Charter Airlines Offer A Wonderful Alternative To Scheduled Flying
A quick survey of the airline industry landscape and it isn’t difficult to realize that the hiring forecast for flight attendants is currently gloomy.
A few bright spots remain, especially for the flight attendant prospect willing to be based and work overseas. Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways are at the vanguard of those types of airlines hiring today, with regional US providers also hiring. With the latter, you can expect substandard pay and tough working conditions.
Charter Airlines: Offering Something Different
For June, instead of repeating the usual choices or focusing on the downside of the industry, I thought it would be of interest to readers if I mentioned those airlines who primarily or exclusively fly charter. Specifically, airlines which fly sports teams, companies, and vacationers on demand.
Please note that although a charter airline is listed, it doesn’t mean that they are hiring at the moment. Typically, these types of air carriers are quite small and staffed with crew who have been employed for a long time. Some use supplemental flight attendants for special flying (such as Haj pilgrimmage), but for the most part you must be trained by them and already on their payroll in order to fly with them:
for flight attendants.
— Founded in 1990, this Miami, FL-based airline provides charter service for companies and for the federal government. At present, Miami Air is extensively involved in ferrying troops back and forth to the Middle East.
Omni Air International — Located in Tulsa, OK, Omni is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The airline flies for international charter operators and provides service under government contracts. Several of the airline’s jets are currently being wet-leased to other companies.
— Located in Winston-Salem, NC, Pace exclusively operates as a charter air carrier. The airline has contracts with sports teams and companies and launched Hooters Air in 2003, a scheduled airline service that closed shop in 2006.
— This Las Vegas, NV air carrier is one of the newest and smallest charter operators, having gotten its start in 2002. Though flying just two aircraft, the airline made news a few years ago when they announced that they would purchase 20 Boeing 787 aircraft, a deal they later rescinded.
— Headquartered in Rockford, IL, Ryan started out in the early 1970s as a cargo carrier and began adding passenger flights some ten years later. Today, the company flies for tour operators and is important provider of transportation for college and professional sports teams.
Sun Country Airlines — Headquartered in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Sun Country offers limited scheduled and regular charter services, the latter for tour operators in Mexico and the Caribbean. The airline recently began to build up its Dallas business in a bid to serve travelers to Mexico. Bobbie Sullivan reported April on Professional Pilot News
that Sun Country laid off 45 pilots, so please keep that in mind if applying.
USA3000 Airlines — Established in 2001 by Apple Vacations, USA3000 is headquartered in the Philadelphia, PA area. The airline’s all-Airbus 320 fleet is one of the newest in the industry and flies tour groups from the Northeast and Midwest to Florida, the Dominican Republic, and to Mexico.
USA Jet Airlines — Operating a fleet of MD-9 aircraft with seating for just 50-74 passengers, Ypsilanti, MI-based USA Jet serves freight and charter clientele exclusively. The airline flies sports teams, political candidates, members of the media, tour groups, and provides travel for companies.
World Airways — Based in Peachtree City, GA, World Airways has been flying for 60 years. Primarily a freight hauler and a charter operator, World’s largest customer is the federal government. The airline also owns North American Airlines.
— Located in Elko, NV, Xtra got its start in 1987 as Casino Express Airlines
. The company flies mostly charter flights including for casino tour operators. Flight attendant applications are being accepted with anticipated hiring to commence in Spring 2009.
This list isn’t comprehensive, but it does include all of the U.S. based airlines who regularly provide charter service.
A Stable Future?
One question that prospective candidates have in mind when working for a charter airline is this — are they stable enough to survive the ups and downs of the business? Though it is impossible to predict how any airline will perform long term, the advantage for a charter operator is that their increased costs (namely fuel) are passed on to the customers.
Unlike scheduled airlines who must hold the line on costs or risk losing business, the pressure for charter operators is a bit different — they still want to offer the best service at a decent price, but they can only do this by recouping their rising costs from their customers.
In conclusion, if you are interested in seeking employment with a charter operator, then click on the provided links and see what they have to offer. Send your resume directly to the airline and bookmark their hiring information page(s) to keep tabs on them.
Boeing 787 courtesy of Yasobara
Omni Air courtesy of Christopher Kern
World Airways courtesy of Peter Rimar.