State of the Union - Charter Operations

A couple of months ago, I was approached by the Executive team, and was asked if I’d like to transition from my position as the Director of Scheduled Operations and become the Director of Charter Operations.

At the time, we essentially had two people doing the same job – Daniel Lane (Director of Aircraft Operations) and myself – with no one in the Charter department. 

Naturally, I accepted and was immediately tasked with overhauling the department.

Today, I’d like to share with you all, my ideas for the future of the Charter department.

Seasonal Charters

Our seasonal charters in the summer and winter are, far and away, our most popular flights – Not just as a department, but as an airline. 

These will still continue. 

This winter, we will be revisiting some of our favorite ski resorts in California and Colorado, as well as some new ones. 

We will, once again, service Eagle/Vail, CO, Aspen, CO, Steamboat Springs, CO, and Mammoth Lakes, CA.

In addition to those cities, we are excited to introduce McCall, ID, Driggs, ID, Ogden, UT, Provo, UT, and Durango, CO as our new winter destinations.

These cities have been identified as the best up-and-coming ski resorts in the United States, and are starting to become very popular in the ski community.

We will announce the Winter Ski Charter schedules alongside our quarterly scheduling changes on November 1st.

Build-a-Charter Program

We’ve had our Build-a-Charter program for quite some time now, and it’s a great way to use your MetroMiles!

If you are not familiar with the program, essentially you are able to create your own route, bid on it, and fly it. Anywhere in the world with a fantastic selection of aircraft from our fleet. 

It’s that simple.

Each leg is only 50 MetroMiles, and all you have to do is fill out the form with your origin and destination.

I’m very excited to announce that on January 1st, we will be making some  really great changes to the program. 

First, your charter flight must start at one of our hubs or focus cities. 

So, let’s say you’re a huge country music fan and wanted to fly from the big city, let’s say New York, and take a tour of the iconic country music cities, Nashville, TN and Branson, MO. Since we don’t have a hub in NY, you could fly an E170 up from Baltimore (or even an A319 from Kansas City or Fort Lauderdale) to JFK as your first leg and then start your flight from there as a separate request.

Repositioning flights will not be charged MetroMiles. They will still be deducted, however will be refunded back to you.

Also, depending on the flight distance and the type of aircraft used, we will only charge you a certain amount of MetroMiles. 

We’ll post more details on the structure of the Build-a-Charter program as we get closer to the relaunch date in January.

The ‘New’ Charter Program

I’m also really excited to announce that we were able to transfer two 757-200s to the Charter fleet! These two aircraft will be used solely for charter flights, and will be based at Wheeler Downtown Airport next to our corporate office in Kansas City. 

In addition to our renewed partnership and charter contract with Sporting Kansas City, I’m happy to announce that we are in discussions with another professional sports team for a sponsorship and charter agreement. I can’t say who just yet, but they’re a bit bigger than an MLS team.

As you can see, the next year (and beyond) is going to be really exciting around here, and this is just the tip of the iceberg for MetroAir. 

Stay tuned for some more awesome announcements from the team and happy flying!

zak

Zak Winnick has been with MetroAir since November 2012, and has been on the management team since July 2013. He has held the position of Director of Charter Operations since September 2015. In th