Equinox Charter began operations this week as a private flight brokering option specializing in the needs of the entertainment and sports industries. The UK-based startup is operating in tandem with travel management company Equinox Travel and says its sibling allows it to offer both private aviation and airline flight options for clients.
According to Equinox Charter managing director Elliot Bottomley, the return of shows and live events that were disrupted for more than a year by the Covid pandemic is spurring renewed demand for business aircraft charters. “Our new team is more than ready to manage complex itineraries for bands, solo artists, agents, tour managers, and film production companies,” he commented, adding that Equinox Travel focuses on booking airline flights when these are a more viable option for clients.
Most travel management companies outsource aircraft charter bookings to third parties, according to Equinox. It claims it will offer choices more objectively for clients, arguing that most charter brokers are reluctant to suggest airline services because they have a vested interest in booking only private charters, even if a scheduled flight makes more sense.
Bottomley previously ran Argus-certified charter broker Artist Charter, and the new company has joined both the European Business Aviation Association and the British Business and General Aviation Association. “As part of our commitment to safe travel and consistently high quality of service, due diligence will be paramount, and we’ll work only with a network of vetted operators and private aircraft worldwide,” he stated. “We have a strong stance on charter safety and service and so are careful to avoid offering low-price options if we believe the aircraft or operator is detrimental to our operations and ultimately to our client satisfaction.”
Last week, a UK court convicted David Henderson of endangering the safety of an aircraft for his role in arranging the flight in which soccer star Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson died when an illegally chartered Piper Malibu crashed into the ocean on a flight from France to Wales in January 2019. The Air Charter Association said the case underlined the need for firm enforcement against those involved in arranging and operating illegal charter flights.
In response to the growing demand for more environmentally sustainable private charter services, Equinox said it will select aircraft with lower carbon dioxide emissions, arrange electric cars for ground transfers, and evaluate hotels based on their sustainability performance. It also offers carbon-offsetting solutions and promotes the use of empty-leg flights and sustainable aviation fuel.