The first question that needs to be answered when selecting an aircraft for charter is how many passengers will be traveling with your party? Other factors in aircraft selection include location and destination, baggage or cargo requirements, budget restrictions, and personal preferences.
There is often a trade-off when comparing different categories of charter aircraft for a trip. For example, a trip that would take two hours in a private jet could take well over three hours in a
turbo prop aircraft and up to four and a half hours in a twin propeller plane. The jet is more
expensive to operate, but because of the savings in time, the actual cost may be relatively comparable.
Some basic guidelines are as follows:
Light Jets (4-8 Passengers)
Light jets are the entry-level jet class in the charter industry. Light jets are the most economical choice for short to mid-range trips. Light jet can travel further and faster than non-jet aircraft while operating in and out of airports not accessible by the major airlines. Light jets have limited baggage capacity and often cannot accommodate skis or large golf bags.
Mid-Size Jets (5-9 Passengers)
Midsize Jet aircraft optimally blend comfort, performance and economy for medium length flights. With average cruising speeds over 500 mph and a nonstop range of about 2,100 miles, a midsize jet can travel further, faster and with more comfort then light jets while operating in and out of airports not accessible by the major airlines. Most of the midsize jet aircraft have external baggage storage and accommodate a reasonable amount of baggage. Most midsize jets offer a private lavatory.
Heavy Jets (9-14 Passengers)
Heavy jets are top-of-the-line executive aircraft offering optimum performance and amenities for long-range flights. With average cruising speeds of over 500 mph and an average nonstop range over 4,000 miles, a heavy jet can travel further and with more comfort than smaller jets while operating in and out of airports not accessible to the major airlines. Amenities usually found onboard heavy jets include; a private lavatory, external baggage compartments, stereo DVD, satellite phone, fax, and a full galley. A flight attendant can enhance your flight experience, improve safety and assist with gourmet catering for high-end business and entertainment.
Turbo-Prop Aircraft (4-9 Passengers)
Turboprop aircraft combine the low-cost advantages of the piston aircraft while sharing some of the performance and cabin comfort advantages of light jets. Turboprops are powered by turbine propeller engines. With average cruising speeds of over 300 mph and an average nonstop range above 1,000 miles, a turboprop can travel further, faster and offer more comfort than piston aircraft while keeping charter costs below those of jet aircraft. Popular for short to mid-range flights, turboprops can access runways that are often too short for jet aircraft. Turbo-props often include amenities such as pressurized passenger cabins for added comfort, safety and performance and a semi-private lavatory. Baggage capacity is limited.
Jet Airliners (20-200+ Passengers)
Jet airliners are capable of carrying large groups of people or heavy cargos on medium to long-range flights. The wide variety of jet airliner types encompass diverse performance characteristics. Smaller jet airliners are designated "regional" and are best suited for mid-range domestic transport, while the largest jet airliners can carry hundreds of passengers over thousands of non-stop miles. Jet airliners are powered by two to four jet engines and feature pressurized cabins for added comfort, safety and performance. Jet airliners can be offered in executive configuration, featuring multiple berths, lavatories, a gym, shower, meeting room or study, and other luxurious appointments; or economy-configuration like a commercial airliner to maximize passenger capacity. A limited number of jet airliners are available for charter in both executive and large group configuration.
Your personal air charter consultant will work closely with you to identify the unique requirements of your trip and help you select the perfect aircraft to accommodate your charter needs.