Fun in the Sun: What Goes Into Planning the Summer Charters

A lot goes in to planning where to send our charter planes for the summer.  While everyone was still busy flying our passengers for their ski vacations, the operations team was busy brainstorming for the summer schedules.

We start with a few ideas from the real world, but ones that will also be new and exciting for you, the pilots.  This year, we decided on Island Air to let everyone explore the Hawaiian islands, and Iceland Express, an airline whose fleet suffered after the collapse of Astraeus (the airline they were leasing their planes from) and allowed us to serve several new destinations all over Europe.  From there, I started to research destinations for these airlines and work them out into a schedule using the aircraft we’re leasing.

The schedules are developed using the real world flying times for the route from GCMap and plugged in to my spreadsheet to make sure that nothing gets double-booked and that the turn-around times are realistic.

All of the spreadsheet data then has to get translated into the MetroAir flight database.  This is by far the longest part of the process – inputting new airports, assigning gates to make sure they’re not double-booked, and entering the flight schedules takes a few hours of work spread over a couple of days (mostly to correct my own errors down the line).  From there it’s a simple matter of activating each one on the day service starts and keeping my fingers crossed that you all enjoy flying the routes as much as I enjoyed planning them out for you!


Alex is a pre-medical student currently living in Ottawa. His interest in flying began back in 2004 and he purchased a copy of the then-new FS 2004. After several years of practice flying on his own