Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

How Private Jet Charter Works …

Monday, February 18th, 2013

How Private Jet Charter Works …

Welcome to Aviastra and the great world of private flight!

 Chartering your own aircraft is very straightforward.

If you’re new to private charter and not sure of the process, this guide explains each step.


How to Charter Private Jets

  • Deciding to charter in the first place
  • Choosing between broker and operator
  • Getting price quotes
  • Going ahead
  • Confirmation and Agreements
  • Payment
  • Receiving Flight Packs and other paperwork
  • The flight itself


Remember, at any time before your flight, or even while you are at your destination, you can call us with questions or changes you need to make.


Deciding to charter in the first place

Charter flight has many advantages over scheduled airline flying. This is not airline flying; it’s so much better, it’s all about you and tailoring your flight around you in every way. Have a look at “Why Charter” and see the difference.

Yes, you can consider owning an aircraft but that only makes financial sense if you fly upward of 500 hours per year. Jet cards are available but they require up -front payment of very considerable sums. Even fractional ownership has its drawbacks – share the aircraft and you have to share the availability, not to mention being restricted to one type of aircraft.

Charter is the ultimate in service and flexibility without commitment.


Choose between Broker and Operator

Operators actually own and fly the aircraft. Some are big companies, others are privately owned single luxury aircraft. All will operate under a fully approved Air Operators Certification regulated by the national authority.

Brokers act as a pool of expertise, choice, information and experience. (Have a look at “Choosing Aviastra” – we go about this in a quite specific way).

You can book directly with the aircraft operator or book through a broker. Both systems work but you should be aware that each operator will restrict you to the particular aircraft types that they use and your costs will be dictated by their location as much as the route you fly.

A good broker will offer you unbiased advice on a worldwide choice to exactly suit you and your journey. Going through a broker should not cost you anymore; in fact with Aviastra you will routinely pay less (look here at “Price Guide” and click on “Your Aviastra Broker’s Discount”).


Request a quote

Don’t feel that you have to know exactly what you want at this stage, although it’s fine if you do! You can get in touch by phone or by email, fill out the yellow flight enquiry form or requesting a call-back.

Aviastra Flight Managers will always be happy to chat with you about different options, aircraft, routes and other services to help us make sure you get the best out of your charter and your budget. We can give you a very good estimate of the cost immediately and for straightforward flights you can have a firm single price offer usually within the hour and supply these by email or over the phone as you prefer.


Going ahead

Aviastra can arrange flights lightening fast if you required but otherwise there is no rush and we are available at any time to answer questions and show you different options. We hope most of the information you need on this website but please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time if we can help.

We will take you through the very simple process of booking and and provide you with all the information you need on where to find your private passenger agent at each airport and what to do at every step. Actually you don’t need to do very much – just relax and enjoy the privacy, convenience and speed of private charter!


Aviastra Flight Charter is all about service and flexibility. Call us at any time with questions, changes or requests – we are here to help.

Single-pilot airliners….

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Embraer is preparing for the possible introduction of airliners designed for single-pilot operation by as early as 2020, following the roll-out of next-generation air traffic management systems in Europe and the USA.

Vice-president for airline market intelligence Luiz Sergio Chiessi says the Brazilian manufacturer is looking to provide “single-pilot capability, at least” in the 2020-25 timeframe.He cautions, however, that much work needs to be done to persuade the travelling public, regulatory authorities and unions that the concept is feasible.”It’s very difficult to predict that this is going to happen, but I believe that we will have to provide capability for eventual implementation into the real world,” says Chiessi.Embraer is the first airliner manufacturer to publicly acknowledge it is in the early stages of studying single-pilot airliners.

Boeing presents a model of the Future Transport Helicopter

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

The US concern Boeing has returned to the ILA, where it is focusing on its helicopter division. Information is available not only about the current models, AH-64 Apache, H-47 Chinook and the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey, but also about the light combat and reconnaissance helicopter, the AH-6i. Details will also be provided about project studies such as the Disc Rotor and a Joint Common Airlift System, a fuselage with wings onto which a choice of jet engines or rotors can be mounted. Also on show will be a model of the Future Transport Helicopter, designed to meet the future needs of the German and French armed forces. The 20 metre long fuselage has the internal dimensions of a C-130 Hercules and would be able to carry a load of some 36 tonnes. Boeing were not willing to comment on the announcement by the head of Eurocopter, Lutz Bertling, concerning a joint venture on this project. The US armed forces have so far not indicated any need for such a helicopter, according to Dave Jones, Director Rotorcraft Strategy & Programme Development.

FAA exempts volcano cancellations from slot usage rule

Friday, June 11th, 2010

The US FAA announced on Thursday that flights cancellations caused by volcanic ash during April will not affect slot assignments at two major US gateways.

The FAA says it “will grant relief from the use-or-lose requirements for all carriers operating scheduled flights at JFK and EWR to or from points in Europe during the period from April 14 through 26, 2010.”

The ruling is in response to a request made by Continental Airlines, which has an international gateway at Newark, in May.

The carrier argued that cancellations should be exempt due to the ash created by the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökul volcano in April.

Currently, carriers must utilize slots at least eighty percent of the time, or they will be withdrawn.

The agency believes that allowing slots to go unused 20% of the time accounts for “routine” cancellations. The FAA concluded that ash-related cancellations are “unusual circumstances” that justify a “limited waiver of the minimum slot usage.”

In addition, the FAA ruled that it will “grant similar relief on an individual carrier basis” to airlines that face cancellations due to ash through 30 October.

Carriers must contact the FAA Slot Administration Office to receive a waiver.

Falcon 2000-Series Reduced Landing Distances

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Dassault is about to receive certification for a “nose-up autobrake” feature to further cut Falcon 2000-series landing distances, chief test pilot Philippe Deleume told AIN last month. The technique will reduce landing distances by approximately 150 feet, thus helping the 2000DX/EX/LX meet London City Airport requirements.

London Heathrow & Stansted runway decision may benefit industry in the long term

Monday, May 31st, 2010

BACA says UK runway decision may benefit industry in the long run

BACA, the Baltic Air Charter Association, says the decision by BAA to scrap plans for new runways at Heathrow and Stansted is unlikely to harm air charters and may, in fact, benefit the charter industry in the long run. 

The group, which represents air charter brokers and others involved in the commercial aviation industry, says that eventually the lack of runway space is likely to cause congestion and delays for both passengers and freight.

“When that happens, using charter aircraft via the smaller regional airports will become an even more attractive option,” says BACA Chairman, Dick Gilbert. “Of course, this is good for the smaller airports and the local economy as well as for the charter market.”

BACA is the world’s largest and most prestigious network for the air charter market. Its principal objective is to promote integrity and ethical business practices. It offers training and networking opportunities for members and liaises with aviation and government bodies, lobbying on matters of concern and interest to its members. It is recognised by the UK CAA, the Department for Transport and the European Commission for Mobility and Transport.


Pet Travel Scheme – Making pet travel into the UK possible, without the need for quarantine

Monday, May 31st, 2010



The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows you to travel from certain countries and enter the United Kingdom (UK) with you cat, dog or ferret, without the need to quarantine as long as certain rules are met. This also means anyone in the UK can take their cats, dogs or ferrets to other European Union (EU) countries. In some situations you may be able to return to the UK from a non-EU country without any need for quarantine.

What do you need to do?

There are a few things you will need to do as part of the process to be able to bring your pet into/back into the UK. Your pet will need a pet passport and;

You will need to ensure that your pet is vaccinated against rabies, there is no exception to this, without this your pet will need to be quarantine on its return in to the UK.

Next your pet will need to have a blood test. This will need to be done to make sure the vaccine against rabies has given your pet a satisfactory level of protection.

Your pet will need to be treated against ticks and tapeworms not less than 24hrs and not more than 48hrs before your pet is checked-in with an approved transport company.

Approved Transport Companies

There are many air transport companies who are able to fly you and your pet to the UK. There are scheduled airlines where your pet will travel in a secure pet travel box in the hold of the aircraft, don’t worry the crew will know there is a pet on-board and keep the animal warm and safe! Or you can choose from a number of private charter aircraft where your pet can be in the cabin of the aircraft with you, sometimes they can be allowed out of their transport box.

Aviastra flight charter can help you arrange such flights, visit, assisting you with the process of getting you and your pet swiftly and safely in and out of the UK, making the flight just as special and comfortable for your pet as we would for you! Each operator whether scheduled or privately chartered must specify a departure country and airport from within the EU and these are listed within the defra website. There are only three current approved arrival airports into the UK. They are London Biggin Hill, for private charter air traffic, London Heathrow, usually for scheduled air traffic and Manchester for either.

You may have an onward destination, but you must fly via London Biggin Hill, London Heathrow or Manchester to clear your pet and for documention processes. As long as your documentation is in place correctly prior to the flight this should be a short stop, especially through London Biggin Hill and can usually be done on the aircraft without the need for you and your pet to have to disembark.

You can find detailed information on the Pet Travel Scheme process on the defra website, including which countries you and your pet can travel from without the need to quarrantine and information on pet passports, worming and rabies.


Cats, dogs and other rabies susceptible animals that do not qualify for entry into the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme and are required by law to spend 6 months in quarantine.

EC VAT decision -good news or bad?

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Since its inception in 1973 UK VAT law has stipulated that “qualifying aircraft”, those over 8,000kg max take off mass, are exempt from VAT for the purpose of acquisition, management and operating costs. This exemption has been enjoyed by private owners and commercial operators alike.

A recent EC decision states that this threshold for exemption is no longer acceptable and while the UK authorities response is still not yet clearly defined it is certainly a cause for thought if not concern for all those possible affected by it. For private owners who partly use their aircraft for private travel it would no longer be possible to reclaim VAT on a proportion of the overall costs. Commercial operators will no doubt be able to reclaim the Sales Tax or equivalent on costs but will nevertheless be faced with serious cash flow issues.

On the up side there is potential for private operators to pass their aircraft over to commercial operators for use on their fleets. This will further increase the already wide range of aircraft available to charter passengers.

It is estimated that business aviation contributes some £3.5 billion to the UK economy annually and provides approximately 50,000 jobs either directly or indirectly. In such economic conditions as we currently endure it is a shame that such far reaching edicts are put out with seemingly little regard for their true impact and for all the world to have apparently come from a base of, shall we say, “reduced awareness”. Dave Edwards of a leading UK operator phrases it thus: ” …To implement this change in such a rapid manner, with virtually no industry discussion, opinion or debate would be, frankly, ill-considered at this time.”  Will Curtis of Rizon is somewhat more outspoken; “This is typical of the way that the EU legislates – from a position of comprehensive ignorance and without consultation of any description.”

Whatever your stance on the subject it is an area to keep a close eye on. Fortunately our charter clients are relatively insulated from its effects and will continue to be free to use business charter flights as and when they are seen to be cost effective.

European support for business aviation?

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

From the Editor:
Earlier this month Brian Humphries, president of the Eurpean Business Aviation Association, published the following article highlighting the plight of SMEs in the business aviation market during this recession particularly when compared to government approaches to legacy industries such as car manufacturing. I will let the article speak for itself – as a broker in the business aviation market Aviastra soundly echoes all the points raised.

The European Business Aviation Association was founded in 1977 to [quote from]
“….. promote excellence and professionalism amongst our Members to enable them to deliver best-in-class safety and operational efficiency, whilst representing their interests at all levels in Europe, to ensure the proper recognition of business aviation as a vital part of the aviation infrastructure, supporting local and national economies.”

Their website is at

The Article [by Brian Humphries of EBAA]:

I am writing this column in both my EBAA and British Helicopter Association (previously BHAB) roles when I address the plight of the backbone of business aviation in Europe, the small operator, and ask:

Why it is that in the depth of this recession they seem to be the focus of attack by authorities and governments rather than receiving the sort of support the large “has been” industries such as motor manufacturing have been enjoying?

After EBACE I wrote that a number of indicators suggested EBACE may have coincided with the market bottoming out and perhaps a sign of better times to come. However, looking at the traffic figures since and talking to our members, there is no doubt we are still bumping along the bottom and times will continue to be very tough for many of them for some time yet. While we wait with some trepidation for the July Eurocontrol figures, informal indications suggest these may be down again and there is no doubt that if, overall, we end the year around 15% down on last year, we shall have done very well. But some countries and some market segments, especially some elements of charter, are faring much worse than this. As a result, from the largest operators, where the furloughs and job losses are very large indeed, to the smallest with relatively few employees, all are having to make severe economies and let valued employees go just to stay in business. In recognition of all this and with their formally stated commitment to Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs), would you not think that European and national governments would be sympathetic to helping them stay in business – remembering that Eurocontrol figures show that 40% of operators in Europe have only one aircraft and 80% less than four. Indeed, EU policy, to which the UK government is a signatory, says: “Being SME-friendly should become mainstream policy. To achieve this, the ‘think small first’ principle should be irreversibly anchored in policy-making from regulation to public service thus ensuring that rules reflect the majority of those who will use them. SMEs must be helped to thrive. When the setting up of businesses and their growth is hampered by unnecessary obstacles, these must be removed.”

Sadly in practice things are very different. In the UK, the general aviation sector will have seen its regulatory charges rise by an average of 60% in five years and small aircraft operators will have seen their regulatory charges increased by several hundred percent with further increases planned until all cross-subsidies are abolished in 2010. A small company that employs one pilot to fly their sole aircraft will have suffered an increase in AOC charges from £834 in 2005 to £10,030 in 2010. Another company that operates, maintains and manages helicopters on behalf of their owners will have seen its charges rise from £11,664 in 2008/09 to £18,618 (+59.6%) in 2009/10 and £31,030 (+66.6%) in 2010/11!

So, far from helping SMEs in line with policy commitments, govern-ments are just making things a great deal worse. The mounting costs of regulatory compliance with EU directives, the cost of oversight by the CAA, the growing cost of environmental compliance are all conspiring to drive our SMEs out of business. Added to this, we know of at least one case where the CAA has been highly unsympathetic to a basically sound very small operator under temporary financial pressure. Instead of showing sympathy and allowing them time to pay in stages to allow the business to survive an especially difficult time, they threatened early redress to the Courts to recover non-material amounts of money.

Higher up the scale, we have similarly unsympathetic treatment of mid size operators by the EC, who despite pleas to the contrary, will require any operator emitting more than 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year to follow the whole panoply of ETS reporting. We did a trial with one such operator and found it would cost them ?70,000 to comply in the first year; funds that just aren’t available in the current market. And as if that were not enough, we now face pressure from the EC to raise the UK’s zero rate of VAT rate on aircraft above 8,000 kg. As one commentator noted, the addition of VAT to the cost of buying and flying private jets is likely to sound the death knell for a significant number of owners, operators and manufacturers.

What is so worrying is that all this comes against a background of great progress in getting the importance of business and general aviation recognised in Europe. For example, the European parliament noted in February that business aviation “provides specific social and econ-omic benefits such as increasing the mobility of citizens, the productivity of businesses and regional cohesion”. It also noted the sector’s “growing economic importance” as vividly illustrated in the recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers report showing that business aviation was worth some ?20bn to the European economy in 2007, around 0.2% of GDP and generating 164k jobs.

So come on governments. Please can we have the hard nosed financiers talking to the policy makers and showing a bit of sympathy to these SMEs who fulfill such a vital role in European mobility? We are not looking for handouts. Just the same sort of sympathy being shown to other businesses with the avoidance of yet more costs, a pause in already planned cost increases until the economy recovers, and time to pay when businesses are struggling. Is this really too much to ask after what you have given the banks and other legacy industries?

Brian Humphries, EBAA president