We offer several pragmatic advice on how to start an aircraft charter, rental, and leasing business.
Air Charter Basics for Entrepreneurs
With the commercial airline industry offering fewer flights and services, many businesses and individuals are taking a closer look at private air charter opportunities. Coupled with concerns about security following 9/11, the demand for more convenient air travel has resulted in a decade of growth for private plan manufacturers as well as aircraft charter and leasing companies.
The air charter industry is a very small universe and competition for passenger dollars is extremely fierce. There is room for air charter startups, but emerging entrepreneurs need to be extremely knowledgeable about the industry and prepared to bring their A-game to bear from the outset of operations because unlike other industries, even small mistakes can have expensive consequences for new air charter and leasing business owners.
You will also need to determine the scope of your business early in the startup process. Some air charter companies specialize in charter flights, while others specialize in long-term plan leasing or provide a combination of the two approaches. Diversification is a legitimate business strategy and can increase your startup's revenues -- as long as you have the resources and expertise to flawlessly execute multiple business activities.
What Do I Need to Launch an Aircraft Charter & Leasing Business?
An aircraft charter and/or leasing business is not a simple startup concept. It may take many months or even years from the time you begin to plan your startup to the day it goes "wheels up". Here are just a few of the requirements and hurdles you'll need to address before your grand opening.
- Fleet of Aircraft. Unless you plan to focus exclusively on providing the financing for private stakeholder to purchase long-term leases on aircraft, fleet acquisition will be your first major hurdle. As you probably know, charter craft aren't cheap -- expect to pay at least several million dollars for a small fleet of three to five planes in good condition. To finance your startup's fleet requirements, you may need to pursue business financing, investors and the possibility of your own long-term lease arrangements.
- Regulatory Compliance. As a commercial aviation service provider, you'll need to obtain an AOC (Aircraft Operator's Certificate) from the Federal Aviation Administration. The requirements for certification are extensive and include assurances that your operation has quality aircraft as well as the operational infrastructure, insurances and staff assets to safely transport passengers.
- Customer Acquisition Channels. A well-capitalized and fully compliant air chartering business is worthless without customers. Acquiring customers for an unproven aircraft charter and leasing startup will be more challenging than it sounds. To prepare your startup, it's essential to create professional marketing, PR and sales strategies designed to make a splash in the marketplace and leave a positive impression on prospective passengers.
Best Practices: Business Plans for Aircraft Charter, Rental, & Leasing Businesses
Struggling to get the attention of lenders and investors? Maybe it's because you're lacking a high quality business plan.
Business plans address a wide range of issues, including startup financials. Not surprisingly, lenders immediately turn to the financial section and use the accuracy of your forecasts to gauge the value of other parts of the plan.
Subsequently, a thorough understanding of business plan financial basics is a prerequisite to effective business plan writing for aircraft charter, rental, and leasing businesses.
Before you open an aircraft charter, rental, and leasing business in your town, it's worthwhile to find out how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors in your area. Just enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of aircraft charter, rental, and leasing businesses in your community.
Is the established competition doing a good job? It's important to understand their strengths and weaknesses and think through how you'll stake up against those established businesses.
Learn from Others Who Are Already In This Space
If you are interested in starting an aircraft charter, rental, and leasing business, the next step is to talk to somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby aircraft charter, rental, and leasing businesses will give you advice, think again. What's in it for them?
Fortunately, somebody who runs an aircraft charter, rental, and leasing business in a different city will be much more likely to talk with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
Want the scoop on finding an aircraft charter, rental, and leasing business entrepreneur outside of your area who is willing to talk?
Easy. Find them using our link below and start calling until you are successful.
Financial Benefits of Buying an Aircraft Charter, Rental, & Leasing Business
Startup aircraft charter, rental, and leasing businesses carry a host of financial risks and concerns. Without an operational history, it's hard to predict how your startup will actually perform in the marketplace.
Financial risk management requires you to at least consider the possibility of setting your startup plans aside to explore acquisition opportunities. Many entrepreneurs buy an existing business for the sole purpose of tapping into the financial benefits of an established customer base.
An acquired business also has documented assets and earnings - a big advantage with lenders and investors.
The odds of achieving your primary goal of avoiding failure in business zoom upwards when you franchise in lieu of doing everything yourself.
If you are thinking about opening an aircraft charter, rental, and leasing business, you ought to investigate whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing aircraft charter, rental, and leasing business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to aircraft charter, rental, and leasing businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.