Understanding the Different Types of Air Travel, From Passenger to Cargo

At Stratos Jet Charters, we are committed to the education of consumers when it comes to private, on demand air charter services, and also aviation in general. In light of this commitment, we would like to better explain the various types of passenger and cargo air travel. To begin with, Civil Aviation is one of two major categories of flying, representing all non-military aviation, both private and commercial. Most of the countries in the world are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and work together to establish common standards and recommended practices for civil aviation through this agency. Civil aviation includes two major categories:

General Aviation

General Aviation refers to all flights other than military and regularly scheduled airline and cargo flights, both private and commercial. The majority of the world’s air traffic falls into this category, and most of the world’s airports serve general aviation exclusively. General aviation includes a wide range of flights, both commercial and non-commercial, such as air charter, private flying and flight training, police aircraft, air ambulance, aerial firefighting, and many other smaller categories. In the United States, on demand jet charter services (also sometimes called “air taxi” services) are governed by Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). As described by the FAR: “Part 135” Operating Requirements: Commuter and On Demand Operations and Rules Governing Persons on Board Such Aircraft.

Scheduled Air Transport

Scheduled air transport includes all passenger and cargo flights that operate on regularly scheduled routes. The larger, scheduled airlines and air carriers that operate in the U.S. as well as worldwide are governed by the FAR – Part 121. As described by the FAR: “Part 121” Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations. It is important to note that Part 135 and 121 do not distinguish between type of aircraft used, but rather the type of activity done with the aircraft. In general, Part 121 is more stringent on most aspects of operation than Part 135, though it should be noted that when followed to the letter, as members of ACANA (Air Charter Association of North America) such as Stratos Jets ensure on every flight, the level of safety and efficient operation is quite high. Commercial aviation is the part of civil aviation (both general aviation and scheduled air transport) that involves operating aircraft for hire to transport passengers or cargo. A flight may be operated for money only if it meets three criteria: The pilot must hold a valid commercial pilot’s certificate The aircraft must hold a valid commercial registration The operator must hold a certificate or some other authorization for commercial operations

Part 135 and On Demand Charter

As you have heard us mention before, at Stratos Jets we have become increasingly aware of those charter brokers who are far more interested in making a one-time profit than in developing a lasting relationship or providing an honest, reliable on demand charter service. These low-cost charter brokers can offer rock bottom prices by ignoring critical safety and maintenance regulations required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Part 135 and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Consumers who fly with these brokers are likely to have negative experiences while flying privately, and will often choose not to utilize air charter services again, missing out on the many benefits afforded by private aviation. Most Part 121 carriers offer “scheduled” travel services. Scheduled air travel consists of both large commercial airlines, and scheduled or “programmed” air charter services. This term applies to any regularly scheduled service, or “pre-planned programs” o flights, operating on a regular basis throughout a scheduling period. Many (but not all) of Part 135 operators are categorized as “general air charter services or “business aviation” providers. General air charter is utilized by individuals or groups as transport for personal, non-business-oriented needs, such as vacations or the need to conduct personal affairs in person. Business aviation is defined as the sector of general aviation which concerns the operation or use of aircraft by companies for the “carriage of passengers or goods as an aid to the conduct of their business, and are piloted by individuals having, at a minimum, a valid commercial pilot license with an instrument rating”. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Pros and Cons

Of course by their very nature scheduled flights with commercial airlines or “programmed” private charter services give very little or zero flexibility in takeoff and arrival times right up front. This can create an automatic reduction in the value of the flight to you and your business or personal travel needs. Similar to the issue of no flexibility in timing, scheduled and programmed flights also result in no flexibility in the choice of aircraft either. Although this may not be a major concern when considering travel with the major commercial airlines, when utilizing private jet charter this can present a big issue, especially on longer flights. Your level of comfort, value and convenience can sometimes be so low that the decision to avoid private charter or business aviation services can be made. As for a potential drawback of general air charter or business aviation services, although not a common occurrence, is that regularly scheduled services are given higher priority for takeoff and landing than on demand flights, in the event of a conflict arising between the two. Private jet charter offers numerous benefits to those traveling for either business or pleasure. Whether you’re in a rush to an important meeting or you’re simply arranging a large family trip, a private jet charter is an excellent way to go. Why? Airport Flexibility With on demand charter, you’re able to select your own airport. And with smaller aircraft, the options expand dramatically as to which airports are available to use. You can skip crowded airports far from your actual destination and arrive only minutes away at many smaller or municipal airports. Stratos Jets can also arrange ground transportation, saving you the trouble of renting a car or finding alternative transportation to your destination. Higher Security and Privacy As you are traveling with your own party, a corporate jet does not require hours of security checks and the uncertainty of not knowing others on your plane. The flight crews of all private jet charters are also highly trained and accountable. FAA Part 135 ensures all aircraft safety, regulations, maintenance, and pilot licensure. To provide the best service possible, private jet charters meet or exceed Part 135 requirements. And even in first class, there is no true privacy on a commercial aircraft. But on a jet charter, your team can prepare presentations or discuss important deals without the risk of being overheard. Sit back in comfortable chairs that face each other over a convenient table and use your time in the air constructively. Enhanced Productivity Much of the time spent at airports and in the air is wasted. You can spend hours working your way through security check points and waiting on delayed flights at the terminal. Even on the ground you may find yourself stuck in a plane waiting on a runway to clear or a gate to become available. Private jets are able to skip most or all of these delays, saving you both precious time and dollars. Group Charter Opportunities If you’re traveling with a large group, private jet charter may be surprisingly inexpensive. By chartering a private jet, you can travel with as many friends or colleagues as will fit in the aircraft, and use the time onboard to visit, work or conduct meetings, or just rest comfortably – virtually impossible on a traditional commercial flight. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ When taken in total, on demand private jet charter can be far more effective and convenient than commercial travel, providing benefits that simply cannot be duplicated. At Stratos Jet Charters, we would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have, or provide you with a quote on your next trip, and we look forward to showing you the highest level of personal service, safety and convenience that you will find anywhere, with any air charter agency.

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