For Europe, the so-called very light jet (VLJ) revolution has turned out to be more a case of evolution in which only the most financially fit seem destined to survive.
European very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi service Blink has opened a second base at Geneva. The operator is also about to take delivery of the seventh of 30 Cessna Citation Mustangs that are on firm order and plans to base two of the twinjets in Geneva. The rest of the fleet is currently based at the London-area Farnborough Airport or nearby Blackbushe Airport.
Until around this time last year, European business aviation had been enjoying a boom period, and executive charter in particular had seen some truly explosive growth. It was in the heady years from 2005 to the first half of 2008 that a new generation of air-taxi operator was laying down business plans predicated almost entirely on the quantum leap downward in operating costs offered by the new wave of very light jets (VLJs).
European low-cost air taxi pioneer Blink has taken delivery of three more Cessna Citation Mustangs. It has four of the very light jets in service and another 26 on order, with five more due to arrive by October.
“We remain on course with the right product at the right time, offering value for money,” Blink managing director Peter Leiman said. “We beat our 2008 projections for revenues and our costs are under budget.”
European very light jet charter service Blink has launched what it claims to be business aviation’s first frequent-flier program. Through BlinkFocus, customers can bank 10 percent of the value of their charter bookings made at “full fare” rates to use for subsequent flights. There is no limit to the amount of credit that can be accrued and it never expires, according to the company.
European low-cost air-taxi pioneer Blink has taken delivery of three more Cessna Citation Mustangs. It now has four of the very light jets in service and another 26 on order, with five more due to arrive by October. Blink’s contract with Cessna calls for a total of 45 Mustangs. The company has confirmed that the first 30 of these are firm orders that will be delivered by the end of 2011.
Farnborough, UK-based air-taxi service Blink recently took delivery of three more Cessna Citation Mustangs and now has four of the very light jets in service and another 26 on order, with five more due to arrive by October. Blink’s contract with Cessna calls for a total of 45 Mustangs, which includes firm orders for 30 and options on 15.
Blink is stepping up its low-cost European air-taxi network with the introduction of three more Cessna Citation Mustangs due to have entered the fleet around press time.
Business aviation growth in Europe is down sharply on last year’s numbers, according to the latest traffic figures from Eurocontrol, suggesting that the economic slowdown has started to make people think twice before chartering a business aircraft.
Blink has set the bar pretty high for itself in pledging to radically overhaul the business model for air taxi services in Europe with a fleet of Cessna Citation Mustang very light jets (VLJs). Its goal is little short of achieving the Holy Grail for the executive charter market: drastically reducing empty leg positioning flights.
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