. Depending on your program you can have an aircraft ready in just a few hours. You can arrive at the airport just minutes before your scheduled departure time, fly directly to your destination (without any layovers), make productive use of your time onboard, avoid overnight stays (saving hotel $ as well as time), avoid waiting in lines at the airport, land at over 5,000 airports in the US and so be closer to your destination. All of this can provide significant savings in both productive time and in dollars. Productivity - the time savings above provide significantly more productive time, both onboard and before and after your flight. You and your staff can make the most of the travel time to talk business or work with customers, suppliers or partners.
The very light jet (VLJ) is a classification initiated by the release of the Eclipse 500, on 31 December 2006, which was originally available at around US$1.5 million, cheaper than existing business jets and comparable with turboprop airplanes. It accompanied a bubble for air taxi services, exemplified by DayJet which ceased operations on September 2008, Eclipse Aviation failed to sustain its business model and filed for bankruptcy in February 2009.
The Bombardier Challenger 600 began as a proof-of-concept business aircraft design from American aircraft pioneer Bill Lear. The design was subsequently purchased by Canadair, the predecessor to Bombardier, in the late 1970s. Canadair further refined the design and certified the aircraft in 1980. The type really “took off,” so to speak, with the follow-on Challenger 601, introduced in 1983, which replaced its predecessor’s Avro Lycoming engines with modern General Electric CF43-1A turbofans designed for high-utilization commercial airline service.
Waiting until the last minute isn’t an option for most travelers, of course. For those whose schedules can’t accommodate a last-minute booking, there are other options, though they can be pricier. West Coast airline Surf Air offers unlimited private plane flights to and from roughly a dozen California and Nevada locales like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Santa Barbara for $1,750 per month (plus a one-time $1000 initiation fee); the airline operates up to 90 flights each day and it added Monterey, Calif., to its list of itineraries on July 13, 2015.
Aircraft charter brokers have entered the marketplace through the ease of setting up a website and business online. Aircraft charter operators are legally responsible for the safe operation of aircraft and charter brokers require no economic authority and are largely unregulated. The Department of Transportation requires that air charter brokers disclose to the consumer that they do not operate aircraft and cannot use terms like "our fleet of aircraft", "we operate", "our charter service" and others.
For the decade starting in 2017, Aviation Week predicts 11,346 deliveries of business aircraft (jets or not) valued at $250.1 billion, with a fleet growing from 31,864 aircraft to 36,702 aircraft (64% in North America): 4,838 more at an average annual growth rate of 1.6%, with 5,835 retirements. For the coming five-year period, Textron Aviation should lead the market with a 22.8% market share, followed by Bombardier with 20.4%, Embraer with 16.6%, Gulfstream with 15%, Dassault with 8.4% then the rest of manufacturers with 16.9%. There should be 22,190 Engine deliveries, led by the Honeywell HTF7000, Williams FJ44, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A Medium, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW300 and the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A Large. The average utilization should be 365 flight hours per aircraft per year.