International aircraft charter specialists Chapman Freeborn today announced a new service offering immediate worldwide support to smaller business jet brokers and operators undertaking charters in unfamiliar, challenging or financially restrictive regions.
The Global Broker programme will enable firms to call upon Chapman Freeborn’s network of more than 450 staff based in 35 offices across 25 countries.
They will offer worldwide charter expertise and flight support services, including over-flight permits, ground handling and fuelling, to fellow charter brokers, operators, luxury partners, concierges, and family offices.
The company, which celebrated its 40thanniversary this month, is responding to demand from the emerging markets for private jet charter – particularly Brazil, India, Russia, Africa and China – by formalising existing ad-hoc arrangements to support partner brokers.
Partnering companies will be able to call on Chapman Freeborn’s global buying power and close relationships with operators and airlines worldwide, as well as its ability to secure good credit terms.
When partners enter into an agreement with Chapman Freeborn they will be contractually protected too, with a non-compete clause.
Alex Berry, Chapman Freeborn’s Group Marketing and Sales Director said: “We are bucking the trend in the wider industry by offering support to smaller brokerages to help achieve the high standards business customers expect,rather than looking to undermine and undercut them.”
Chris Moody, owner of Fractional Jet Europe, has enjoyed partnering with Chapman Freeborn these past two years. “Our clients demand the best quality solution possible wherever they fly. It is important too to work with a broker who respects me as a partner and respects my client relationships. The team at Chapman Freeborn deliver all this, and more. Chapman Freeborn respects that my clients’ information is confidential and I can share this with them in confidence.”
There are thousands of charter brokers employed in the market today, and that number is growing continually. An increasing number are single or two-person operations with limited overheads, often with niche expertise, working with limited working capital and a small client base.
Charter brokerage industry is not regulated
“It is important in an industry where there is no regulation, that the smaller players have somewhere reputable to turn to for advice to help them navigate complex requests when they are out of their comfort zones” said Alex Berry.
“For example, a West Coast, US based broker regularly chartering jets out of Van Nuys to Miami for a US client working with a handful of local operators, is likely to be best in class at his work. However, they will quickly discover a completely different set of challenges tasked with arranging a flight from, say, Malawi to Peru.
“Time and time again we have seen customers suffer a bad experience because their broker simply didn’t have the local knowledge. This is where we can make the difference and add value to the broker and most importantly to the customer” added Berry.
Brazil and South America is one of the fastest growing markets
Alex also commented, ahead of LABACE (14th-16thAugust 2013, Sao Paulo) “Brazil and South America is one of the fastest growing jet markets globally. In the last decade the size of South America’s business jet fleet has doubled and Brazil is the major force.
The Brazilian business elite increasingly have interests and travel abroad. Local operators and brokers might need assistance outside of that region and that’s where Chapman Freeborn can also play a role”.
Ever increasing numbersof multinationals and investors are targeting Brazil for growth, particularly with the World Cup 2014 and Olympics – as well as its oil and natural resources.
Indeed within a short distance of Chapman Freeborn’s Sao Paulo office are the regional headquarters of a number of multinationals including Google, Intel, Santander and Microsoft.
Business aviation is not without its challenges – for instance there is a well-documented need for greater investment in airport infrastructure (Brazil’s passenger traffic has doubled over the past decade and whilst the country officially has over 4000 airports, less than a quarter of this number has paved runways).
Alex continued: “In fast-developing markets we need to stay on top of regulation. Obviously jets are being bought up rapidly in Brazil; however owners are always looking for a return on their investment too. When chartering, clients need to be careful not to fall into territory of illegal or grey market charter. Again there is a role for the broker to check, verify and apply local knowledge.
In such rapidly-changing markets it is important to have someone on the ground who speaks the local language, understands the culture and acts as the local interface”.