Luxaviation Helicopters has acquired UK-based VIP and charter helicopter operator Starspeed, doubling the size of its business overnight to create what the Luxembourg-based company’s CEO Charlotte Pedersen calls “the world’s largest VIP/VVIP operator” of helicopters.
Fairoaks Airport-based Starspeed has 19 helicopters on its air operator certificate (AOC), all of which it operates and manages for private clients. For charter flights, it also has access to four helicopters not on its AOC. Luxaviation Helicopters has 19 helicopters as well, all managed for private clients and operated under its AOC, but four are also available for VIP charters. In addition, Luxaviation Helicopters has a partnership with Azur Hélicoptère that offers Luxaviation Helicopters charter access to the Cannes-based company’s fleet of 21 helicopters.
Starspeed brings an “outstanding reputation and [the] highest safety standards,” according to Pedersen, so it will retain its identity, management and staff. However, Starspeed will use Luxaviation Helicopters’s back-office functions and will benefit from the access it gains to the clients of all of Luxaviation Group’s companies, which together operate more than 250 business aircraft and helicopters.
Pedersen says Starspeed’s key attractions for Luxaviation Helicopters were its 40-year history as “a highly professional, highly confidential, highly trusted” VIP operator; its helicopter pilot-training business; Starspeed’s global reach; and its status as the only VIP helicopter operator approved by EASA “with commercial rights to charter to ships.”