Is this the perfect storm for air charter? –  Hunt & Palmer thinks so

Have we entered the perfect storm for air charter?  Leading executive aircraft broker Hunt & Palmer PLC, active on both sides of the Atlantic, believes so.

The best news is that charter availability is much better than it was compared with autumn (NBAA-BACE) last year.  There are clients who first discovered the flexibility of air charter in 2020 who continue to enjoy the flexibility and time-saving benefits of on-demand travel.

And then there are executive aircraft owners who have chosen to put their aircraft into the charter market with AOC management companies, now they aren’t flying as much.

“This has released some high-quality aircraft for charter,” said Neil Harvey, Director Executive Aviation.

“Over the last 12 months we have seen popular types like the Embraer Praetor 500/600, Cessna Citation Latitude and Longitude and the Pilatus PC-24 becoming available to us.”

One thing is apparent.  Once the ease of on-demand travel is experienced, it’s hard to switch back and there are still gaps in the US and European route networks which only business jets and turboprops can plug.

Against such a backdrop, Hunt & Palmer is looking forward to some useful conversations in Las Vegas for NBAA-BACE this week (October 17 to 19) with operators and corporate flight departments. Neil Harvey and Wendi Matthews-Ortiz, Vice President, Executive Aviation USA are participating.

“Our clientele charter business jets for all manner of reasons,” Neil added.

“For example, on routes where there is no, or limited, commercial airline service; the need to move ahead of the competition to seal an important business deal, or when they want to celebrate a special anniversary.

“We also undertake medical assistance flights when situations are difficult and challenging.

“These past 18 months it’s been a pleasure to welcome more first-time customers to fixed wing and helicopter charter.

“We have been notably busy arranging group charters for helicopters, principally for sporting events over the summer,” said Neil Harvey.

“It’s been pleasing to see an increased number of executive helicopters being added to UK operators’ fleets especially.

In the USA, Hunt & Palmer is booking more trips involving multi-segment routes and an increased amount of flying for banks and corporates who tend to go for mid to large cabin aircraft.

“This sector started coming back this time last year and pleasingly has continued to charter – right through the summer,” added Wendi Matthews-Ortiz, Vice President, Executive Aviation USA.

In line with its business growth, Hunt & Palmer has expanded its brokerage team with the arrival of Bianca Lucas in the UK and Douglas McNabb in the US.

Hunt & Palmer will also be recruiting one more team member to join the US team in early 2024.