Early in my career I was an air taxi charter pilot, flying all kinds of aircraft from a Cherokee Six hauling GM parts to a Cessna 402, again hauling automotive parts. I suspect that with the "just in time" programs much of this kind of flying has gone by the wayside. None the less I still feel that one of the 7 great careers in general aviation is that of an air taxi charter pilot.
OpportunityBut there is still a lot of opportunity for the air taxi charter pilot. Today turbine powered aircraft are what most charter is flown in, and the level of skill required, the pay and benefits and the training requirements have all increased. With insurance companies dictating much of the training requirements, the days of jumping into an airplane, taking a 6 month check with a check airman and being "good to go" have mostly gone by the wayside.
Today's customers are more sophisticated and knowledgeable about what they require when they charter an airplane. Even when the aircraft chosen is approved for single pilot operations, most customers demand there be 2 pilots in the cockpit, just like the airlines. And, experience requirements have increased as well. Customers will check not only the price, but the accident history of the operator, question the crew qualifications and ask about recurrent training. All of this has added both to the safety of air tax/charter operations, and to the ability of good air taxi charter pilots incomes.