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Pets on private jets: logistics behind growing travel trend

Kevin Singh, CEO, and founder of private jet company Icarus Jet shares the rationale behind the increase of private jet flights to transport precious furry cargo while explaining how charter providers can help owners maximize the experience.

We’ve all seen pets in small cages and bags carried through commercial aviation cargo ramps to large airliners. While some owners don’t have a choice due to price, it is widely known that this process can stress pets due to loud unfamiliar noises, varying changes in temperature, and unexpected movements. And that’s without mentioning the many cases where pets are wrongly shipped leaving them stranded for hours or even days in a foreign airport.

Things can even get worse, if you know what I mean, the reason why I’ll stick to the rising trend of private jet charters, what’s fueling this movement, and the logistics behind it. Everyone knows that chartering a private jet is expensive, however allowing your pet to travel safely and with utmost comfort is a price that many are willing to pay. In fact, some owners have paid a charter as a group to reduce expenses when flying their furry loved ones.

I envision this trend only growing in the foreseeable future as airline inefficiencies remain an industry standard, especially with Fourth of July travel right around the corner. Owners can decide to travel alongside their pets in the cabin or send their precious cargo with the crew and even on some occasions alongside the watch and care of a dedicated flight attendant. While the result is a happy family and a wagging tail, many variables go behind the coordination of a private charter flight for pets.

At Icarus Jet, we are in a prime position to support all types of domestic or international movements, thanks to a dedicated charter and trip support team of professionals – a fact that immediately separates us from the competition. We know exactly what is required in every country and what rules and regulations are needed for your pet to enter a specific air space. I’ll go through the most important information for pet owners thinking of using a private jet charter to transport their pets in the future.

Documentation for flying your pet on a private charter

Depending on the country, there might be strict rules and paperwork to have a pet on board. For domestic flights in the U.S., most operators do not require documentation to fly a pet, yet that may change drastically when flying internationally from the states. Some countries may differ from one requirement to another although the most common ones are vaccination certifications, a certification by the veterinary, and the pet’s passport and microchip details.

The purpose of the dog’s travel also needs to be informed, and if it’s pure leisure with a fixed number of days in a foreign country, then usually there are no further questions asked. More details are requested for importation or relocation purposes, the latter being one of the main reasons clients charter a jet with pets on board as they want the entire family moving together to another country.

For the UK, for instance, you can enter the country with a dog, cat, or ferret if it has been microchipped, possesses a pet passport or health certificate, and has been vaccinated against rabies. In contrast, the strictest policies can be found in the Middle East with operators requesting for pets to travel in a crate without being allowed to walk freely in the cabin when flying.

No matter the route and countries involved, working alongside an experienced company like Icarus Jet will allow pet owners to enjoy a worry-free travel experience regarding their pets’ documentation and status in a certain region while also knowing beforehand if there are any extra fees for cabin cleaning after the flight – although this is not a usual practice by operators. While I understand that price might be an issue for many, allowing a pet to travel right next to its owners while being petted and even fed is a priceless feeling – believe me. There are also more cost-efficient options like turboprops instead of larger aircraft that also enable passengers and pets to enjoy the all-around private jet experience, especially for shorter flights. The key is to receive advice from a trustworthy private jet provider with verifiable experience transporting domestic animals on domestic and international routes.

Pilot, president, and founder of Icarus Jet, a leading global trip support and aircraft management company, Kevin Singh has flown globally as a chief pilot and captain on private jets like the Hawker 800-A and 850 XP, and the Challenger 600 series and Global 6000.