Team Trilogy has been flying many first-time flyers this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and people’s desire to avoid crowded airports. Lately, we see even more first-time flyers requests for another reason, which is to avoid the mess that extreme weather conditions bring us. Our charter sales executives work hand in hand with aircraft operators and their crew when arranging your flight. All aircraft, big or small, are designed to withstand winter weather conditions. However, precautions still need to be taken before take-off to ensure a safe flight. Many clients have asked us how freezing temperatures and extreme winter conditions may impact these private jet flights.
Flying private is the safest, most effective way to travel to and from your favorite destinations, even with snow and ice on the ground. Planes are designed to handle freezing temperatures. However, the main challenge comes from the aircraft being on the ground and outside of a hangar in the freezing weather. If there is a significant buildup of ice or snow, the plane must be de-iced before getting in the air. Ice can increase the plane’s weight, increase drag, and reduce lift and the de-icing fluid will prevent ice and snow from accumulating. Most airports with freezing temperatures during this season are equipped with de-icing equipment.
De-icing and Hangar Costs
If de-icing is required for your private flight, your sales executive will communicate that with you and bill the cost after the trip is complete. The price of the de-icing fluid varies; therefore, the costs can vary significantly. The aircraft will not be de-iced unless it needs to be. Most of the time, snow can be brushed off, but ice or large amounts of snow may require removal by the de-icing fluid. Costs could be significant depending on the aircraft size, the amount of snow and ice at the time of the de-icing, and the airport cost of the de-icing fluid.
To avoid the de-icing cost, the other option would be to arrange a hangar space for the aircraft. These spaces are generally heated and help to mitigate the need for any de-icing. Hangar spaces are limited and first-come, first-serve. The fee for renting a hangar space will be communicated with you and billed after the trip is complete, just as a de-icing fee would.
Weather is the number one cause for flight delays, leaving travelers stuck with a logistical nightmare. Private flights are less impacted than commercial airline flights when ice and snow are involved. The de-icing process at a smaller airport is a lot quicker than it is at a major airport due to the taxiway and the number of aircraft that need to be kept clean. It is common for private jets to be housed in hangars, avoiding snow and ice buildup.
There are certain instances where extreme snow or ice can cause both private and commercial flights to be grounded. However, the beauty of flying private is that private flights can most likely return to normalcy as restrictions are lifted, whereas airlines can take days to re-schedule flights. Re-directing to less impacted airports is another luxury you may have when flying private. Many of the smaller airports for private travelers give you the opportunity to travel into less congested areas and gives the crew the ability to change routes to a nearby airport if necessary.
What You Can Do
Be aware of the possible weather conditions before booking your flight and the situations that may arise with the freezing conditions. Make sure you are aware of the additional costs that may accumulate from this as well. De-icing costs can add to the price of a charter flight, so we always discuss this with the client before booking flights during this season. This is not something that happens for every flight in the winter, but it is something to be aware of. As mentioned, to avoid deicing costs the aircraft can be stowed in a hangar. However, this incurs additional cost as well although the costs may be less than de-icing.
What We Can Do
Trilogy Aviation Group is aware of all of the additional costs that may arise during these conditions, which is why we are in constant communication with the client and the operator during these times. Understand that we are here to help and will do everything in our power to work through any situation with you while providing you a safe and enjoyable flight. The experience with the Trilogy Aviation Group team allows us to work through complicated weather situations while providing transparency with the client to ensure a pleasurable travel experience.
If you have more questions about de-icing or traveling in the colder months, don’t hesitate to reach out to our 24/7 charter sales executives. We take pride in ensuring that this process seamless, even with bad weather conditions. We are happy to be an option for those wishing to travel, all while keeping them safe and healthy.