When a charter operator needs to reposition an aircraft for its next charter flight, that flight leg often is flown empty—without paying passengers—thus the term, empty leg. By some estimates, as much as 40% of all private jet flights are empty legs. Rather than eating the entire cost of empty legs, operators often offer them to the public at significantly reduced pricing, albeit usually on rather short notice. Now, more than ever, third party brokers utilizing the internet have gotten into the game, aggregating empty legs from various operators and offering them for public consumption.
Empty legs can provide a “win/win” for the private flyer and the charter operator. But, as with anything else in private aviation, it’s essential that you ask the right questions before committing. Here are just a few:
In sum, don’t be in a rush and don’t be so blinded by the discounted price that you forget to do the proper due diligence. This isn’t like a flash sale on Groupon. You’re putting your life and the lives of your family members in the hands of an operator, its aircraft and pilots. As always, the two most important rules are: “Safety First” and “Buyer Beware.”
Shaircraft maintains relationships with many first-class jet charter providers. To discuss how we can assist you with chartering flights, please contact us.