International air charter services

With shipment deadlines looming, seamless freight forwarding is an absolute must. Every minute counts, which is why we specialise in arranging time-critical air charters, where alternative transport logistics solutions are not viable. Sourcing the right aircraft for your freight requirements is what our logistics specialists do best. So, whether you need a helicopter to ship a small yet vital freight load to a remote location, or a larger aircraft for a last minute charter emergency, we can help. With the quickest setup time on the market, your cargo will take to the skies in no time.

Why air cargo charter with Fast Courier?

Chartering is very different to forwarding goods on a scheduled commercial or passenger airline. It’s all about accessing a dedicated private plane or helicopter to transport your time-critical goods urgently when delays are simply not an option. Speed, professionalism and tracking are essential, which is why we operate like clockwork to ensure all your needs are met.

As transport and logistic experts with immediate access to all airfield locations and aircraft availability, our air cargo charter services ensure speed, accountability and value at all times to ensure that your shipment meets its deadline. No matter how complex or urgent the demand, we’ve got you covered, offering 24/7 365-day availability for non-stop advice and support.

At Fst freight , we’ll also plan and monitor all elements of your air cargo charter. From ground handling and packaging to preflight requirements and custom checks, we’ll take care of all the finer details so you don’t have to. Rely on us for a legal and fully compliant service that ticks all the boxes, no matter what destination you’re dealing with. We know the red tape, and we know the solutions – which is why our services can remain streamlined and fast.

Is an air cargo charter right for me?

We’ll always guide you in the right direction. But an air cargo charter might be appropriate for large, oversized or heavy shipments. It’s also perfect for time-critical cargo, such as shipping emergency medical supplies to a rural location. An air cargo charter can also be used to ship dangerous goods or those with a particularly high value. Our on board courier service is also available on request, should items need to be carefully watched and accounted for onboard. As expected, timing and tracking play a huge role in this process and you’ll always be kept in-the-know as to where your cargo is at any particular time.

Fast courier delivers urgent medical supplies amid worldwide pandemic

The six most hard-hit nations – China, Korea, Italy, Japan, US and Germany – account for 60% of the world’s manufacturing and half of the world’s manufactured exports. As the virus originated from China, and they reacted so quickly, with no air traffic to or from the country, it became near impossible to source the necessary components to continue manufacturing processes around the world.

The supply disruptions hindering production had a substantial knock-on effect, significantly slowing world trade. Already we have seen the number of exports fall in the most severely hit nations as well as the number of imports fall in their trade partners.

The automotive sector has been particularly disrupted by breaks in the international supply chain, causing OEMs and suppliers from all nations to pause production and introduce temporary layoff measures for its staff (e.g. furlough and ‘Force Majeure’). For example, a shortage of parts coming from China forced Korean carmaker, Hyundai, to shut all its car plants in Korea in February. While others avoided closure for as long as they could, by flying emergency supplies from China in suitcases, but inevitably closed their plants in March.

In response to the Government’s call for help, many manufacturers changed production lines to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) – such as masks, shields, gowns, gloves, hand sanitisers – and medical equipment, making the CAD files open source to share with other firms so they may also manufacture them.

The critical global health crisis has brought about the biggest logistics challenges that Priority Freight has ever seen. During the pandemic, Priority Freight has not only supported automotive clients but also governments, local authorities and medical companies to ensure their goods arrive as quickly as possible, including delivering PPE into France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. It has been particularly challenging to not only source the scarce uplift from China but also to deal with severe customs delays, with some queues of nearly two days long caused by the necessary changes to customs procedures.

For example, the Chinese Customs put in place very strict regulations for all masks (surgical and protective) to trace the origin and licenses of all products exported by traders and producers. They have been checking the origin, license and certifications, and labelling are all correct and in accordance with regulations and carrying out detailed inspections of the content of every box to check the material inside matches with the documents.

In addition to these challenging delays, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) restricted international flights to one per week, making the task of sourcing uplift from China itself to be even more difficult. The market has become very competitive in terms of availability and causing daily fluctuations in pricing.

To compensate, many airlines have been increasing capacity by utilising cargo-only passenger flights and removing seats to make additional space. Qatar Airways even, on 23rd April 2020, set a new aviation record with 136 freighter flights on the same day.

With most shipments comprising of urgently required PPE masks – manufactured in Singapore, Japan and China, and urgently required in Europe and the UK, and despite limited uplift opportunities, Priority Freight has delivered some larger, more heavy loads, including one shipment of five million masks weighing a total of 32 tonnes.

Regardless of the complications, Priority Freight has supported a large number of OEMs and tier suppliers to move in excess of 100 shipments of PPE and medical equipment.

Fast Courier overcomes border delays with multimodal solution to avoid production line stop

It is a common scenario that parts are manufactured in one location before being transported across countries or continents to reach the assembly line where they become part of an end product. In the automotive industry, this process relies on accurate and timely sequencing, without which this fragile chain can easily break creating financial and reputational harm.

One recent example of this was a volume vehicle manufacturer who makes parts at its Serbian factory for distribution to its network of production plants, including one in East London, South Africa. This regular shipment usually involves road transport from the Serbian factory to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport where the goods are then flown to O.R. Tambo International Airport. However, issues at the Serbian-Hungarian border meant the goods would be delayed and potentially halt South African production.

Priority Freight received a call from the manufacturer on a Thursday evening, stressing the urgency of the shipment and need to avoid manufacturing delays and associated costs to the business. Priority Freight immediately formed a response team to devise suitable alternative shipping methods and arrange delivery of the 890kg of parts to the South African factory before Monday morning.

Overnight on Thursday, Priority Freight’s experts liaised with colleagues, ground agents and carriers worldwide to have the shipment back on track and by Friday morning a truck was waiting to collect the parts from the Serbian factory. Rather than exit Serbia by road and face border delays, the goods were taken to Belgrade airport where they were loaded onto a waiting ATR charter aircraft and flown to Oostende in Belgium. From there the parts were transferred to another truck which drove to Amsterdam Schiphol airport to meet a long-haul commercial cargo flight bound for Johannesburg.

After a flight time of 11 hours the cargo flight landed at O.R. Tambo International Airport on Saturday evening, less than 48 hours after the parts were collected from Serbia. A twin-prop Metro plane then completed the final 600 miles from Johannesburg to East London arriving at 03:30 local time on Sunday morning, in plenty of time to be unloaded and in place for the factory to recommence production the following day.

Fast Courier provides 24/7 technical assistance for European-based automotive manufacturer to continue production

For production to continue, the manufacturer required daily collection of parts, from up to 30 UK and EU suppliers. Due to the ever-changing schedules, there was limited knowledge of parts quantities, packaging dimensions and some supplier locations, making this challenge seem impossible.

COVID-19 closures had altered the operating hours for many suppliers which limited collection times. Plus, new air freight plans were issued daily, requiring a rapid and accurate turnaround of customs paperwork, export declarations and clearance.

As soon as the manufacturer requested assistance, Priority Freight assigned a team of experienced planners from within various areas of the business to oversee the project.

The logistics solution included 40 special rush shipments per day by road and, to help speed up the supply chain, required multiple air charters to match changing consignment sizes and weight.

Over the course of the project, more than 100 aircraft were chartered, ranging from multiple Antonov-12s, Boeing 737 freighters, the new-to-the-market A321 freighter and the fast-loading Ilyushin 76.

The expert team worked 24/7 over two weeks to:

  • Oversee the door-to-door transport of 250m3 or 50,000kg of air freight per day
  • Negotiate special operating hours at airports that would ensure the deliveries arrived on time (most airports operated limited opening hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Liaise with handling agents to plan vehicle offloading, aircraft pallet building and aircraft loading distribution
  • Help ensure permits were granted by the relevant Civil Aviation Authorities due to new Brexit aviation rules between the UK and EU

With around-the-clock responses and time-critical logistics expertise, Priority Freight delivered all shipments in time and helped the automotive manufacturer avoid downtime that would have cost €150m per week in lost revenue.

Private Jet Charters

Whether your travel is for business or leisure, our dedicated team of private jet professionals are here to guide you every step of the way.
We understand that time & privacy are of upmost importance, with access to an extensive range of private jets, and with a team available 24/7 to cater for every eventuality, you can sit back and enjoy an unparalleled private jet experience.

Key advantages of choosing our Private Jet service:

  • Flexible itineraries
  • Bespoke catering
  • Access to remote destinations
  • Chauffeur driven connections to and from airports
  • The ACA accredited member