People often wonder what it is that an air charter services broker does. By definition, an air charter broker is an individual or entity that acts as an agent for the client to secure a particular service and when said service has been procured, the broker receives a commission. Air charter brokers are enlisted to source ideal aircraft via access to FAA Part 135 air carriers and operators in efforts to facilitate a particular type of air charter for the client.
Although it sounds like a simple undertaking, there is a number of elements to consider when attempting to uncover suitable and satisfactory charter solutions. Clients generally prefer that this process be time conservative which can prove to be difficult when brokers must scour through an extensive network of charter operators and their fleet of aircraft to uncover the most effective resolution for the client. Then, there is the consideration of cost and functionality. Not only must the aircraft be within their budget but additionally it has to be able to accommodate their needs. For example, a business charter may require the use of an executive airliner to comfortably seat a number of travelers and may need to travel transcontinentally.
Then there is the consideration of where the aircraft the client is in need of is based. Air charter brokers will try and uncover the closest solution to where the client is wishing to depart from, should there not be aircraft available, the broker must source one and determine if there will be fees for moving it to the departure location. Additionally, per the client’s request, the aircraft may need to be stocked with additional amenities or customized to feature the client’s company branding. This may be an additional cost for the client and they may only have so much wiggle room with regard to their budget’s parameters, which makes the broker’s job even more complex.
It’s important throughout this process that the air charter broker imparts upon their client that they take their fiduciary responsibility to the client seriously and that they will make every attempt to provide a service that includes a transparency in all things including and especially regarding the accounting of cost. Most air charter services brokers and the operators with whom they work have no issue with providing their clients with an itemized estimate of what they can expect to pay prior to reserving their charter.
To make the process even more beneficial to clients, the National Business Aviation Administration NBAA established a list of guidelines for air charter service brokers to adhere to in an effort to ensure they operate in the best interest of their clients. The guidelines further serve to protect the interest of the air charter broker in the furtherance of their business pursuits as well.