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Positioning Ferry Flight

Positioning Ferry Flight

A positioning flight, also known as a ferry flight, can be a non-revenue flight for the purpose of:

  1. Returning an aircraft to base
  2. Positioning an empty aircraft
  3. Moving an aircraft to and from a maintenance base

Also known as positioning/repositioning or ‘repo’ flights, ferry flights are often used by charter operators when an aircraft is required to leave its current location to pick up a passenger. Usually, charter operators will charge a ‘ferry flight fee’ for repositioning an aircraft for its customers.

One example of a ferry flight is where an operator has to pick up a passenger from a location that is different to its home base and will fly an aircraft to a closer location to pick up the passenger. As no passengers are on the aircraft at this time, the flight generates no revenue. Another example involves an aircraft moving to a maintenance base, as a flight of this type generates no revenue for the operator.

Due to the costs associated with ferry flights, most operators try to avoid positioning flights if at all possible. If a ferry flight is required, operators will generally charge a ferry flight ‘fee’ unless the overall price of the trip is large enough to offset the cost of a local ferry flight.

Positioning flights also create what is commonly known as empty leg flights. Over 30 percent of private jets are flying empty, positioning or repositioning from or to their booked charter flight.

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