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Turboprop Charter Caribbean

Flying the Empty Skies is the Secret to Private Jet Charter

Posted by Chris Patten on Aug 9, 2010 9:16:00 AM

Did you know thousands of private jets are flying on empty with full tanks of fuel?

Empty seats, that is!

Charter Jet

There are a substantial amount of private jet charter flights that are booked one way. Other times, an aircraft will fly empty to pick up passengers.  With an estimated 3.4 million flights in 2009 crisscrossing or even leaving the country, the potential for an empty cabin—known as an empty leg flight—is tremendous.

By now you must be thinking aircraft owners must hate empty legs. You’re right. They make flying more expensive, waste fuel and take away from recovering the cost of owning an aircraft. With rising fuel prices empty legs can make some trips profitless and impractical.

Without someone willing to buy the aircraft’s return trip, what’s an owner to do?


That’s right. They hang out at the destination—sometimes for days. They, in this case, includes the flight crew. Paying the flight crew to go to dinner and lounge at the hotel is expensive, but not as expensive as an empty cabin at 30,000 feet.

In the past, an airplane would fly passengers to their destination, refuel and return.  That’s now history. With today’s soft private air market and rising fuel costs, owners will bend backwards to find and accommodate a customer to pay for the ride back.

That could mean modifying the return trip, say to a nearby destination, so that at least some of the trip is compensated. Or, potential travelers may be offered a deep discount, sometimes up to 50 percent off the usual fixed fare.

Empty or not, the private jet must eventually return to its base to fly other trips. So there’s lot of incentive to negotiate.

By now, you must be asking “So how do I take advantage of this?”

With all the waiting and dealing going on, the data base of empty legs is larger than ever, but there’s just one portal to accesses this information. That portal is on the Magellan Jets Web site. Go to the Web site, scroll down, click View Empty Legs and be prepared to be overwhelmed. Magellan Jets has the industry’s exclusive software designed to search and display empty legs.

The site displays hundreds of empty legs going to some of the most popular destinations—Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Boca Raton and Nantucket—and featuring every aircraft from Beech Barons to Gulfstreams. You can search for trips by location and date, both domestically and overseas. When you locate a leg that suits your needs, complete the request form and submit it. A Magellan flight specialist will assist you with the details and pricing.

The whole transaction from the time the customer requests an empty leg to any negotiations and special requests takes just a few minutes, according to Anthony Tivan, Magellan Jets president.

Magellan Jets will even auction some of the most popular routes and destinations for its members—but not on the courthouse steps.  Magellan Jets takes routes with fixed costs and allows charter companies, owners and flight departments with Part 135 certificates to bid for your business, sort of like several banks competing for your mortgage with ever better rates and points. That drives up competition and drives down prices, so members benefit by saving thousands of dollars.

Everybody wins. The traveler saves a bundle. The aircraft operator avoids a loss and Magellan Jets makes a sale.

Topics: Magellan Jets, Private Jets, Aviation News, empty legs