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Do You Know Your Aircraft Management Company?

May 27, 2011 By Matthew Winer

Of course you know your aircraft management company...but do you really KNOW your aircraft management company? The people who dispatch your personal trips, sell charter trips on your aircraft, oversee your maintenance, and of course, prepare your statements? How can you know your aircraft is in good hands, if you don’t shake those hands?

The term “aircraft management” means different things to different people. However, one common thread exists in all styles of management; a principle entrusts a company to oversee any number of aspects of the operation of their aircraft. Most aircraft management companies and Part 135 Charter Operators, sign contracts to manage/charter, and then communicate with you, personally, no more than once a month--when your statement arrives. Some owners welcome infrequent communication with their management company. However fewer comminique’s mean more possible surprises...and in aircraft operations, surprises are typically expensive and time consuming.

When looking for a management company, it’s recommended that you always ask the following key questions:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • How long have they had a Part 135 Air Charter Certificate?
  • What independent safety ratings do they have? (ie: ARG/US, Wyvern, IS-BAO)
  • How many classes of aircraft do they have? (turbo, light, mid, heavy jets)
  • How many aircraft do they have in their company?
  • What is the average age of their fleet?
  • What kind of maintenance department/facility do they have? (line maintenance or a full suite of maintenance services)
  • Ask for a standard monthly statement of account
  • What’s the average delivery date (after month-end) of your statement?
  • If you Charter your aircraft, how often do they pay on the end-of-month account statement? If only once a month, how long after the end of the month, do they deliver the payment?
  • What is their charter commission percentage?
  • Is the charter commission percentage based upon flight time or entire quotation?

The more you interact with your management company, meet the staff responsible for your aircraft, and REQUIRE MORE, from information to service, the easier it is to have a productive relationship. An active, educated owner is a management company’s best client.