What Is Aircraft Supplemental Lift And Why Is It Valuable

What Is Aircraft Supplemental Lift And Why Is It Valuable

Whether personally or corporate-owned, aircraft owners know that their aircraft is not always available or ready for flight at a moment’s notice. When this occurs, instead of relying on other in-house or commercial travel options, owners can leverage “supplemental lift” to substitute travel with another private aircraft. 

With a supplemental lift program in place, owners can access an aircraft when theirs is unavailable without a long-term commitment to a secondary aircraft or the hassles of commercial aviation.

When Do You Need Supplemental Lift?

There are many scenarios in which an aircraft owner would need to supplement lift by chartering an aircraft. Here are a few examples that we see the most:

  • Aircraft Maintenance — Your aircraft is undergoing routine or unexpected maintenance. This could also include refurbishments or upgrades to keep your aircraft up to date with the latest technology, furnishings and needed conveniences. Major cosmetic or mechanical work can take several months to complete, rendering an aircraft fully out of commission.  
  • Alternate Mission Details — No two trips are alike, and when the scope of your project or travel needs change, owning an aircraft not suited for these needs will cost your business time and money. For example, your trip may call for a different size aircraft (either larger or smaller) due to passenger count, flight distance or destination with an airstrip not suitable for your aircraft size. Or maybe the executive is heading out for a golf tournament and needs more room for clubs and luggage. These needs may be infrequent enough that occasional supplemental lift is the most cost-effective solution.
  • Overlapping Usage Requests — Depending on the size of your corporation or the VIPs who need access to your aircraft, you may run into multiple usage requests that overlap. Both requests might be a high priority and critical to your business. So, instead of lending travel permissions to one or the other, lean on supplemental charter options to keep business running smoothly. 
  • Supplementing Fractional Ownership — Yes, fractional owners sometimes need supplemental lift too. Even with access to a fractionally shared aircraft, chartering provides additional convenience and flexibility, particularly in terms of aircraft size and flight distance capabilities. Adding a few hours of flight time per year through charter is far less costly than accruing overfly charges for usage outside of the annually contracted maximum flight hours

Choosing A Supplemental Lift Provider

Now that you understand the benefits of supplemental lift, you can choose a provider. Keep in mind that not all providers of private aviation are alike. We recommend considering the company’s pilot qualifications, safety standards and emergency response capabilities before engaging in a supplemental lift program. 

Consult with a PJS representative for support on vetting supplemental lift for your corporate travel program.