What Is Cabotage And How Does It Affect My Private Jet Flight?

Ever heard a flight adviser or pilot refer to “cabotage” when discussing an international private jet charter flight? Here we explain the basics of cabotage rules, and what you need to know for your next flight.

The overall purpose of cabotage rules are to prohibit foreign aircraft from one country traveling into another country and picking up foreign nationals or citizens of another foreign country and providing transportation to and between points within that foreign country.


But since each country’s rules on cabotage are different, how do you know if your charter flight is following regulations? To help clarify, we’ve taken a look at the rules on cabotage and how it can affect your private jet flight.

What is “Cabotage?”

In air law, cabotage is the carriage of passengers or cargo between two airports located inside the same country, performed by an aircraft registered outside that country.

In the United States, this means the carriage by non-US operators, including Canadian carriers, of local traffic (i.e. taking passengers originating at one US point and terminating at another US point) for compensation or hire.

An example of this would be if a service between St. Louis and Denver was offered by a non-US carrier without continuing service to a foreign destination.

Cabotage in the US

Cabotage rules are different in various countries. The restrictions range from no restrictions (as it is in Italy), to not allowed (as it is in Pakistan).

In regards to the United States, a foreign private jet cannot come in empty to the US for the purpose of carrying passengers point-to-point within the country.


However, a charter aircraft with passengers who boarded in Canada may fly to several points within the US, as long as it is the same charter flight with the same people on board.

Cabotage Outside the US

Carriers licensed in the European Union are permitted to engage in cabotage in any EU member state.

Outside of the European Union, bilateral agreements are most common. For example, Australia and New Zealand have an agreement allowing airlines to fly domestically and internationally within each others’ borders.


So How Does Cabotage Affect My Private Jet Flight?

In short, you don’t have to worry about cabotage laws when flying with PrivateFly.

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Our flight team is fully aware of cabotage regulations for each country. When you book a flight through us, you don’t have to worry about if you’re following the correct regulations – we will sort it out for you.

For advice or private jet charter pricing, call us at (866) 726-1222 or contact us online