London City enters exec charter business

 - May 8, 2008, 11:52 AM

The London City Airport operator has entered the executive charter market with a new Dassault Falcon 900EX. Early in October it secured a commercial AOC for the aircraft, which will also be flown for Irish entrepreneur Dermot Desmond, who owns the airport.

The 900EX charters for a base rate of £4,000 ($6,000) per flight hour, with longer missions priced at more advantageous rates. According to London City managing director Richard Gooding, the company is already eyeing the possibility of adding a smaller jet to the fleet so as to be better placed to secure bookings for intra-European flights. Flying out of London City, the 900EX can reach Bangor, Maine, nonstop.

Gooding acknowledged that adverse stock-market trading conditions have somewhat dented both the executive charter market and demand for airline services. However, despite the fact that 60 percent of London City’s passengers are linked to the financial services industry, he argued that the downtown airport has been partly sheltered from this by the continued growth of the Canary Wharf and Docklands business districts on its doorstep. “We are still getting a larger share of a smaller market,” he concluded