Differentiating Beyond Price – Your Tool Kit For Making Intelligent Jet Charter Decisions Part 2: Aircraft Maintenance
Part 2 – Aircraft Maintenance and Your Safety and Security During Jet Charter Flights
When you hire Stratos Jet Charters as your private flight advisor, it is our job to identify all relevant aircraft, ensure the proper certification, maintenance and safety of each plane and to create a competitive market for your charter flight. While there are some charter brokers who may understand all facets of the air charter industry, there are others with limited aviation experience who place a priority on their profit, and your needs second.
Determining the motivation of the broker you are working with can be a difficult task. So in order to help you read “between the lines”, we are actively working to educate our clients. With your safety in mind, we have created this educational series, a â€œtool kitâ€ to arm you with useful information that will help you make the best, most educated decisions when you are chartering your next flight.
Our first topic centered on the issue of aircraft insurance verification and how important is for your protection. Now we move to a second and equally critical topic, the issue of aircraft maintenance.
When it comes to the maintenance of a Part 135 aircraft, there are different programs that can be utilized, such as CAMP, AAIP, factory maintenance or in-house maintenance. Aircraft maintenance is a major component in the hourly rate of your private charter flight. While the FAA has strict guidelines on the standards of maintenance for charter aircraft, the quality of that maintenance can vary when comparing maintenance facilities. If you are working with a broker, do they know who does the maintenance on the aircraft you will be flying? And if the maintenance is done in-house, for example, does your broker know what type of experience and certification this crew possesses?
With charter brokers who are not in business for the “long haul”, not only will your level of customer service almost certainly be diminished, but they may be willing to take more risks when it comes to your charter flight and your safety.
In their pursuit of profits, they may choose an aircraft operator who is also running at the lowest possible margins to remain profitable. Operators who run at such tight margins inevitably run into problems down the road. They can only run “thin” for so long, before they are forced to cut corners; from routine maintenance, to paying the best pilots and even retaining a quality dispatch crew. The business philosophy of these operators doesn’t leave much, if any, leeway when it comes to the issue of aircraft maintenance. This is certainly not a situation that you, your family or business associates want when boarding your next charter flight. Knowing that the operator(s) that your charter broker selects aren’t experiencing any financial difficulties or cash flow problems can give you the confidence and peace of mind you want and need during your next charter flight.
This is why you should never choose a charter broker or an aircraft operator based on price, and price alone. The safety and security of the passengers must be the primary consideration for every charter flight.
When you choose to work with an air charter broker, you will want to inquire about the broker’s aviation industry experience and knowledge of Federal Aviation Regulations as well as ensure the air charter broker provides you with the information requested in this Stratos Jet Charters Aircraft Charter Purchasing Guide so that you will be familiar with the air charter operator(s) that may conduct your flight(s). If the air charter broker is unwilling or unable to provide you with this required information, you should consider working with another agent, such as Stratos Jet Charters, who can provide you with the necessary information.
Of course, sometimes there are legitimate mechanical issues or problems that will arise, ones that are not the result in any way of improper maintenance or cost-cutting measures. After all, these are extremely complex machines we are talking about! In these situations, how will your charter broker handle the situation? If there is a mechanical problem of this nature during a Stratos Jet Charters flight, you can rest assured that we have backup aircraft sourced and waiting on standby for you. Our promise to you is that we will have another aircraft ready and available to you within 4 hours. This is all just another part of our commitment to you – our invaluable clients!
Joel Thomas – President, Stratos Jet Charters