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Boeing 737-300 of the UK charter airline Titan Airways

Air charter is the business of renting an entire aircraft (i.e., chartering) as opposed to individual aircraft seats (i.e., purchasing a ticket through a traditional airline).


Charter – also called air taxi or ad hoc – flights require certification from the associated country's civil aviation authority. The regulations are differentiated from typical commercial/passenger service by offering a non-scheduled service.

Analogous regulations generally also apply to air ambulance and cargo operators, which are often also ad hoc for-hire services.

United States

In the U.S. these flights are regulated under FAA Part 135.[1] There are some cases where a charter operator can sell scheduled flights, but only in limited quantities.[2] As of 2021, the FAA had made it a priority to crack down on unauthorised charter flights, according to industry experts.[3]

Types of service

There are several business models which offer air charter services from the traditional charter operator to brokers and jet card programs:

Aircraft categories

Charter aircraft categories include:

There are an estimated 15,000 business jets available for charter in the world. The US market is the largest, followed by the European market with growing activity in the Middle East, Asia, and Central America.[4]

Some charter airlines have employed other types of jets, such as Airbus, Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas mainline airliners like the Douglas DC-10 and Boeing 747 for example.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "FAA Part 135". FAA. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  2. ^ "NBAA Guide to Selling Charter by the Seat" (PDF). National Business Aviation Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  3. ^ Paul Egan (17 May 2021). "FAA: Company that flew Whitmer to Florida not authorized to operate charter flights". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 19 May 2021. if they are going to fly others for a fee they require a Part 135 certificate, Williams said. "It's pretty serious" in terms of potential civil penalties for both the company that owns the aircraft and the pilot, Williams said. The FAA has made cracking down on unauthorized charter flights a priority
  4. ^ Asp, Maria (20 April 2015). "Private Jet Charter and Sales 2014". Sand Aviation Publishing. Archived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2015.