Im very interested in starting up a small air charter company operating maybe a Navajo or King Air depending on the costs. I already have potential customers lined up if i decide to go ahead.
As I am at the very early stages of planning i was wondering about costs.
How much as a ball park figure would it cost to setup as a single aircraft Charter company? Something like a Navajo ( ie at least 4-5 people plus light baggage). What are the other costs like AOC, maitainence, Insurance etc. How much could you charge per flying hour?
What other aircraft would be suitable, I believe the Navajo is pretty ancient?
Would I have to buy the aircraft or are there options hire purchase, lease etc?
Lost of questions here which most operators would not like to answer as it will give away too many comercial secrets. If you want to make money from your customers then you should get a job with an existing operator and take your customers to them.
If you are operating public transport, you will need an AOC so most people will "rent" one from an established operator. For a King Air you could talk to Titan, GAMA etc...
Going solo will require you to get an approval from the CAA, which without any experience in the business, you are unlikely to get. i.e you need a Chief pilot, a quality control manager and other JAR requirements.
Buying the plane is cheap so it is by far the easiest step to take. Also remember that a turbine A/C seems like a relatively affordable option until you start paying
- Euro Charges
- Landing/handling fees
-Insurance (don't know how much experience you have but operating PT might require you to employ a more qualified (insurance accepted) pilot.
Saying that,if you can do all that I will be a little envious since that would have been one of my dreams. Maybe later....
I dont wish to be rude or presumptious, but it appears you have no experience in this field, and to be honest, if you did start up tommorrow, you'd be out of business within a week.
It's always good to see new competition in the business, but avaition is a very small, and cut throat world, I can't think of one commercial charter operator who has started up their own business without previous experience in the industry.
Go and work for one of the established operators for a few years and you'll see what we all mean.
Before (preferably) or after you have bought your aeroplane, you will need to find an established operator of your type, willing to add it on his AOC. This is usually done at a cost but perhaps if you have something of interest to them, you can trade the use of you plane Vs a financial arrangement.
Once that's done, since you will be under the AOC holder's responsability, it will be down to them to decide whether or not as a pilot you can operate public transport flights. Their AOC might require a minimum number of hours, experience on type or whatever else and therefore dictating your ability to fly your own plane as PIC.
Of course if you have a plane, customers and the minimum experience required (which includes 700 hours mini for single pilot public transport according to the JAR), the rest should be a breeze.
Like I said, buying an aircraft is easy but it's the rest that will cost you time, money and some frustration.
I think you will find thatDaiflycan come up with better info than mine as his knowledge is quite vast when it comes to the business side of A/C operations.
Would never be so presumtous as to agree with your comments AMEX ;o)
I concur with niknak, go and get some commercial experience with another operator first. If you do want to just jump in at the deep end (and it has been done, but rarely successfully), then you will need some good financial backers behind you - people who will not want to see a vast return on their money and who, preferably, will not want to see their investment back!
In the old adage "to make a million in Aviation, start with ten".
Bear in mind that the entry level is no longer Navajos and Senecas - they serve a very small niche market which is rapidly disappearing. King Airs, well, see the other post that's kicking around here about them and you'll see that we're all in rough agreement that turboprops aren't really a great business decision either these days.
I hate it when the customers get picky! Everyone wants jets...
Would like to say I hope that the above doesn't put you off, but I guess it's not really that positive! If you fancy a challenge though, give it a shot, but be careful how much money you chuck at it (and start by talking to other operators about piggy-backing off their AOC's. It'll give you the opportunity to gauge whether or not your plan would work).
Thanks very much for your useful comments. I was never going to start up a company tomorrow, and as Niknak said, I would undoubtedly go out of business if I tried to. I was looking for some very general info on how you would go about it if I decided to go ahead with it.
I will try and get some experience however I fear it will be rather diificult with todays job market.
Its interesting what you say about King Airs. Do you really think its jets or nothing these days? I guess a citation would be the place to start then? The reason that surprises me is that the joy of a King Air and smaller aircraft is the ability to land at smaller airfields nearer to where the client has to be. Isn't this one of the major factors in a client choosing a private aircraft - to avoid the travelling time and the hassles of international airports.
However, I have no experience of the field so please correct me. I'd be very interested to hear anyone's opinions.
Only a quick reply as I'm in a rush, but on the King Air theme, if you think that the main business centres (and thus charter requirements) are the main conurbations - there aren't that many which suffer from a lack of suitable aviation facilities which won't take jets.
It's only with really picky clients that they insist on the really small places.
Short sectors though, the King Air is still a very useful bit of kit, I'm not trying to talk it down, merely saying that prices these days are low enough as they can be on jets and most people would opt for the jet and a slightly longer road journey to the aircraft.
Sorry if that doesn't make sense, am typing quickly.
The big question is, do you have 200K GBP of cashflow and 150K GBP of deposit for your aircraft. Do you have clients that will bring about 500 hours a year of utilisation. If the above is yes, send me a message, if not, send me a message anyway, I might be able to help if your business plan has any legs.
Whats the old saying?
"The only way to make a small fortune in aviation is to start with a large one"
If you have passengers already lined up you must have an idea what aircraft they want to use. As much as I love piston twins unfortunately things move on and your average potential passenger will be used to and wanting something a bit more "modern" than an Navajo. Unfortunately even king airs are frowned upon by many. Which is unfortunate because in the UK it is probably the most practical aircraf available!
As has already been said if you are low on hours, take your passengers to another company and get some experience. Then think about going on your own
Where abouts are you based "Phil" and what sort of aircraft are you operating? Curious as I'm always very interested in the non-airline world where serious money can be made by a few individuals... if you're good!
Is this like Premiere into Blackbushe....sorry my little joke. But please accept this little peice of input. DONT DO IT. (yes 750m is possible. I have taken Citations in to silly little airports, and every time I $hit myself. It only takes a gust to move the touch down point, slight delay in reversers, slight delay in max breaking...don't even think about cross wind, and as to wet, damp or even humid..... And then there is temperature, ISA....but we are talking Denham, forget ISA+. And that is after 1000 Citations hours third world wide.
Sorry, been out of the office over the long weekend. Operate 9 PA34's, 4 PA31's, 1 x BE200. Looking to buy a couple of Turboprops later this year, probably another King Air and likely something bigger.
Aircraft are split between public transport work, corporate management and flight training (BFC).