As an Air Charter Operator or Charter Broker, you never want to say the words “Sorry, we don’t have availability” to a customer. Brokers should theoretically never need to do this, because they can procure a charter aircraft from just about anywhere, but for Operators there are always going to be fleet & maintenance limitations that create difficult situations when you have a customer that needs a flight but you don’t have availability in the fleet.
In our discussions with Operators about how to manage this within the air charter software, many said that they already do some broker flights as well, simply so that they always remain the first point-of-contact for their customer. It’s counter-productive to send your customer elsewhere because they might not ever hear from them again.
So we wanted to give Charter Operators the ability to manage multiple Fleet Quotes for a single charter request, but also to manage multiple Broker Quotes so that a charter enquiry can be switched from a ‘Fleet Job’ to a ‘Broker Job’ if availability from within the fleet becomes limited. That way you can also track some great data at the end of the year, such as “How many charter operations did this customer request, and how many did they actually book”, but more importantly, also track how many of them were “Fleet charters”, and how many were “Broker charters”, along with the corresponding revenue and margins of each flight, and as a total.
We also tried to think about how Brokers would get value out of the ‘Fleet Quoting’ application – they don’t technically have a fleet of aircraft, but some brokers have aircraft under management, or which they have exclusive pricing arrangements for. Brokers are also fairly adept at giving accurate estimates on a range of aircraft categories for a particular job. So Brokers can use the Fleet Quoting application to generate quotes on a “Mid-Size Jet” (instead of a specific Citation XLS) for example, at an estimated rate of $4,000/hr (for example!). Its easy to generate these quotes on multiple aircraft, and do it whilst you’ve got the charter customer on the phone. So you can give them a quicker response, measure their reaction to the price, and decide from there whether to spend more time shopping for charter prices and generating a solid quote for the customer.
Having a lack of availability within your own fleet is a nice problem to have – it means your aircraft are being utilised (unless of course your lack of availability is due to unscheduled maintenance issues). In any case, you never want to have a customer request a flight and you have to say “Sorry, we don’t have an aircraft available”. Hopefully by providing Operators and Brokers the ability to manage both types of operations, we can help you close a few more deals and contribute more to the bottom line.
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