Pair of UK firms close flight departments

 - May 9, 2008, 7:14 AM

Two UK corporate flight departments have been quietly closed, and both companies appear to have been having a hard time finding buyers for their middle-aged, midsize business jets. The DeBeers diamond mining group is shutting down its Dravidian Air Services operation at London Heathrow Airport, and it is trying to sell its pair of 19-year-old Hawker 700Bs. A company spokesman told AIN that DeBeers has decided to charter business aircraft instead of operating its own. The London-based restaurant, hotel and media group Granada mothballed its flight department at the UK capital’s Northolt Airport about six months ago. It too has yet to sell its 1987 Hawker 800B. A spokesman confirmed that the company has found the pre-owned aircraft market to be “quite soft.”