Covid-19 has led to a buoyant demand for intra-Europe charter flying, as well as a strong interest of people or companies wanting to purchase a business aircraft, according to Ward Bonduel, CEO of Luxaviation Belgium. “The coronavirus has impacted us profoundly but it also has created new opportunities,” he told AIN today on the sidelines of a Gulfstream G500 and G280 demo-tour at its base in Kortrijk-Wevelgem.
Medium-haul, intra-Europe charter flight activity at the Belgian subsidiary of Luxembourg-based aircraft management and charter operator group Luxaviation climbed 15 to 20 percent since the pandemic as passengers switched from airlines to private flying. However, Luxaviation’s long-range jets are still standing idle due to travel restrictions. “Certainly to the U.S., we expect a robust recovery once travel to the country opens up,” Bonduel noted.
Additionally, Luxaviation Belgium's aircraft sales activity has increased since the pandemic, he said. Over the past year, the company assisted the acquisition of a Falcon 7X, Bombardier Global 5500, and five Beechcraft King Air 250/260s. Two King Air 250s have already joined the company’s fleet, though they are registered on its Luxembourg AOC. The first King Air 260 will be delivered in the third quarter, followed by two more in 2022.
Discussions are ongoing with customers eying purchase of another King Air 250 and a Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen2, Bonduel said.