1. Is a Private Jet or Helicopter charter as safe as flying with an airline? Absolutely: all aircraft chartered with Regency Air Charter are operated under what is known as an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), issued by the relevant country’s authorising body, such as the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). All pilots and aircraft will be fully licensed by the authority, and regularly tested to the same exacting standards as those that apply to airlines. Strict limitations will also be imposed upon the crew’s duty hours.
2. Where can I travel from in the London area?
FIXED WING AIRCRAFT (Aeroplanes): Although the large 24 hour airports – Luton, Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick – may be used, many charters take place from Farnborough, Biggin Hill, London City and RAF Northolt airports. Additionally, the smaller airports of Fairoaks, Stapleford and Blackbushe are available for certain aircraft. Oxford airport and Southend airport are also possibilities that you may wish to consider.
ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT (HELICOPTERS): Although most of the airports above may be used, most helicopter charters take place from the following heliports or aerodromes: Battersea, Elstree, Denham, Redhill and Vanguard (situated in the Docklands – restricted aircraft only). Notably, Elstree Aerodrome operates 24 hours a day.
3. Should I choose a helicopter or a fixed-wing aircraft? We are always happy to advise you: for the perfect solution differs for each trip. But, all other thing being equal, aeroplanes are faster and less susceptible to poor weather than helicopters, and make the ideal solution for airport to airport travel. On the other hand, if you have a suitable private site to fly to or from, and wish to make a short inland journey, travel by helicopter will be the best and fastest option. Sometimes combining both types provides the perfect solution!
4. Why should I choose a charter broker? We have access to every aircraft available for private charter in the world. We offer independent advice on the perfect charter solution for you; and, using the excellent relationships that we have built up with operators worldwide, we will always strive to achieve the very best prices. Indeed, availability and prices change from week to week; we are constantly monitoring the market, and can find the most suitable and competitively priced aircraft for you, every time.
5. Do I have to check in at a normal airport terminal? All private flights are handled separately, by private handling agents. All airports have at least a separate office or building from which private flights are handled. Some private airports such as Farnborough have a dedicated private terminal. Larger airports will have a ‘General Aviation’ terminal, commonly known as a ‘GA Centre’ or ‘Business Aviation’ terminal.
6. Will I have to wait to have my passport checked at Customs? All passports are security checked with Passport control, via us, before flight. If it happens at all, Customs or Immigration’s check will usually be much shorter than on public flights.
7. How soon can I be airborne? Flights can sometimes be arranged within an hour and a half; but frequently for the same day.
8. What sort of catering will there be on board? On fixed-wing aircraft, all catering is of a first class standard, to suit the time of day. On smaller aircraft this will typically be: assorted sandwiches, canapés, fruit platters or a continental breakfast, together with a mini bar, red and white wine, soft drinks, and often Champagne. On larger aircraft, the catering is of VIP standard, and the choice is yours, with most gourmet items available.
9. Why should I not just use a jet card? The perfect flight solution differs for every journey. It depends on many variables such as airport size; length of trip; passenger numbers and luggage; aircraft positioning before and after flight; the availability of discounts, e.g. on new aircraft. Assessing all these, we provide the optimum arrangements at the most competitive price. Why be restricted to particular aircraft and prices, and pay (usually) in excess of £100,000, in advance and on account, just for the privilege of using a jet card?
10. May I take my dog? Yes. Many of our operators are part of the ‘Pet Passport Travel Scheme (PETS), approved by The Department For Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); and so, on certain aircraft, pet travel can usually be arranged. The Pet Travel Scheme allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from certain countries to enter the UK without quarantine, provided that they meet certain requirements. It also allows UK residents to take such animals to EU and certain other countries, and to return with them to the UK, without quarantine.
11. What happens if the flight is cancelled because of poor weather? Naturally, we refund you in full. But we will try to offer you the option – entirely at your discretion – of flying into a nearby alternative airport.
12. I have absolutely no idea how much private charter will cost: can you give me an indication? Prices range from a £400 short helicopter flight to a £150,000 long range jet charter! However, to give a very general idea, most light aircraft flights will typically fall in the region of £1,500 - £4,000; turbo prop, £3,000 - £8,000; light jets, £3,500 - £12,000; helicopter, £1,000 - £5,000. We are always very happy to give price indications — you may be pleasantly surprised!
13. What are the main benefits of private charter? Private aircraft charter provides the very highest levels of service both in the air and on the ground. You will depart from a dedicated private-aviation area. With your passports checked in advance, you will not need to queue or wait (though there will be a private executive lounge!); and private handling agents will look after you, meeting you and transporting you to your aircraft. Often, you will be able to avoid entering a terminal at all, and to park right beside your aircraft. You will have your pilots’ mobiles and can liaise with them or us if you need to make any changes. You will enjoy VIP catering, superior entertainment systems, often satellite phone and sometimes internet access – and, on large aircraft, hostess service. You can use smaller or military airports to get you closer to your final destination. Private charter therefore saves you time, offers you flexibility and gets you exactly where you need to be at times when a scheduled airline simply cannot. The time savings can also help to reduce or negate hotel costs; and are worth a great deal to our busy clients. Moreover, the total privacy of private charter is something that our clients also greatly value.