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What Charter Flights Are and Why Choose Them for Your Next Trip

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Updated on 04/25/2024

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I would also like to recommend our Colombia travel guide, which provides a perfect overview of the tourist attractions in Colombia. Enjoy reading it!

Charter flights are a tailored travel option that allows you to choose the plane, schedule, and destination you desire, without relying on commercial airlines. With this personalized and hassle-free alternative, you can transform your travel experience and enjoy exclusive service. In this blog, we explain what charter flights are, how they work, their advantages, and how you can design your itinerary for future trips.

What are Charter Flights and How Do They Work?

Charter flights are air transport services hired on-demand by individuals, groups, companies, or governments. Unlike commercial airlines with fixed schedules and routes, charter flights give you complete control over your travel plans.

Your flight time, destination, number of passengers, type, and model of aircraft are up to you. You can also enjoy services and amenities such as onboard catering, entertainment, and Wi-Fi.

Charter flights can be booked for various purposes, including business trips, vacations, special events, or emergencies. Some emergency situations where charter flights can be reserved include:

  • Evacuations and repatriations: when it is necessary to move people who are at risk or in danger due to natural or human causes, such as war, disasters, epidemics or accidents.
  • Humanitarian aid: when medical supplies, food, water, shelter or other essential items need to be sent to areas affected by humanitarian or environmental crises.
  • Medical transport: when urgent or specialized medical assistance is needed for patients suffering from serious illnesses or injuries, and an aircraft equipped with medical personnel and equipment is required.
  • Search and rescue teams: when specialized personnel and equipment need to be mobilized to locate and rescue missing or trapped persons in extreme situations.

You can also fly to remote or exclusive locations that commercial airlines overlook.

Imagine you want to celebrate your wedding anniversary with a romantic trip to Cartagena but can’t find any direct flights from your city, and the available ones have long layovers and inconvenient schedules. What can you do?

The solution is to charter a flight that takes you directly to the city of love, without waiting or hassle. Plus, you can choose the type of aircraft you prefer, from a private jet to a commercial plane, and enjoy personalized luxury service.

Types of Charter Flights

There are many types of charter flights, depending on who rents them, what aircraft they use, who operates them, and how they are contracted. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, which we explain below.

  • According to the client: There are three types of clients who can rent a charter flight: those who rent the entire plane for themselves (private charter), those who buy a seat on a plane rented for a special occasion (commercial charter), and those who are part of a group with a common interest (affinity charter).
  • According to the aircraft: There are two types of aircraft that can be used for a charter flight: those like a normal flight, with seats for passengers (passenger charter) and those for transporting goods, with cargo space (cargo charter). For example, cargo charters can transport anything from hazardous goods to live animals, such as racehorses or giant pandas.
  • According to the operator: There are two types of operators that can offer a charter flight: those that also have regular flights but sometimes rent a plane for a client or group of clients (regular charter) and those that only dedicate themselves to renting planes for clients or groups of clients (non-regular charter).
  • According to the contract: There are two types of contracts that can be made for a charter flight: those made to measure for the client, without following a fixed schedule or frequency (custom charter) and those made with a set schedule and frequency, usually weekly or monthly, and with a fixed destination (scheduled charter). A custom charter is ideal for a one-time trip, such as a wedding, concert, or sporting event, while a scheduled charter is more convenient for a recurring trip, such as a vacation, course, or work.

The following table summarizes the above information:

Type of charter flightType of customerAircraft typeOperator typeType of contract
PrivateIndividual or groupPassengers or cargoRegular or not regularCustomized, tailor-made
CommercialIndividual or groupPassengersRegular or not regularCustomized, tailor-made
By affinityGroupPassengersRegular or not regularCustomized, tailor-made

These are the main types of charter flights in the market. If you want to know more about each of them, their characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages, we invite you to visit our blog: Types of charter flights. There you will find detailed and updated information about this type of air transportation.

What are the Benefits of Charter Flights?

Charter flights offer many advantages over commercial airlines, such as:

  • Schedule flexibility: Adapt your flight schedule to your specific needs, avoiding the restrictions of commercial airline schedules. Plus, you can make last-minute adjustments, subject to availability and additional fees.
  • Comfort and privacy: Experience the comfort of a spacious and luxurious cabin with personalized amenities and attentive crew. Plus, you can avoid the crowds and noise of commercial airports and relax in private lounges before and after your flight.
  • Time and hassle savings: Save time and hassle by flying to and from smaller, less congested airports, often closer to your final destination. Avoid long queues and security checks at commercial airports, and board and disembark from the plane quickly and easily.
  • Customization and communication: You can request any service or amenity that suits your preferences. Plus, you can communicate directly with the crew and pilot, receiving personalized attention and assistance.

The exclusive services offered by charter flights depend on the type of flight, aircraft, and operator you choose. However, some of the most common and attractive services you can find include:

  • Individualized headrests
  • No maximum luggage limit
  • Choice of catering
  • Pets on board.

What are the Disadvantages of Charter Flights?

Charter flights also have some disadvantages compared to commercial airlines, such as:

  • Higher cost: Charter flights are more expensive than normal flights, especially if you travel far or to another country. The price varies depending on the aircraft, distance, fuel, crew, and airport. For example, a charter flight from Bogotá to Madrid can cost between $50,000 and $100,000, depending on the type of aircraft and the number of passengers.
  • Lower availability: Charter flights can be difficult to get, especially if you travel during peak times. You may have to book well in advance or pay more to get the day and time you want.
  • Greater weather risk: Charter flights may experience more weather-related issues than normal flights, which have more aircraft and schedules. You may experience delays or cancellations due to bad weather, which can ruin your trip.
  • Lower protection: Charter flights do not give you the same guarantees as normal flights, which must follow certain rules and pay you if something goes wrong. If you cancel your flight, you may lose your money or part of it. Also, you may not get paid at all if the operator cancels or delays the flight.

Why Choose Charter Flights for Your Next Trip?

Charter flights are a personalized and exclusive travel option. With them, you can:

  • Choose the type of aircraft that suits your needs and budget, from luxury private jets to large-capacity aircraft for groups.
  • Customize onboard service with gourmet catering, entertainment to your liking, personalized decoration, VIP assistance, and more.
  • Travel with greater privacy and security with your close circle, without sharing space with other passengers. Ideal for business or family trips.
  • Access remote destinations or executive airports, saving time and unnecessary connections.

Additionally, charter flights can be a more sustainable alternative if you are concerned about the environmental impact of your trip. You can:

  • Optimize fuel, adjusting it to the number of passengers and specific route, avoiding waste.
  • Choose eco-efficient aircraft, with state-of-the-art technologies that reduce emissions and noise.
  • Offset carbon footprint by investing in projects that neutralize the emissions from your flight, contributing to environmental protection.

In conclusion, charter flights offer flexibility, comfort, personalized experiences, security, and sustainability. If you want to travel in a unique and memorable way, consider a charter flight for your next trip.

More about Charter Flights in Colombia


About Author



Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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