Starting a Private Charter Business: What Steps to Take

private charter business
  • Starting a private charter business requires securing essential licenses, certifications, and comprehensive insurance coverage.
  • Building a proficient crew and staff is crucial for the company’s operational success and customer retention.
  • Advertising and marketing are vital to increasing brand visibility, generating leads, and converting bookings in this industry.
  • The unique value proposition must be effectively communicated to the clientele, be it a luxury fleet, exceptional crew, or unparalleled service.

The allure of private charter travel has grown significantly, particularly among those who value privacy, convenience, and a unique travel experience. According to an industry report from Grand View Research, the global private aviation market was valued at USD 29.18 billion in 2021. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8% from 2021 to 2028.

Key factors contributing to this growth include increasing preference for private air travel over commercial flights due to its benefits, such as efficient security checks, no waiting time, and the luxury of choosing one’s schedule. Furthermore, a survey conducted by Business Jet Traveler revealed that 90% of respondents view private aviation as a more comfortable and reliable mode of transportation than commercial airlines. These statistics underline the growing demand for private charters.

If you have the resources and finances to start a private charter business, you might want to do so due to its profitability. However, you must focus on these initial steps to help you get started.

Get the Necessary Licenses and Certifications

Getting certified as a pilot

Securing the necessary licenses and certifications is paramount to setting up a private charter business. These documents not only validate your competence and adherence to safety regulations, but they also instill trust in your prospective clients. Here are examples of what to get:

FAA Certifications

First, your business must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This includes the Part 135 certificate for commuter and on-demand operations and a Part 91 certificate for general aviation flight operations.

Aircraft Registration

Every charter plane in your fleet must be registered with the FAA. This registration includes the plane’s serial number, proof of ownership, and an outline of its specifications, such as model, size, and capacity.


Securing comprehensive insurance coverage is crucial. This protects your investment in potential situations of damage or loss and assures your clients that their safety is your utmost priority.

Pilot and Crew Licenses

Finally, your pilots and crew must possess valid licenses. They must be trained and certified to operate the aircraft in your fleet, assuring their competency and your client’s safety. If you are to offer piloting services yourself, you must go to flight school to ensure you are up to date with the necessary knowledge and skills.

By ensuring that your charter business has all the paperwork in order, prospective clients will be more likely to trust your services. So ensure you acquire all the necessary licenses and certifications before launching your private charter business.

Building Your Crew and Staff

Getting your staff to serve clients

Building a proficient crew and staff is critical in establishing your private charter business. Your team forms the cornerstone of your operation — they are responsible for the safety and comfort of your clientele and serve as the face of your company. Therefore, it’s essential to build a team of high-caliber professionals who are highly trained, committed, and customer-driven.

In the private charter business, the quality of service your crew provides can significantly impact customer satisfaction and retention. Thus, investing in thorough recruitment processes, comprehensive training programs, and creating a supportive work environment can be pivotal in attracting and retaining top talent. Remember, a motivated, skilled, and happy staff translates into high-quality service, which in turn can lead to satisfied customers, positive word-of-mouth, and repeat business.

When it comes to your administrative and operations staff, their role is equally vital. They handle essential behind-the-scenes tasks such as flight scheduling, maintenance coordination, customer service, and marketing. Their efficiency and effectiveness can significantly influence the smooth running of your business and client satisfaction. Therefore, careful selection and continuous professional development should be prioritized to ensure your team has the necessary skills to excel in their roles.

Advertise to Clients

Once your private charter business is ready for operation, advertising your services to potential clients is the next crucial step. Effective marketing is essential for any business to thrive, especially in the highly competitive private charter industry. Advertising heightens brand visibility, helps differentiate your services from competitors, and generates leads that can be converted into bookings.

Consider investing in a professional, user-friendly website showcasing your fleet, services, and crew. A well-designed website paints a positive image of your business and serves as a 24/7 salesperson, attracting potential clients and persuading them to book your services.

Social media platforms also offer a powerful advertising medium. Platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook allow businesses to reach a broad audience and engage directly with potential customers. You can build strong relationships with prospects through compelling content and active engagement, enhancing your brand’s reputation and customer loyalty.

Traditional marketing methods, such as print advertising in luxury travel magazines and participation in industry trade shows, can also be effective. These strategies reach a targeted audience, increase brand awareness, and present networking opportunities.

Remember, your advertising efforts aim to communicate your unique value proposition. What sets your private charter business apart? Is it your luxury fleet, exceptional crew, or unparalleled customer service? By effectively communicating this in your advertising, you can attract the right clientele and grow your business.

Final Thoughts

Setting up a private charter business requires careful planning and strategic execution. By following these steps, you can ensure that your business is well-equipped to provide the highest level of service to its clientele to grow and succeed.

Scroll to Top