United Charter Services has undergone unparalleled growth in the past twelve years of operation! What started as a pioneering Private Aircraft Charter brokerage has evolved into a turnkey Aviation Services company, employing more than thirty staff members, with locations at both Lanseria and Cape Town International Airports.
The success and growth of the company is directly attributable to our people as well as our strategies for growth. As CEO Jonathan Wolpe explains:
“The people working within the various divisions of the company are of paramount importance. We have been very careful to invest in the right people, at all levels, as we believe that this pays dividends. Our people are excited and energised by the workplace environment, as well as the company’s goals and growth strategies.”
Each member of management and every single staff member across the organisation is handpicked and interviewed by Jonathan. They are recruited because of their passion for aviation, high levels of customer service commitment, and above-industry-standard skillsets. Jonathan firmly believes in Sir Richard Branson’s ethos: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to,” and, so far, this has resulted in an efficient ninety-nine percent staff and management retention.
The result of investing in people is obvious. Our people are United, and each one is committed to going the extra mile for the company, and, more importantly, for our customers as well.
Part of our strategic growth plan was to expand the operation to include a greater service offering to our clients, and the initial stages of this plan were accomplished with the acquisition of Owenair (Pty) Ltd in 2009.
United Charter Services and our subsidiary companies are proud to offer the following aviation services:
- Private Aircraft Charter—Fixed Wing, and Helicopter, passenger, and cargo operations.
- Aircraft Management, including maintenance management.
- Aircraft acquisitions and sales.
- FBO Services (FBO – Fixed base Operations).
- Flight Support.
- Part 91 Flight Operations support.
- Crew Hire.
- Corporate Flight Department services.
Owenair is a well-established air operator… In fact, it’s one of the oldest air operators worldwide, having been incorporated in 1946!
Owenair commenced operating aircraft for charter and aerial work out of Youngsfield Aerodrome in Wynberg, Cape Town. It was started by ex-South African Air Force pilot’s staff shortly after the end of World War II. The company grew to employ over forty staff members and had sixteen aircraft on its commercial aircraft operating license. Not only did Owenair offer private charter services, but it provided flight instruction, aircraft maintenance, aircraft sales, and was an authorised Cessna Aircraft Dealer.
From the 1950s all the way until the late 1980s, Owenair was a key role player in the private aircraft charter business. However, when the business was purchased by United Charter Services in 2009, only two aircraft were operating on a Part 121 Air Operator Licence—a Challenger 300 and a Learjet 45.
Since 2009, United Charter Services has nurtured Owenair to its current position as one of only a handful of Air Operators who are authorised to run both Part 135 and Part 121 commercial aircraft operations in South Africa. This means that Owenair is authorised to operate aircraft ranging from smaller piston aircraft, turbine aircraft, jet aircraft, to commercial airline type aircraft. Its current Part 121 and 135 Air Operators Certificates incorporate over twenty individual aircraft, the largest being South Africa’s only corporate Boeing 737.
A recent annual audit by the South African Civil Aviation Authority resulted in Owenair being commended as a benchmark operator for its systems and processes supporting Operations, Quality Management, and Safety Management. In addition, Owenair is SGS HART Aviation approved, as an aviation service provider, and is audited bi-annually by SGS HART Aviation. Owenair has built its reputation not only on its safe operation of aircraft, but also its complete aircraft management solutions.
United Charter Services is an extremely proud custodian of Owenair (Pty) Ltd and its heritage.
United Flight Support
In 2012, after careful consideration, United Charter Services (UCS) opened United Flight Support (Pty) Ltd. This was a strategic move to contain the escalating costs of utilising third-party flight support service providers. This change allowed UCS to provide its private aircraft charter clients with the financial benefits of a reduction in direct aircraft operating costs. But United Flight Support doesn’t limit itself to Owenair and United Charter Services, it also provides third-party flight support services to clients worldwide.
Flight Support is a highly specialised and complex business, operating in a global context. The primary functions are the arrangement and coordination of flight permits, fuel, ground handling, and concierge services. We are pleased to say that since the start of business, United Flight Support has made its mark within the aviation sector, and our client base is expanding daily!
We are a people company…
Driven to achieve the highest levels of customer service. Our clients’ needs come secondary only to our commitment to safety.
- Our people are our most important asset.
- We are experts in the aviation services we offer.
- We are transparent.
- We take accountability seriously.
- Honesty and integrity are inherent qualities of both our business and our staff.
United Aircraft Sales
United Aircraft Sales has been an integral part of United Charter Services since inception. Its reputation for integrity, reliability, and service orientation has understandably won us significant repeat and referral business. As United Aircraft Sales is provider agnostic, we’re able to offer a complete (turnkey) aircraft sales and acquisition service that’s completely unbiased when it comes to aircraft manufacturers. This enables us to provide professional advice to our clients, ensuring that we provide customers with the best possible guidance throughout the aircraft acquisition process. Post-acquisition, customers benefit from comprehensive after-sales support with respect to managing their asset and the associated auxiliary services. Due to the scope of United Charter Services as an organisation, customers can even obtain an income from their aircraft through UCS, who will place the aircraft on Owenair’s air operator’s license, thus providing an avenue to generate income from their asset.
“Our Future Plans
By broadening our service base to include aircraft operations and management, aircraft acquisitions and sales, as well as flight support services, United Charter Services has grown to become a holistic Aviation Services company. We continue to explore exciting and innovative ways to grow the business within the Aviation sector. Plans to develop a world class Aircraft Maintenance organisation are underway! When it comes to United…watch this space!