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Chapman Freeborn launches global broker initiative for expanding bizjet market

Coinciding with its 40th anniversary chartering aircraft from all corners of the world, Chapman Freeborn is launching a new Global Broker initiative designed to help business jet flight arrangers globally tap into local knowledge and expertise, 24/7/365 days a year, whenever they find themselves entering a territory that is unfamiliar, challenging, or too restrictive financially.   The service is being launched at EBACE, Europe’s premier business aviation gathering in Geneva this month (20th-23rd May.)

Chapman Freeborn is opening up its global expertise (which includes support services, obtaining over-flight permits, ground handling, fueling, passport and immigration services) to fellow charter brokers, operators, luxury partners, concierges, family offices – indeed anyone who doesn’t immediately have the necessary skillset to plan and prepare when faced with unfamiliar or challenging circumstances handling simple or complex itineraries.

It has been encouraged to formally share its expertise in this way largely in response to demand from the emerging markets for private jet charter - in particular India, Russia, Brazil, Africa and China.   

Chapman Freeborn can also assist in a practical way too, calling on its global buying power, its relationships with operators (and airlines worldwide) and its ability to secure good credit terms.  Its 462 staff, resident in 35 offices in 25 countries, are fluent in 50 different languages and geared up to assist with all manner of enquiries.    

When partners enter into an agreement with Chapman Freeborn they will be contractually protected too, with a non-compete clause.  Alex Berry, Chapman Freeborn’s Group Marketing and Sales Director insists:  “We are not going to compete with local brokers in local markets for the sake of a couple of hundred dollars, yet this is quite commonplace in the wider industry.”    

Chris Moody, owner of Fractional Jet Europe, has enjoyed partnering with Chapman Freeborn these past two years. “Our clients demand the best quality solution possible wherever they fly.  It is important too to work with a broker who respects me as a partner and respects my client relationships.  The team at Chapman Freeborn deliver all this, and more.  Chapman Freeborn respects that my clients’ information is confidential and I can share this with them in confidence.”

Chapman Freeborn observes that there are thousands of charter brokers employed in the market today, and that number is growing continually   An increasing number are single or two person operations with limited overheads, often with niche expertise, working with limited working capital and a small client base. 

Charter brokerage industry is not regulated 
“It is important in an industry where there is no regulation, that these small players have somewhere reputable to turn to for advice to help them navigate complex requests when they are out of their comfort zones,” says Alex Berry.   A West Coast, US based broker regularly chartering jets out of Van Nuys to Miami for a US client working with a handful of local operators, is likely to be best in class at his work, he says.   However, he will quickly discover a completely different set of challenges tasked with arranging a flight from say Spain to Marrakesh, or Malawi to Peru.  “Time and time again we have seen customers suffer a bad experience because their broker simply didn’t have the local knowledge.  This is where we can make the difference and add value to the broker and most importantly to the customer,” adds Berry.  

China for example, he notes, likes to charter wide-bodied, long range business jets.  It also has a significant interest in touring groups, and will seek charter travel for international organizations who want to move people into and throughout China.  It is important to have someone on the ground speaking the right language, understanding the culture and acting as the local interface, more than just simply rep-ping a flight

“The role we will play, having been on the ground in China since 2004, is that of ‘go to local partner’ for businesses moving into the region, in all aspects including finance and contracting   From a regulatory perspective too, China is still heavily regulated and that is a process that needs to be understood.”

Alex Berry is leading this initiative for Chapman Freeborn drawing on 15 years’ dedicated experience in business aviation.  He began in sales for fractional operator (NetJets), OEM/operator SkyJet/Bombardier, Jet Card pioneer Marquis Jets, and most recently with owned fleet operator VistaJet.   He joined Chapman Freeborn, the world’s leading aircraft charter broker in summer 2010.    

Chapman Freeborn was one of the earliest players to arrange private jet charters for corporate travel, starting out in the 1980s when the industry was still in its infancy.  Since then, the company has led the charter industry in its expansion into Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia.  Passenger charters involving commercial airliners and smaller private jets today account for a significant percentage of Chapman Freeborn’s international business.

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