What is Cabotage, and How Does it Impact Private Jet Charters?
If you’re familiar with the aviation industry then you may have heard the word “cabotage” before, but what does it mean and how does it impact private jet charters? Cabotage comes from the French word “caboter”, which means to travel via the coast, and it was originally used in the maritime industry.
The term carries slightly different meanings depending on the industry, but in relation to the aviation industry, airline cabotage is when an airline carrier from one country operates flights that begin and end in a different country. For example, the airline Emirates operating flights that start in Los Angeles and end in New York City is airline cabotage, since Emirates is not an American company.
How does cabotage affect private jets?
Many people prefer flying via private jet charters because of the flexibility and convenience. There’s no standing around for hours in a terminal, no long security lines, and private jet charters can often use smaller executive airports to land closer to the final destination than larger, commercial flights. Once a private jet lands in a certain location, it sometimes becomes available for the next person to book it, similar to a taxi that has just dropped off a passenger.
If the private jet is owned and operated by an airline from another country, once the pilot completes their first trip they cannot pick up new passengers and start a new charter flight unless they qualify for the below exemptions. A flight operator can carry out a connecting domestic flight if:
- The passenger list remains the same throughout the entire route
- The number of passengers does not change
- The passengers board the connecting flight the same day
- The passengers remain in the airport during the connection
For example, if a private Emirates flight lands in New York City and is available for hire, and is then hired to pick up passengers in New York City and fly them to Tucson, the pilot can claim exemption from cabotage laws if they adhere to the above requirements.
Executive airports, custom hangar space, and more
Flying private has many perks, and so does using executive airports. Larger airports often have long wait lists for hangars and can sometimes be further away from your final destination. While smaller, executive airports like Monmouth Airport have custom hangar space available now, and are conveniently located near several popular destinations.