London Executive Aviation has been one of the stalwarts of Europe’s private charter sector for almost two decades. Trading conditions have never been tougher than in the last few years, but the UK firm is surviving by sticking to its core values, as founders Patrick Margetson-Rushmore and George Galanopoulos told AIN in an interview prior to this week’s show.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Although business has been tough for UK helicopter charter companies in recent times, Capital Air Services is in the process of increasing its managed fleet with the addition of two Sikorsky S-76++ helicopters. This will bring the S-76 fleet to three, to operate alongside a Eurocopter EC155 and a pair of EC135s.
Marshall of Cambridge has evolved over more than a century to become one of the UK’s leading engineering companies, and its Aerospace and Defence Group is a major player with a worldwide reputation for excellence. Within the group is the Aviation Services division (Booth 1019), which effectively parents the commercial operations, including MRO and aircraft charter.
Air Medical Ltd., better known as AirMed, has seen continued growth during the last year and is looking to replace two of its Cheyenne turboprop air ambulances with new equipment. The Oxford, UK-based operator’s current fleet comprises a pair of Learjet 35As and four Cheyennes.
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.
Geneva-based Global Jet (Booth 485) has continued the dramatic expansion of its fleet with 10 new aircraft already added in the first half of 2013. Altogether, its managed fleet now stands at more than 65 aircraft. Eight of the 2013 arrivals are available for charter, increasing the commercial fleet to 25, comprising four Bombardier Global Express/XRSs, three Falcon 2000s, three Gulfstream 550s, a pair of Falcon 7Xs, Falcon 900s, Gulfstream 450s and Challenger 604s.
The proverbial “flight to quality” seems to be the best explanation for why ExecuJet Aviation Europe is still bucking the downward trend in the continent’s business aviation sector. According to newly appointed managing director Gerritt Basson, movements at its 10 FBOs around Europe increased last year as did the size and activity levels of its charter/management fleet.
Germany’s new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (formerly Schoenefeld) has emerged as one of ExecuJet’s most significant handling centers in Europe. The company is responsible for operating the whole general aviation terminal, including its own FBO. ExecuJet has also established a base at Frankfurt International Airport, as well as a satellite operation at the nearby Egelsbach Airport.
Gama Aviation’s new operating base at Geneva Airport has its first aircraft in place, a Gulfstream GV. The UK-based group’s Swiss air operators certificate (AOC) should be approved by July and the company expects to add other jets to the locally based managed fleet, with significant numbers of owners still drawn to the Swiss aircraft registry.
Pilots and flight attendants can now learn how to deal with fire and smoke in aircraft using a new training rig installed by TAG Global Training at the group’s London-area Farnborough Airport. The unit represents a business jet cabin, including galley and lavatory, and can start controlled fires in a seat, an in-flight entertainment unit, the toilet and a microwave oven. The automated system, with pre-set training options, can also fill the cabin with smoke. Minerva Simulation Facilities developed it for TAG.