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July 1, 2021

Jordan Brown

What is it like to book a charter flight in Europe?

When chartering a private jet in Europe, there are many things you should consider before booking.  While the process is similar to booking a charter in North America, there are a few differences. One of the key differences is the regulatory environment where slots and permits are required. “Slots and permits” is a term that encompasses take-off and landing slots, parking, and permits for international flights. One thing to note is that slots and permits are only applied for once a booking has been confirmed. This means that the exact timing of a flight may not immediately be confirmed.

Many of the airports in Europe operate with less space in comparison to airports in the U.S. which generally limits space and availability. This situation makes booking early a good strategy.

The other key difference is the facilities that are used at airports in Europe. While some airports in Europe may have dedicated FBOs, many charter flights are coordinated by ground handling companies that may use central facilities for charter aircraft. Passengers will often be transported to their aircraft by vehicles provided by the ground handling companies. 

Not to worry – at Charter Flight Group, we have the experience moving people all around the world.  We have put together a simple Q and A and European Charter Guide to help you navigate this unfamiliar territory.  If we didn’t answer your questions below, please reach out to us.

What are slots and permits when charting a flight in Europe

Slots are a designated time your aircraft is allowed to operate to and from your departing and arriving airports.  Each slot is two to four minutes apart, which helps to mitigate congestion and wake turbulence.  These are typically assigned post booking which is why we recommend booking your European charter in advance.

Once a schedule has been set for a charter flight in Europe, making adjustments can be very difficult at short notice due to the requirements for slots and permits. For example, showing up 1-2 hours later than your scheduled departure may result in loss of the slots and a cancelation of the flight, with penalties.

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What safety standard is used for private jets in Europe?

Similar to the third-party safety auditors of ARG/US and Wyvern, many private jets in Europe may be certified via International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations also known as IS-BAO. In addition, private jets will be certified under the common European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations that often exceed ARG/US and Wyvern requirements. Charter Flight Group also performs an in-depth audit of all aircraft and crew to ensure they meet the highest levels of safety.

What currency is used to charter flights in Europe?

Most flights in Europe will either be in Euros (EUR), British Pounds (GBP), or in rare circumstances, US Dollars (USD). You have the option of paying in any of these currencies to offer flexibility but note that if you receive a quote in one currency and request to pay another, any conversion fees will be included with the other currency. Most of our clients find that paying in the currency quoted is the best value.

Can you travel with dogs and other pets in Europe?

Yes. Dogs and cats can travel freely between most  EU  countries if they have the  EU (or European) Pet Passport  that is issued by veterinarians. The exceptions are entry into the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and Malta which have additional requirements. Other countries may impose various restrictions outside of the normal requirements. Note that bringing pets into EU countries from other parts of the world may have different requirements and procedures. Please speak with your veterinarian or one of our advisors about getting an EU passport for your pet.

What are the most popular jets in Europe?

The most common Heavy Jet is the Legacy 600/650 which typically seat up to 13 passengers.  Unlike the United States, you will not see as many Gulfstreams in the charter market – but they are available.  When it comes to mid-size jets, expect to be on a Citation Excel/XLS, Hawker 800/850/900, or the Embraer Praetor 500/Legacy 500.  If your flight is under 2 hours, your most economical options will be on a VLJ like the Citation Mustang or Phenom 100 which seats 4 passengers or a Citation CJ2 or similar which seats up to 6 passengers. 

What are the most popular airports in Europe?

  • Paris Le Bourget *
  • London City, Luton, Stansted, Farnborough, Biggin Hill *
  • Geneva 
  • Zurich 
  • Rome Ciampino *
  • Nice
  • Faro
  • Mallorca
  • Mikonos
  • Split

* Paris Charles de Gaulle, London Heathrow/Gatwick, and Rome Fiumicino airports typically do not allow charter aircraft to operate at these airports. The only exceptions are if passengers have a direct, same-day connection to a commercial departure. Handling and operating fees at these airports can be extremely high.

Do I need a Negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination when chartering a private jet in Europe?

The answer is most likely yes, but speak with one of our advisors about your itinerary so we can give you a more accurate answer.  Every country has different requirements and the rules and regulations are changing daily. These requirements can also vary based on citizenship, permanent residency, and travel history.


Europe is rich in culture and history making it one of the most popular destinations to visit.  No matter your aircraft preference, destination or request, let Charter Flight Group help you organize your private jet charter itinerary in Europe.  When you fly with us, you know you are in good hands. Reserve your private aircraft with us today to experience a safe and flawless flight to your destination.

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