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Focus on the illegal charter of private aircraft

Renting private jets
since 1991

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January 21, 2019, the world’s media reports the tragic plane crash of footballer Emiliano Sala, in which he lost his life. Did you know that this footballer was traveling in an illegal plane ? Since then, this date has been taken up by The Air Charter Association (ACA) to fight against illegal flight, under the name “Legal Flight Day”. The association has recently highlighted a phenomenon it has been warning about for 70 years: illegal flights. What is an illegal private jet flight ? How can you protect yourself from this practice and ensure your safety when booking a flight ? AEROAFFAIRES takes a closer look at the highly dangerous practice of illegal chartering.


What is an illegal charter ?


Illegal chartering is when the aircraft chartered for a flight does not have an AOC (Air Operator’s Certificate). These are private aircraft that are not part of the fleet of aircraft rigorously selected by the private commercial aviation or business aviation. These aircraft are usually privately owned.


Obtaining this license requires a certain investment from pilots, airports and airlines. Once obtained, all these actors work for the safety and the good progress of the flight of the passengers of which they are in charge.

This requires expertise and know-how. In order to be in order and to guarantee the safety on board an aircraft rented in a commercial context, air operators are subject to extremely strict regulations. These standards concern :

  • maintenance of the aircraft
  • operations on board the aircraft in flight
  • operations in the vicinity of the aircraft on the ground
  • crew training


This is how private (private) flight and private commercial flight are distinguished.

Moreover, contrary to the practice of co-piloting, in order to be in good standing in business or private aviation (on a commercial basis), it is necessary to be able to justify the “public transport” license.


How to be sure that the private charter flight is legal ?


The benefits of business aviation are well documented. However, the ACA draws the attention of passengers to some good practices to follow when booking a business or private flight. Thus, when a passenger wishes to rent a private aircraft, the ACA recommends to follow its 5 recommendations :

  • Only use ACA-accredited members to charter a private aircraft.
  • Use an air broker, such as AEROAFFAIRES, a member of The Air Charter Association
  • Do not hesitate to check certain licenses:
    • AOC (air transport certificate)
    • insurance
    • Certificate of Airworthiness
  • Check the pilot’s qualifications
  • Trust your instinct

What are the risks of an illegal charter ?


The risks of this practice are numerous. Beyond tarnishing the image of business and private aviation during spectacular crashes, they entail, first and foremost, a series of risks for passengers.

Indeed, with this practice, air operators are not able to ensure the level of security required. Thus, the professionalism required to organize a private flight is not present on different levels:

  • level of safety
  • security level
  • level of risk assessment
  • level of compliance


The business aviation sector is a sector where demands are high, both from customers and in terms of flight quality. Not integrating safety is a serious fault that can lead to the death of passengers and crews. We must support the ACA in its efforts to raise awareness of the phenomenon of illegal chartering.


Charter a private flight with AEROAFFAIRES : the guarantee of a legal flight


Our air brokerage company, with 30 years of experience, is a forerunner in the field of chartering business aircraft and private jets.

AEROAFFAIRES is fully legal and takes the safety of its customers very seriously, as this is its priority. 

As of 2018, we have been accredited by the Air Charter Association and are an ACA Recommended Air Broker.

Highly involved in its sector of activity, AEROAFFAIRES has also joined the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA).

Do not hesitate to ask for the documents recommended by the ACA if you wish to verify certain information. We will provide you with all the documents to ensure the legality of the activity. Your safety is at stake.

Finally, our entire team is at your disposal to answer your questions and to charter a private or business flight in all legality.

The AEROAFFAIRES team is available 24/7 to answer all your questions.

Get a quick quote via our online quote form or contact us directly by phone at +33 (0)1 44 09 91 82 or by email at