Aircraft Charter and Management is a highly regulated, highly specialized business. The relationship between an aircraft owner and their management company is unique; it is closer to a partnership then a traditional supplier/customer relationship. When it comes to selecting a company for aircraft management, most owners like to hire a company with deep experience, top safety ratings and one which understands and is aligned with the owner’s air travel requirements. In this post, we will discuss key areas that are differentiators when choosing and ACM company.
– Experience is one of the most important factors. When you are looking for an aircraft charter and management specialist, you have to consider their experience. This is extremely vital because it largely determines the kind of services you can expect from them. If required, ask the prospective company to offer references of past customers with similar aircraft and mission profiles.
– Consider their safety ratings. There are well known and respected organizations such as Argus, Wyvern, IS-BAO and the Air Charter Safety Foundation which rate ACM companies based upon their safety record. Ask potential management company for its ratings from these organizations.
– Who are their clients? While many organizations and individual aircraft owners prefer confidentiality, some may be available for use as reference. At a minimum an ACM operator should be able to provide a profile of their clients on a “blind” basis for review.
– What’s their expertise? A prospective management company should be able to provide you a summary of their Operations Specifications, or OPSPECS, so you can better understand their capabilities. This is especially important for owners who plan to travel outside of the U.S.
– How do they measure success? Another way of saying this is what type of reporting will you receive? Most owners of managed aircraft receive a monthly summary detailing every flight, every maintenance transaction, etc. As an owner, you have every right to receive whatever information you want, in whatever format you want it. If you are used to reviewing performance reports a certain way, you should be able to tailor your aircraft activity reporting this way as well. If desired, you can even have an automated data interface set up to electronically transfer this information to you as well.
Finally, you have to understand the value proposition. Not all companies can deal with management requirements efficiently, and it can only add to your overall costs. The whole purpose of hiring an aviation management company is to keep a tight control on the operations and increase efficiency and transparency. Unless the management company can meet your expectations in these areas, it is unlikely that you can expect good returns as far as customer service and delivery of execution are concerned.
Please consider these areas as your diligence aircraft charter and management companies for your potential use. If you would rather use a third part consultant, that can also provide the comfort you are seeking that the potential ACM companies have been properly vetted to meet your needs.