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What is Cabotage, and how does it impact Private Jet Charters?

01 February 2020

What is Cabotage, and how does it impact Private Jet Charters?


Cabotage comes from the French word caboter and refers to an air law.  Cabotage is the right to operate a domestic flight, meaning carriage of passengers or cargo between two airports within the borders of one country, by an aircraft registered outside of that country.

In short, the purpose of the cabotage rule is to protect the domestic industry from foreign competition. Each time an aircraft, including private jets, enter a foreign country, the operator must comply with that country’s regulations affecting flights operations and the carriage of passengers.

Cabotage impact on Private Jet Charters

But how about freedom of flying by Private Jet? The whole idea of flying by private jet is about having high levels of flexibility in routes – flying within and across countries, regardless of where the aircraft is registered.

You don’t have to worry about cabotage laws when flying with Private Jet Charter ®️. Our flight team is fully aware of cabotage regulations for each country.



Each country rule regarding cabotage is different. The restrictions range from ‘no restrictions’ in Italy, to ‘not allowed’ in Pakistan. In the US, cabotage rules allow chartered aircraft to fly from point-to-point within the country, as long as it comes with passengers on board and being of service to the same people on board.

Cabotage and Brexit

In the EU cabotage rights are extended to all of its member states, which operate a single state in this case and work with interest of free trade. Now, as the UK is facing Brexit in January 2020, cabotage rules will be under negotiation. On the one hand, a multilateral agreement can be made by accepting EU aviation laws within ‘cooperative economic framework’;  on the other hand, a separate deal could be negotiated as in the case of Switzerland.

Exemption to Cabotage

Like most rules, cabotage is no different and has an exemption. For instance, an operator can perform connecting domestic flight within one country, but with certain conditions. These are: the number and passenger list remain the same for the entire route; passengers do not leave the airport and board the connecting flight on the same day.

As you have realised so far, cabotage rules are quite complex. Private Jet Charter, with its global reach and operation systems in place, chooses the right aircraft for your flight. With over 30 years of experience and international offices located all over the world, we have mastered flight arrangements that comply with global cabotage rules.

Private Jet Charter is your trusted and empowering partner in flying freely worldwide. Get a Quote or call us on +44 (0) 2088978979 and speak to our experienced flight consultants for more information.