Flying Group lands in Paris

 - October 23, 2006, 7:09 AM

After months of negotiation, the Flying Group has obtained approval from the board of directors of Aeroports de Paris to convert the short-term lease at Euralair Airport Services to a long-term lease for 25 years.

The Flying Group will have a full-fledged base of operations at Le Bourget and will also be able to invest in new facilities and develop its business aviation activities at the airport.

The company plans to upgrade the facilities while complementing its handling business with fractional ownership, aircraft management and charter operations.

Created in 1960 by Alexandre Couvelaire, the Euralair group went bankrupt in 2003. Three of its divisions were sold separately–Euralair International (business aviation); Euralair Horizons (charter); and Euralair Industries, (maintenance). However, Euralair Airport Services has continued to operate as an independent FBO, after a management buyout.

Expanding in Europe

The Antwerp, Belgium-based Flying Group is expanding rapidly beyond its national borders. The business aviation group claims to be the leader in the Benelux countries, and it is now boosting its presence on the business aviation market, through its two divisions: Flying Partners (fractional ownership) and Flying Service (charter/broker and management).

Last year, the Flying Group took over Cap Camarat Business Jet at Cannes-Mandelieu Airport, the second largest business aviation airport in France. Flying Group expected to begin construction of its new building around the beginning of this month. The group currently operates a Citation Excel out of Cannes.

The facility will be used for aircraft storage, office space and other aviation-related activities. The project includes the construction of a new 3,750-sq-ft hangar, which is due to be completed by early next year.

Flying Group’s fleet is also expanding rapidly. In fact, the company recently added four new aircraft–a Citation X, a Citation Excel, a Falcon 900EX EASy and a Challenger 604.

“Five years ago, we had only four aircraft; today we have a fleet of 14 modern business jets,” said a company spokesman.

The company also has six new aircraft on order (three Citation Mustangs, a CJ3, a Falcon 900DX EASy and a Falcon 7X) scheduled for delivery by 2008.

The group also plans to build a new hangar at its home base in Antwerp to accommodate the fleet expansion. The new hangar will offer 18,837 sq ft and will double the size of the previous one, which it completed only three years ago.