AirClub, the alliance of operators that aims to establish a global air charter network, announced at EBACE another step toward that goal, signing London Executive Aviation (LEA) as its first member in the UK and ninth overall.
“From the outset, it was clear that AirClub needed a partner in the UK, so we are more than happy to announce that our colleagues and friends at LEA are joining the alliance today,” said Christian Hatje, AirClub chairman and senior v-p of business aviation at PrivatAir. “As a premium player in the industry and a well-respected operator in the UK, LEA not only shares the AirClub values, but its great fleet is the perfect supplement for AirClub.”
“LEA is honored to have been invited to become the first member of AirClub from the UK,” said Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, LEA’s chief executive. “Through the sharing of principles and processes, we look forward to playing an important role in further improving standards and enhancing the overall customer experience.”
As part of AirClub’s growth plans, Hatje wants to make chartering a jet online as quick and simple as renting a car, and at its press conference he demonstrated the alliance’s proprietary online booking tool, which allows charterers to select the amenities and see available aircraft and exact pricing.
LEA joins current AirClub affiliates ACM Air Charter, Air Alsie, Air Hamburg, CorporateJets, FlyingGroup, GlobeAir, Masterjet and PrivatAir. “Soon we will welcome business jet operators from the Middle East, Asia and the Americas,” said Hatje. “Our vision is clear; to be the most advanced, leading global alliance of corporate jet operators.”
Founded here in Geneva in October 2012, AirClub has grown quickly, and with LEA onboard now has 127 aircraft in its network fleet, ranging from a King Air 200 turboprop to Boeing 757 VIP and Airbus ACJ320 executive airliners. “Our long-term aim is to have 50 operators and 1,000 jets,” said Hatje. He believes the synergies of the network and shared standards will make AirClub “stronger than any other player in the industry.”