People are always looking for faster and more convenient options to travel. Private air charters offer that. Passengers can skip the long lines at airports and get on a private jet without having small children scream and kick the back of their seats.
That opens the doors of opportunity for you to start a new business venture. With a private air charter business, you can build a business that lasts for years, which isn’t easy to do in the airline industry.
There are plenty of stories about airline failures. If you want to have a thriving charter business, you need to have a good foundation to build from.
Read on to learn how you can build a private charter business and set it up to beat the industry odds.
Know Your Target Audience
In any business, including private charter businesses, you have to know who you’re trying to market to. Your customers are going to be the focus of your business. You need to know them inside and out.
That’s how you’ll create marketing messages and a brand that they can relate to Then they relate to your brand, they’ll trust your business and become a customer.
Your initial thought may be that you want to target anyone who flies. Think again. Do you think that people who fly low-cost carriers are going to pay for a private air charter? No, they’re looking for the cheapest deal.
You don’t want those customers. You want people who understand the value that private air charter brings to their lives. People like business executives who treasure every minute saved or couples taking a luxury vacation value time and are willing to pay more for it.
It’s not always about luxury though. There are travelers who want more control over their travel experience. That’s one advantage that private air charter offers over commercial flights.
Your job is to create 2-3 key audiences who will use private air charters. For each audience, write down the reasons why they find private air travel appealing.
Understand the Competition
The competition is fierce in the airline industry. Even though more people are turning to air travel, they’re looking for the best deal possible. Combined with increased costs, you have tremendous pressure on your profitability.
That’s partly why so many low-cost carriers have folded or bought out. You need to understand this competitive landscape.
Don’t underestimate the competition in the air charter space. There are companies like NetJets and Jet Linx, plus a number of smaller operators.
You want to know who they target, how they market themselves, where they fly, and how much it costs to fly with them.
Do You Have a Viable Business?
Starting an air charter business is an expensive proposition. In order to give yourself the best chance to succeed, you have to have the minimum viable product. In other words, you have to validate your business model before it launches.
That takes a lot of research and testing. You have to figure out which business model is the most profitable and provide proof.
Navigate the Regulatory Requirements
Once you have proof of concept for your business, you’ll want to start to jump through the series of regulations. The airline industry is heavily regulated. It can take months, even years to get your airline running.
You’ll have to get approved by the FAA before you begin operations. You’ll need to have a Part 135 certificate to operate.
Write a Strong Business Plan and Pitch Deck
It can take millions of dollars to get an air charter business off the ground. Unless you’re wealthy and you can assume the tremendous amount of risk involved, you’ll want to get financial help.
That can come in the form of banks and other investors. To make your business as appealing as possible, you need to be prepared to show your business is going to be profitable.
Everyone understands how risky the airline industry is, so your business plan has to show why your air charter business is different.
Your pitch deck is the presentation you give to investors. It’s a summary of your business plan put into a PowerPoint presentation.
You want your business plan and pitch deck to be strong enough to make investors interested. You won’t get investors to write a check immediately. However, if they ask for another meeting with you, you can consider that a rousing success.
Mapping Out the Business
There are dozens of things that you have to put into place before you begin operations. You have to register your business with your state, decide your flying routes, and get insurance for your business.
You also have to hire employees, build an online ticketing system, and make sure that the customer experience is as smooth as possible.
There’s so much to think about, you want to sit down and walk through each step as a customer. At each step, you’ll want to jot down your needs at each step.
For example, a customer may become aware of your business through your website. What do you need to build your website? What do you need to do to drive traffic to your website?
You’ll then want to map out the process to book flights. Ideally, you want people to book online or call a customer service line.
At that point, create a map for what happens at the airport. You’ll need to have security procedures in place, even though you’re a private air charter business. You can read these tips to learn about airport security.
You’ll also want to figure out what the customer experience is like during the flight. There may be an open bar that customers can enjoy. When they land, you want to make sure that the experience continues, and they can find their way to their final destination.
Starting a Private Air Charter Business
The airline industry is littered with failed ventures, from TWA to Thomas Cook. That doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities in the airline industry. You just have to be smart about the opportunities.
A private air charter business is a type of business that you can start and be successful. You have to have a firm foundation, starting from your target market to mapping out your path to profitability. If you do those well, you can get investors on board and build a great operation.
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