Five surprises to avoid when you need to charter an aircraft

Whether a scheduled move or emergency shipment, chartering an aircraft of any size represents serious time and financial commitments. 

Mach 1’s charter roots run deep – it was a founding part of our business supporting a major American auto manufacturer when they needed to get parts to assembly lines in a hurry.

Because we’ve been doing this so long, it means that we’ve built industry-leading subject matter expertise and fine-tuned our process to quickly and efficiently deliver quotations and move expeditiously when we get the green-light to proceed.

We’re here to share five of those items that explains not only what goes into a rate, but how to appropriately level-set expectations for what can be done and how quickly it can happen.

 

1 – Weather impacts time, loading and cost

When it’s 120+ degrees in the summer outside our Arizona headquarters, that is going to directly impact an aircraft’s operational ability. Load factors are reduced and the aircraft might have to wait until later in the day or overnight to avoid blowing out a tire leading to the dreaded Aircraft On Ground (AOG) delay. 

At the other end of the spectrum, if we’re going someplace north in the winter where there are snowy or icy conditions, the shipper will be expected to pay for deicing, if required, for the charter aircraft to leave the destination city. Deicing fluid is like gasoline – we’re charged by the gallon. The bigger the plane, the more deicing fluid is required. You can’t just tell them to throw $20 on the nose and call it a day.

 

2 – The closest airport might not be the right airport

Don’t look at a map and assume that the closest airport by proximity is the right airport for the shipment. Airports vary in runway length, hours of operation and even their altitude will impact whether or not the charter can land close enough to minimize the ground time in transit. 

In some cities or countries, there might be noise abatement restrictions that prevent overnight operations. We might even need to pay an overtime fee or surcharge to get or keep that field open to load and/or unload the charter.

 

3 – If it’s international, remember Customs will be involved

Chartering an aircraft within the United States are able to load go and unload without issues of admissibility at destination. If the plane is traveling internationally, there are requirements both in departing the United States and arriving in the foreign country that engage additional government agencies and require the destination country’s customs authority to permit entry. 

Mach 1 works closely with customs brokers in the US and in the destination country to ensure that there are no delays and focus on working to secure the shipment’s release while still in transit if possible.

 

4 – If you’re serious enough to want a charter, you’ll need to be serious enough to say ‘yes’ in a matter of minutes

Almost opposite to watching horses race, the fastest part of the charter race is the part before the cargo actually moves. It’s a frantic race to reach asset owners and determine equipment availability, time to position the aircraft and crews and secure the cost. 

Chances are that if shippers are doing what we do – we’re both getting multiple quotes. This is why when the decision is made to charter an aircraft, there is a flurry of paperwork that must be signed between Mach 1 and the shipper and between Mach 1 and the charter operator that legally obligates everyone to pay – and be paid.

 

5 – If you ask someone how much experience they have in chartering aircraft and they can’t answer, you’re calling the wrong freight forwarder.

We know this. We’ve moved a catalog’s worth of commodities within the United States and between the United States and Mexico, Canada, Asia, Europe and South America. Domestic charters are complex. International charters even more so.

Over a ten year span of time in just the automotive and aerospace sectors, Mach 1 has chartered nearly 250 aircraft ranging in size from Lear jets to Antonovs. Trust, knowledge and experience are core to a successful charter experience. 

 

To learn more about Mach 1’s charter prowess, contact us for a quote today.

1 Comment

  1. Anooj on July 17, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Very informative

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