Charter airlines have dominated European leisure travel for many years. In 2018, Lufthansa was the largest charter airline in Europe, although the European travel industry has become increasingly consolidated in recent years. With a small number of charter airlines receiving the most awards, the UK’s offerings alone serve 30 million travelers each year, covering 29 percent of all UK airline passengers. Despite predictions of an impending change, charter flights have led the way by offering low prices, unscheduled flights, and combined fleets.
Primary Charter Leaders
- Lufthansa Group has used a multi-brand strategy to satisfy a diverse range of passengers. Its sales rose enormously in 2018, attracting the best figures in history. The protectionist policies of the German government have stunted the growth of the ME3, so this particular charter has little price competition to limit its revenue.
- Thomas Cook Airlines won the 2019 World Travel Award as the best European charter airline. The prize is awarded by customer votes. The charter has successfully dominated the industry by delivering service excellence and value-added products. It allows three or four tour operators to use a single charter aircraft.
- Paramount Business Jets fills its own niche by offering more than 4, 000 private jets and a turnkey lead time of four hours. It offers its fliers a cost breakdown and safety report to ensure transparency.
- Ryanair has used its strong brand to support its own private charter flights. Although it offers only one charter aircraft, it makes up for its lack of diversity by delivering superb luxury. The 737-700 has a generous amount of space and business class seating. Ryanair’s cabin crew and pilots have served many prestigious clients in recent years, including Champions League Soccer Teams.
- Execujet Europe has a fleet of five aircraft and a long history starting from its launch in 1991. It’s retained its market share by covering key operating bases and offering the latest technology. Its aircraft cover six continents and a diverse range of services, including cargo requirements.
- Global Jet Concept SA is a Swiss carrier offering luxury transport to the business market. The airline covers Europe and North Africa and has a massive fleet with a diverse collection of aircraft. It prides itself on its service and is BAO Certified.
EU Regulation 261/2001
Charter flights operate a little differently than most travellers are used to, but they’re still covered by the EC 261 regulation. Charters are often low-cost but have a higher cancellation rate, so you might need to apply for compensation. Your delays qualify for compensation if they’re over three hours late. If your flight is delayed by two hours or more and occurs at night, your carrier is required to provide lodging and pay for your extra transfer fees. Unless your airline informs you of cancellations two weeks in advance, you have the right to alternative transport or a full refund.
Alternative flights must depart a maximum of one hour after your original boarding time. Compensation is calculated by the length of your flight. If you need guidance on your rights, contact GIVT for advice.
The charter jet industry is increasingly being used by wealthy Millennials who want to travel more comfortably and conveniently. It might be a unique way to travel, but charter airlines are held to the same regulations as traditional carriers. When your trip falls apart through no fault of your own, you have the right to compensation.