In March, Cambridge, UK-based Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group acquired FlairJet for its Aviation Services division. Based at Oxford Airport, FlairJet is a pioneering aircraft charter company that currently has a managed fleet of four Embraer Phenoms; a fifth was to arrive around the time of the EBACE show.
As part of the takeover process, Marshall Executive Aviation is transferring its three-aircraft fleet to the FlairJet AOC. The combined entity, which is being launched here this week, will be known as FlairJet Aircraft Management. In early May MEA’s Citation 560XLS joined FlairJet, followed by the Citation 500 Bravo. By the end of June the Challenger 300 will transfer, at which point MEA’s AOC will come to an end. The arrival of the Challenger, in particular, increases FlairJet’s range capability, and the company is in the process of applying for a worldwide AOC.
Marshall’s acquisition of FlairJet is not only emblematic of the group’s desire to grow in the business aviation world, gaining an important foothold at Oxford, but also recognizes the advances that FlairJet has made since it received its AOC in December 2009. An underlying ethos of the company’s creation was to bring the latest airline practices to the sector. Headed by David Fletcher, FlairJet tailored airline safety management systems to the business charter aviation world and, as a consequence, was selected by the UK Civil Aviation Authority to represent the small operator sector at various conferences and meetings.
Although FlairJet initially ordered a Phenom when it was introduced, the company subsequently cancelled the order and has adopted a managed fleet model. It has also sold its safety management expertise to other operators, and has assisted with deliveries and training. It has built a strong relationship with Embraer, much like the one Marshall enjoys with Cessna, but the new division is looking to build relationships with other OEMs as well, while at the same time expanding its fleet to at least 10 aircraft over the next year or two.