Marshall Aerospace has entered the pre-owned aircraft sales sector and is expanding its charter activities as part of a relaunch of its business aviation division. The Cambridge, UK-based group is combining its existing Marshall Business Aviation handling and maintenance subsidiary and Marshall Executive Aviation charter operator with the new sales unit in a bid to create a one-stop bizav services brand called Jetability. This also encompasses its concierge support and limousine services.
According to Marshall Aerospace CEO Steve Fitz-Gerald, the new venture is backed by the Marshall Group ($1.6 billion annual revenue) and will be spending more than $30 million over the next three years to redevelop Cambridge Airport, which it owns. Over the next four years, it wants to triple the number of business aircraft movements that it currently receives from the anticipated 2,400 this year.
The group also intends to expand its charter fleet to a dozen jets by adding new management clients or acquiring other operators. The FBO at Cambridge Airport is run through a franchise agreement with Marshall by ExecuJet Aviation, which is already active in aircraft sales, management and charter.
According to Marshall Business Aviation managing director Steve Jones, who joined the company in March 2012 from Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Airport, the company will be looking to expand maintenance and support activities to build on its long-standing status as one of Cessna’s authorized service centers for Citation jets. The company is already a continuing airworthiness management organization able to provide support for operators under European Aviation Safety Agency Part M requirements. It recently started maintenance cooperation with Harrods Aviation at London Luton Airport.
Jones said that the charter fleet, which currently consists of just a pair of Citations, will expand organically and/or through acquiring existing operators in a market he acknowledges is quite crowded. He indicated that Marshall wants to operate some larger, longer-range aircraft.
Conceding that the executive charter market remains quite competitive and with tight profit margins, Jones insisted that Marshall’s planned fleet growth will position the company to be ready for market recovery. “We will expand the fleet with aircraft for European services, but we also have ambitions to be a global operator and manage larger aircraft,” he said. “We need a minimum fleet of 10 to 12 aircraft [to be competitive].”
Marshall Business Aviation has recruited former Hawker Beechcraft UK-based salesman Howard Povey as its new sales director to oversee efforts to break into pre-owned aircraft sales. Eventually, the company would like to become an official new-aircraft sales representative for a major manufacturer.
Jones maintained that the streamlined Jetability service portfolio will give customers clearer access to Marshall’s services. “In the past you’d deal with four or five different bits of the company and get four or five different invoices, but now we can offer a complete business aviation solution,” he said.