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You always hope for the best when travelling and when hiring aircraft. Sometimes things do not go as planned, though you may need an aircraft with short notice for an emergency situation. This guide looks at the main reasons for emergency chartering and some things to bear in mind in each case.


Chartering for different emergencies

There are several reasons why a charter could be considered “an emergency.” In general, this is due to the last minute and urgent nature of the charter. A standard charter may be planned much further in advance and have more flexibility. An emergency charter usually needs to happen quickly, with little flexibility in schedule or location.

For personal users, medical emergencies are a leading reason for chartering. Evacuation from dangerous situations, political unrest, or conflict areas is possible too.

Chartering as a result of disruption is common too. Commercial flights may let you down or stop serving a particular area. This has been highlighted during the past two years. COVID restrictions have closed off many commercial routes, leaving people to require unplanned private charters, often at short notice.

Cargo and supply chain emergencies

Companies may have other business-related emergencies requiring last-minute emergency cargo flight charters. There is, of course, less of a human element here – but a last-minute charter could be the difference between success and failure for a company or a particular contract.

There are plenty of potential situations that could give rise to this. People or items may need to be moved as part of an urgent situation. Goods may need to be urgently delivered to satisfy a contract. Or parts may need to be moved as part of critical supply chain – either unexpectedly or after the failure of commercial freighting.

Make plans in advance

This may sound like strange advice. Emergencies, of course, are not planned for, but it makes sense to be aware of possible situations. Having a relationship in place with an agency or broker will speed the process considerably. This should be a top priority for anyone who may have a need for private flights in any case.

Even in an emergency situation, arranging a flight charter is going to take time. You will need to find the right aircraft and provider, arrange payment, and possibly wait for aircraft or crew to transfer location. Starting as early as possible, even before you know the exact requirements, is sensible. With some situations, such as unrest or lack of commercial options, you may have some notice that it is coming up.

Have payment ready

Costs of last-minute charter can be substantial. Depending on the nature of the emergency, there may be others also trying to secure similar charters. In general, no plans will be finalised and underway until payment is guaranteed.

Use a company or broker with access to many aircraft

The nature of an emergency is that every charter situation will be different. Having access to more providers, more locations, and a wide range of aircraft will be helpful. A charter company or broker can be beneficial here. It will also be faster than sourcing your own aircraft – critical in an emergency. Services can be accessed globally and around the clock

A broker will have access to a range of aircraft and may be able to secure better rates. Having this relationship in place will help greatly – you don’t want to be starting to search for a company whilst experiencing an emergency.

Choose the right aircraft

In an emergency, you are likely to want the right aircraft. If a group of 10 people need evacuating, there is little point in chartering a smaller aircraft. Medical evacuations may require special equipment. And you will need to consider the range in all cases.

Again, a broker is vital here. They will know what aircraft will suit best and have relationships in place to source it quickly.

Consider flight logistics

Just because the flight is an emergency, it does not lessen the logistics involved. There is a lot involved in planning flights – and some of this will be more complicated in a last-minute emergency.

Some of the things to think about include:

  • Permits. Flight, route and other permits need to be obtained as usual – especially challenging for last-minute international flights.
  • Flight plans. These must be completed and filed.
  • Visa or customs issues.
  • Ground logistics. Particularly for medical emergencies, plans must be well coordinated with ground transport timing and equipment.
  • Fuel availability. If you need transport from a remote location, or there is some sort of unrest, will fuel be available?

Final Thoughts

Emergency chartering is likely to be stressful and expensive. It can be made much easier with the proper preparation and support, both in aircraft charter and fight support. Plan as much in advance as possible, and ensure you have access to as much information and chartering options as possible, speak to our team today!

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