E U R O P E A N
BUSINESS AIR NEWS ISSUE 194
Middle East start-up launched MAE Jet Charters has begun private charter operations from Bahrain with a launch fleet of a Challenger 300, an Embraer Legacy and a Boeing 737 that it may expand as demand intensifies. Part of Bahrain’s MENA Aerospace group, the company is based in Manama with representation in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The group’s aircraft are operated by MAE Aircraft Management, a sister company to MAE Jets. Ferah Senkaya, MAE Jets sales manager, says: “Sales volumes are growing substantially. We have alliances with major travel agents, charter brokerages and aircraft operators throughout the world.” MAE Jets is also the exclusive charter reseller of the Challenger 300. “Our staff are trained to European levels of service, quality, customer care and procedures.” Senkaya says: “We are serving the whole private charter market from corporate travel to mainstream destinations to family vacation travel, especially to non-gateway cities.” He adds: “We are also meeting demand for short-term single trips, or longer term charter agreements including pre-purchased blocks of hours at reduced rates.” MAE Jets reports a rising demand for its aircraft management services. Ralph Eisenschmid, MENA Aerospace group acting ceo, says MENA Aerospace continues to see excellent potential for general aviation in Bahrain. “It is strategically located to serve the Middle East and Asia. Bahrain also has a highly skilled workforce and forward thinking regulators at Bahrain’s Civil Aviation Affairs.” John Bavister, group cfo, says: “We have managed the start of this business in a careful and orderly manner and are well placed to accelerate our expansion now that the economy is starting to show signs of having bottomed out. The MENA Aerospace group is ready to participate and benefit fully in the economy’s recovery.”
ME & MY AIRCRAFT Small jets
French operator Blue Line targets UK business page 3 Highland Airways expands ad hoc charter page 4 Amber Aviation develops Middle East operations page 5 Executive Airlines brings ninth Gulfstream into operation page 12
SPECIAL FOCUSES Greek charter review For details of how to enter, see 12-13 page 3. pages For details of how to enter, see page 3. Industry news
ACR builds four-strong Citation fleet in Ukraine
Executive adds Gulfstream number nine Executive Airlines is now operating its ninth Gulfstream and plans to add three further aircraft by the end of the year. The manager of Executive Airlines’ private aircraft management department, Francisco Sanz, received the latest Gulfstream 200 at Barcelona airport from Steve Jones, Gulfstream International’s regional vp for Europe. Full story page 12.
ACR Aero-Charter Airlines has brought what it says is the first Ukrainian-registered Citation business jet, a CJ3, into service. Michael Semenov, president, says: “This is the first of four Citations ordered by ACR, with a second CJ3 arriving imminently and a further CJ3 and an XLS+ scheduled for delivery in 2010.” Semenov says the company, based in Kiev and founded in 1997, will continue to build and operate a diverse fleet of business jets but it rates Citations as the ideal aircraft for its future fleet expansion plans. Jetalliance, Cessna’s authorised sales representative, says it worked closely with the Ukrainian authorities to secure certification, and with Cessna Finance Corporation which provided financing for the fleet order. Semenov says: “ACR has established a leading position in the Ukrainian market. The CJ3 and XLS+ will strengthen our light and midsize capabilities and enable us to serve a wider range of customers.” The ACR fleet includes a Gulfstream 150 and Yakovlev 40s. ACR also provides aircraft management and consulting services including acquisition and crew selection and training. Trevor Esling, Cessna vp for international sales, says ACR’s order is a sign that the Ukrainian business jet market is expanding.
Peak Air adapts World War II hangars and bunkers to house private aircraft Spacious German wartime aircraft hangars and bunkers at Finsterwalde have been modernised to provide bespoke hangarage where owners and operators can store, maintain or charter out under-used jets. The project currently involves three organisations that coordinate services under the umbrella name of Sky-Harbour Services – Peak Air, the AOC partner; Aircraft Maintenance & Consulting, which has Part 145 authorisation, and HSP Law, the organisation able to provide legal advice. Henri-Pierre Hirts, md Peak Air, says: “Built by the German Wehrmacht these spacious wartime bunkers, the last of their kind in size and restored condition in Europe, have been modernised to provide bespoke hangared facilities.” He adds: “The storage and maintenance facility is only 100 kilometres from Berlin and we have customised the hangars to take any aircraft including
Henri-Pierre Hirts: bespoke warehouse storage and charter.
BBJs, Globals or turbos. All of our services will be provided and coordinated through Sky-Harbour Services, the first strategic alliance of its type for corporate aviation. Our service locations are not confined to Germany alone, however we provide currently a safe and secure hangared or apron storage environment in Germany to
accommodate aircraft up to the size of a B737.” Bookings have already been taken for space in three customised hangars providing up to 12,000 m2 of storage and Hirts reports growing interest from OEMs as well as charter operators. “The facility is very definitely targeted at commercial operators or individuals and not at OEMs who want bulk storage, although they could negotiate some space, because we want to build a diversified private charter client base and reduce systemic risk through our strategic and risk-share alliance concept.” The package of services includes aircraft maintenance, AOC provision, aircraft repossession, the decommissioning and re-commissioning of aircraft, consulting, transaction management and the buying and selling of aircraft including services needed for the operation and management of aircraft.
For fuel, ground services and all your trip arrangements
Hirts says that the German facility has space to rent on a flat fee pay-asyou-go basis to enable owners and operators to keep aircraft safely and cost-effectively at a strategic central European location during downtime. It was planned before the global economic downturn. But: “It is certainly an idea that has proved timely. Operators can cut the costs of having to keep aircraft on the ground. The hangars are also a way of increasing the aircraft management base of Peak Air. Obviously we can manage and maintain aircraft for owners as well as store them if the need is for a safe haven until charter demand picks up.” Aircraft currently on Peak Air’s books include the Premier 1A and King Airs. The Peak Air Team has provided aviation services for over 10 years, diversifying into commercial business aircraft services 18 months ago.
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EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
JULY 2009 3
FlyingGroup operates from new bases
E U R O P E A N
BUSINESS AIR NEWS Publisher: ..........................David Wright Editor: ..................................Rod Smith Sub editor: ..........................Kate Woods Reporter: ........................Claire Morrison Designer: ..............................Chris Carr Advertising manager: ..........Mark Ranger Subscriptions: ........................Janet Bell Administrator: ......................Hilary Tyler European Business Air News, 134 South Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3BQ England. Telephone: +44 1279 714505 Fax: +44 1279 714519 email: email@example.com www.ebanmagazine.com European Business Air News (USPS 009-091) is published eleven times each year, monthly except January, by Stansted News Limited, 134 South Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire CM23 3BQ, England. Periodicals postage paid at Rahway, N.J. Postmaster: Send address changes to Stansted News Limited c/o Mercury Airfreight International Ltd., 365 Blair Road, Avenel, New Jersey 07001. Company registered in England no. 2224522. Printed by Stones. ISSN number: 0959-1311. EBAN is available by postal subscription for eleven issues. Simply send your credit card details and authority for UK£40 within Europe (UK£70 outside Europe) to our subscriptions department, or call +44 (0)1279 714505. EBAN is sent without charge to qualifying business aviation professionals. Please call the telephone number above to request an application form. The opinions expressed by authors and contributors to European Business Air News are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. Articles appearing in European Business Air News may not be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the publisher. European BusinessAir News is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork.
Air Hamburg gives clients an aircraft plus Air Hamburg decided to give its clients extra in response to market feedback. “Many clients were looking for an XLS in northern Germany, so we decided to purchase the XLS+,” says ceo Floris Helmers. The XLS+ was ferried from Wichita to Hamburg and has proved popular since its inaugural charter flight in May. “Of course it is regrettable that the market and business levels have decreased since November 2008, but still we expect to maintain about 30 to 40 flying hours a month,” says Helmers. “We have very good clients in Hamburg who have already booked a good number of hours.” Air Hamburg also operates two Citation 525s and two Citation Bravos. Alexander Lipsky, md, says: “With the new XLS+ this is a good fleet to meet all client wishes and we can offer the right aircraft for the requested leg or flight. Our 24-7 operation has a highly motivated and experienced team of 40 people and we feel very optimistic about the future.”
Air Hamburg’s Alexander Lipsky and Cessna’s Mike Shivers at the delivery of the XLS+.
The company also operates 21 smaller aircraft for daily scheduled flights from Hamburg to North Sea islands including Sylt and Helgoland and its flight school, Flugschule Hamburg, provides PPL and ATPL training for about 80 students a year.
Gareth Evans and James Evans: UK business drive.
French operator targets UK business Blue Line, a French airline with large fully-convertible aircraft for charter, is raising its presence and profile in the UK. “We are looking to develop business in the very important UK marketplace for Blue Line, which previously did not have a locally based presence,” says bdm James Evans. “In addition to filling the void left by some of the operators who have failed during the recession we are looking at many exciting new opportunities in the UK.” A full refurbished A310 was brought into operation in April to
spearhead expansion into the long haul vvip and charter market. Evans says: “The response has been absolutely brilliant. The level of requests and of interest has been phenomenal. Charters have included two major Premiership football teams.” Gareth Evans, bdm, says: “We are achieving good market penetration and we are operating with all the advantages that our international worldwide AOC offers. There is a great deal of interest from the sports and
entertainment sectors. The A310 can take smaller groups but it offers a 220 split business and economy configuration or 88-114 seat full club class option and the capability for a non-stop trip between London and Los Angeles or London and Hong Kong.” The Blue Line fleet also includes two Fokker 100s, which convert between 100 and 52 seats and four MD83s which offer 167 or 54 seats. “They can be converted within eight to twelve hours,” Gareth Evans adds.
FlyingGroup now has bases in Europe in four countries – Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Holland. Ben Paindavin, marketing and PR director, confirms: “Independent commercial offices in Rotterdam and Luxembourg are fully operational in addition to our existing offices in Antwerp, Cannes and Paris.” Willem de Kruif heads up FlyingGroup Netherlands which operates out of Rotterdam airport Jetcenter. He says: “The Dutch market has a lot of existing and new business opportunities. A Citation Excel and a Challenger 604 will be based in Rotterdam.” In Luxembourg FlyingGroup’s base is equipped with offices and a hangar and staffed by nine employees. Bernard van Milders, president FlyingGroup says: “Luxembourg is a growing business market.” FlyingGroup will base a Citation XLS+ and a Mustang at Luxembourg, and also offers line and ground maintenance services. FlyingGroup also reports good demand for its newest fleet addition, a Citation Sovereign. The aircraft is configured for nine passengers and mainly operates out of Belgium’s Antwerp airport. Paindavin says: “The Sovereign offers the business traveller a simple proposition: cover much more ground than the competition in far greater comfort for a competitive price.” FlyingGroup, which also has offices in Belgium, now operates a Mustang configured for four passengers, a Citation Bravo (eight passengers); a CJ3 (seven); an Excel (eight); an XLS (eight); an XLS+ (nine); a Challenger 604 (12); a Falcon 2000 EX EASy (10) and a Falcon 900 DX (14).
Multiflight Dauphins boost fleet’s all-round appeal as UK charter firm invests in facilities Multiflight is expanding its fleet’s capabilities with the addition of an AS365N2 and a Bell 206L4. Steve Borrowdale, md, of the Yorkshire, UK, headquartered company says: “The choice of helicopters is one of ease of operation and reliability. Given the diversity of our fleet we can meet most of our clients’ demands.” The new arrivals join a Bell 206, AS350B2, AS355F2, another AS365N2 and an AS365N1. “The demand is for a combination of business and pleasure with golf, horse racing and motorsports providing regular charter demand,” Borrowdale adds. “We cover the whole of the UK, Ireland and sometimes Europe with the Dauphins.” In 2008, Multiflight’s Dauphins averaged 25 hours commercial flying and about 50 hours total each month from May to October. Borrowdale says: “We would expect commercial hours to be similar for the equivalent months this year.” The company was formed in 1994 by technology entrepreneur David Hood, after he purchased a Falcon
Multiflight's helicopter fleet is diversifying.
900B. “My interest in aviation and learning to fly started when I was a passenger on a pleasure flight on a JetRanger. I was inspired to gain my Twin Squirrel helicopter pilot’s licence, bought a Falcon and acquired Knight Air, an aviation
business located on the south side of Leeds Bradford international airport,” says Hood. Borrowdale joined as md in 1999 bringing experience of worldwide operations, sales, engineering and company acquisitions. Multiflight
acquired two other companies based on the site: Yorkshire Light Aircraft Limited and the Yorkshire Flying Club, as part of a redevelopment and restructuring of the south side of the airport. “We saw an opportunity to develop a first class aviation facility that would not only offer flying enthusiasts like myself a great place to learn to fly and to fulfill their ambitions, but also provide a one-stop shop for professionals and charter customers with a flight training centre, specialist engineering, charter, aircraft management and sales and executive aircraft handling departments,” says Hood, now Multiflight’s chairman. “We are constantly striving to improve our facility and have recently totally refurbished our executive aircraft handling department, our flight training centre and our café bar.” Hood adds: “Multiflight continues to develop and grow. We are the only operator in the north of England that is able to provide two vip AS365 Dauphins.”
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
4 JULY 2009
Dancopter eases the EC155 past a hundred
Koçoglu Aviation rapidly builds Turkish EHMS fleet
Denmark’s Dancopter has brought Eurocopter’s 100th EC155 B1 into operation. Nils Skeby, ceo, says: “We were already operating five EC155s in the North Sea oil and gas market, and we are one of the launch customers of the EC175 with two on order.” From its main base in Esbjerg, Dancopter started offshore operations in support of the oil and gas industry in 2003, introduced successfully the first EC155 B1 helicopters in the North Sea, and now provides service to oil companies such as Hess and Dong Energy. “We have expanded our activities in the Netherlands, Ireland and recently in Norway servicing Shell, Statoil, Gaz de France, Chevron, Wintershall, Det Norske and Maersk Oil,” Skeby adds. Dancopter plans to add to its sevenstrong all-EC155 fleet. “We are always looking ahead and the company signed early in 2008 for two EC175s so the EC155 B1 is not the end of our fleet expansion.” Skeby points out that the 13 passenger, one pilot, EC155 is a twinengine, long range helicopter with the very latest technological innovation making it one of the most reliable helicopters on the market. It also enjoys a fast cruising speed of 143 knots and a wide roomy cabin. “Its advanced Fenestron tail rotor and five-blade rotor means it is also the quietest rotorcraft in its category, and ensures superior manoeuvrability, performance and reliability,” he adds.
Turkish operator Koçoglu Aviation is massively increasing the size of its helicopter fleet to meet the demands of its country’s emergency services. Koçoglu expects to be operating ten EC135s, an EC145 and an EC155 on lease by August. It will also operate six emergency medical serviceconfigured AW109 Power light twins. “The first of these is already in service and five more will be in service by September 2009,” the company says. It has options for additional helicopters. The helicopters will perform emergency medical services to and from hospitals equipped with helicopter landing facilities. They were ordered by Koçoglu for the Turkish government’s Emergency Helicopter Medical Service (EHMS) project. In less than one year, the company says, it has invested €100 million to meet the needs of the Turkish health ministry as part of a renewable five-year contract. The company adds: “This is the first time that a project of this scale has been introduced in Turkey. Koçoglu Aviation only won the tender launched by the ministry in the summer of last year but we have been working hard to ensure the project’s success.”
The EC155: roomy cabin.
Basil O’Fee, director of Highland Airways, with Anne Maclennan and first officer David Raymond.
Highland Airways works to expand its ad hoc charter capability Highland Airways is expanding its Jetstream 31 and 41 fleet to nine. “Our latest 41 is undergoing refurbishment and conversion from 29 seats to 19,” says Anne Maclennan who runs the company’s charter sales. “It will initially be available fulltime for charter but the level of enquiries suggests that it may be taken for corporate or contract charter sooner rather than later.” Delivery is now expected to take place in the late autumn or early 2009 and it will join the Invernessheadquartered company’s current fleet of seven Jetstream 31s and an Edinburgh-based 41. Highland Airways, with bases in Scotland, England and Wales, carries out a mix of public services, particularly “lifeline” services to remote communities, and corporate and ad hoc charter. “Many of our aircraft are fulfilling
weekday corporate, or scheduled, charter commitments but they are often free for ad hoc charter at evenings and weekends,” Maclennan says. “This generally off-peak spare capacity attracts enquiries for wedding parties, sports events, fishing trips, property inspections and tours including whisky groups visiting island distilleries and special events.” More unusual charter requests have included “seal to seal refuge” transport, fish eggs transported via Copenhagen to South America, and the moving of elk to a Scottish estate for a project aimed at reestablishing the natural wildlife, “some accomplished with brokered aircraft” adds Maclennan. Other business areas will be added. Basil O’Fee, director, says: “I can confirm that we are in talks with the Scottish Rugby Union for a charter
arrangement but I must add that the details are still being finalised. The arrangement would involve helping island teams and opposition teams on the mainland fulfill fixtures that currently suffer because of the expense of scheduled services, or the time taken utilising ferry trips.” The company’s conversion of J41 aircraft to vip 19-seat configurations means the Jetstreams can use more widely available private airfield facilities anywhere in the UK while larger than 19-seat passenger loads face restrictions under the National Aviation Security Programme. The conversion also permits very generous personal luggage allowances popular with golfers, skiers and the like. “Demand is always higher than we can meet,” says O’Fee. “This is why we will be bringing another aircraft on stream towards the end of this year.”
Aero Services plans global ambulance role for 50EX France’s Aero Services has brought a Falcon 50EX into service to provide worldwide ambulance services. The company says the new aircraft will provide increased performance compared to the F50B. “The Falcon 50EX also benefits from new avionics and a more modern cockpit,” it adds. Aero Services says the global economic slowdown has been the spur for it to improve facilities and focus even more on client service and
business opportunities. “One of these sectors is global ambulance services,” it adds. Aero Services’ sister company at Paris Le Bourget, Groundforce One FBO, has brought into operation a new vip lounge featuring meeting rooms, Wi-Fi access and television. “We are increasing attractions for clients. Aero Services is also offering a wide range of concierge services, including limousine reservation and flower deliveries,” the company says.
From left: Capt. Paul Lees, Michael Hampton and Capt. John Hill.
Capital service up and running for Olympics Capital Air Services believes that the air security zone that will be in place around London for the 2012 Olympics will increase demand for helicopter charter from airports including Oxford and Cambridge. Michael Hampton, md, says: “Rather than fly into London, jet operators and owners will find it more cost-effective to land outside and charter a helicopter in. Capital, which can deploy the EC155, EC135 and AS355, is developing a fixed price service from Marshall Cambridge Airport and Oxford Airport into London. There is a lot of interest now and it will increase in the run-up to 2012.”
The EC135: Photo Koço lu Aviation, MM Wittmann/Meyer.
Koçoglu Aviation says the helicopters have been dubbed the ‘Red Angels’ in recognition of their paint scheme. “They have been flying an average of six hours a day saving lives in every region of Turkey,” the company says. Major cities where they are operating include Ankara, Istanbul, Erzurum, Diyarbakir, Kayseri and Antalya. Over time the helicopters will be deployed in other cities. Maintenance is provided by Skyline, Koçoglu Aviation’s subsidiary, and Eurocopter has pledge to speed up its project to build a certified maintenance centre in Ankara for all its helicopters. Eurocopter has provided training courses for more than 20 pilots and 30 technicians in under a year. AgustaWestland says Skyline has been appointed as its service centre for the AW109 Power and Grand models in Turkey. “Skyline will offer on-site support services to Koçoglu Aviation’s fleet and to other AW109 Power and Grand operators in Turkey and Northern Cyprus,” it adds. The main maintenance centre is located at Ankara Airport with line maintenance hangars available in other cities. Koçoglu Aviation is part of Koçoglu Holding which is involved in construction, tourism, energy, agriculture and transport as well as aviation. Established in 2005, Koçoglu Aviation offers EMS services, vip transport and air cargo. Koçoglu Aviation has 19 heliports, 19 hangars and maintenance facilities with more than 250 employees. Sky Line is an authorised JAR 145 organisation for repair and maintenance services.
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
JULY 2009 5
Amber Aviation enhances management fleet and focuses on developing Middle East operations UK-based Amber Aviation is expecting to expand its management fleet. “We are in discussion with several owners,” says Paul Forster, md. “We are also looking at adding a Piaggio P180 to the fleet for dedicated air ambulance flights later this year.” The Biggin Hill-based company, set up in September 2008, manages a G150 that was delivered in May this year for a Middle East client. “We recruited the flight crew and cabin crew who are now full-time employees of Amber,” says Forster. “The rationale for choosing the aircraft was that it should have a good sized cabin capable of taking at least six passengers in comfort, have excellent flight characteristics and be quick. “The G150 is probably the smoothest mid size jet I have ever flown on. The ‘state-of-the-art’ wing absorbs any turbulence and provides a superbly smooth ride. It is fast, cruising at up to M.85, has an excellent cabin and is priced sensibly.” Forster says the operational costs are good and Gulfstream offers an excellent support service which is paramount to an operator flying worldwide. He adds: “We also believe you should look at an aircraft from the investment point of view. If you are not going to keep the aircraft forever
Newly-formed jet charter company Ambeo PLC has selected the Marshall business aviation centre in Cambridge, UK, as its operational base. “We will provide ad hoc charter services based on a fleet of Mustangs,” says ceo Frank Noppel. “We plan to operate up to five aircraft under our own AOC within the first 12 months with a view to expanding the fleet across Europe and operating up to 30 aircraft within five years.” He adds: “This is an exciting time for us. In addition to the airport’s great location and facilities, we will benefit from Marshall’s experience with Cessna aircraft dating back 35 years when maintaining our own aircraft.” Smart Aviation to operate Sovereigns for medevac
The Amber Aviation crew with the new G150 during a visit to Dubai. Pictured left to right are Carrie Lovely (cabin crew), Capt. Orin Lucas and Capt. Joseph Fjelde.
then you need to consider what the resale will be like. The G150 is becoming very popular and we are confident that by the time the owner decides to upgrade his aircraft, the type will be very much in demand and thus the resale value will be good.”
Forster says: “Although on the VP register we have specified the aircraft in accordance with JAR OPS, thus allowing us the choice to move the aircraft onto the AOC if required or should the owner decide to sell it, there will a wider market to appeal to. Our expansion plans
Corporatejets XXI gains Falcon 900C business Barcelona-based Corporatejets XXI has agreed to position its Falcon 900C with a private company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Jacint Puigmarti, commercial director, says: “The aircraft will be used for the Saudi company’s corporate use as well as being available for third party charter to clients based in the Middle East. The company will pay for the hours they use and will also, in conjunction with Corporatejets XXI, sell charter flights under Corporatejets XXI’s Spanish Air Operators Certificate.” Puigmarti explains: “In the current European economic climate we had to look at where the aircraft was going to fly the most hours. Dubai is already a crowded charter market, while in Saudi there are fewer competitors, yet it is an expanding market so this arrangement makes very good sense.”
XXI: expanding Middle East interest with the Falcon 900.
The Falcon 900C will remain under Corporatejets XXI management and the operator will provide full crews on rotation. Line maintenance will be carried out in the Middle East while major maintenance requirements will see the aircraft return to Dassault in Paris. Corporatejets XXI’s new Falcon 2000LX is on schedule for delivery in October. It will augment the company’s Falcon 900C and two Citation XLSs and be based in Barcelona.
Ambeo launches Mustang fleet from Cambridge
include the offering of an EU OPS AOC and hangarage at Biggin Hill. We also intend to become an established FBO operator in the UAE and are already in the final stages of negotiations to do this. We now have a full flight crew complement based in Bahrain.”
Egypt’s Smart Aviation will deploy a dual-patient system from LifePort on the first two Citation Sovereigns certified for medevac that it is bringing into operation this year. The Sovereigns are part of a six-aircraft order from Smart which will undertake medevac in addition to regular vip charter. LifePort says it will complete the requirements for the supplemental type certificate for the dual patient interior in the third quarter. Smart’s Sovereigns will go into service soon after. “The Sovereign is the perfect platform for our various operations,” says Sameh Anwar, Smart coo.
PAS orders AW139s as part of fleet modernisation
Ian Sixsmith and Nigel Jones-Blackett: enquiries.
Short runway capability generates Islander interest Ian Sixsmith and Nigel Jones-Blackett report firm interest from charter brokers and other charter operators in booking their new company’s eight passenger Britten-Norman Islander. Sixsmith, chief pilot and operations director of the Northampton, UK-based Md Air Ltd, says: “The pre-owned aircraft has been refurbished to a very high standard and obviously it is targeted at a niche market for which a comparatively limited number of
such aircraft are available.” Jones-Blackett says: “There have been quite a number of enquiries with sports events, including race meetings, among events that there has proved to be a need for.” Sixsmith says that the BrittenNorman Islander’s take-off performance enables it to use runways of less than 500 metres while it needs only 320 metres to land. “We can land at virtually any GA airport," he adds.
Jet Aviation boosted by management growth in Europe and the Middle East Jet Aviation, whose area of operations includes Europe and the Middle East, has increased its aircraft management fleets by more than 20 aircraft so far in 2009. Jürg Reuthinger, svp and gm, aircraft management division EMEA & Asia, says: “The aircraft types include the Falcon 50 and 900; Gulfstream GIII, GIV, GV, G550; Global Express, Challenger and Learjet. Seven of the aircraft also are available for charter services.” Jet Aviation provides aircraft management and flight support services from four operational bases including Zurich and Dubai. It says it currently manages more than 200 aircraft worldwide. Reuthinger says: “We have seen a tremendous increase in demand for aircraft management and flight support services in recent months in Europe and Asia.” Jet Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, was founded in Switzerland in 1967 and has almost 5,700 employees.
Petroleum Air Services (PAS) of Egypt has ordered two AW139 medium twins and taken options on two other helicopters. PAS says the AW139 is ideally suited for the offshore oil and gas transport support operations. “Its large cabin and baggage compartments allow it to transport 12 to 15 passengers and baggage,” the company says. “The superior power of the two engines ensures the AW139 has the best performance in its weight class in all operating conditions. It also has excellent payload and performance.” PAS says that the AW139 can also be used for a number of applications including EMS/SAR, executive/vip transport and government roles. The company operates both fixed wing and rotary fleet providing a range of services including passenger transport, seismic support, load lifting, medical evacuation and pollution control. The company says: “PAS has flown more than 450,000 hours
PAS: offshore support expansion.
in over 25 years in support of oil industry activities in Egypt with the majority being in the offshore sector. Hundreds of take-offs and landings are carried out daily, transporting personnel and equipment throughout the offshore oil fields in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Red Sea. The AW139 order is part of PAS’s continuing fleet modernisation plan for medium twin engine helicopters.”
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EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
6 JULY 2009
Small jets remain the workhorses of business aviation around Europe
ME & MY AIRCRAFT Small jets Since the introduction of the Cessna 500 Citation back in 1969, the small jet segment has been at the heart of the business aviation industry. More recently the advent of smaller, cheaper engines has spawned a whole new sector in the four-seat category which have come to be known as very light jets, or VLJs, but the less cramped five-toeight place models remain as popular as ever. Cessna remains in the thick of the action, with its model 525 series CJ1, CJ2, CJ3 and CJ4 series, Learjet has a modern contender in the model 45, as does Raytheon with its Premier 1. But all around Europe the Citation 500, 550 and 560 variants and the Learjet 31/35 can be found at virtually every business aviation hub. In this report we talk to some of the owners and operators about the small jets they fly, their strengths and failings. We asked about maintenance support, dispatch reliability, operating capabilities and value-for-money, as well as more generally for the best and worst aspects of each model, and the most desirable upgrades. Only EBAN readers who we have been able to verify as confirmed current users of a particular aircraft type are given access to that aircraft’s survey forms. Next month we will be looking at the twin engine turboprops. If you fly these types and wish to make your opinions heard, then please be in touch very soon.
BEECHCRAFT PREMIER 1A The Beechcraft Premier 1 first flew in 1998 with first deliveries in 2001. The Premier 1A was cer tified with redesigned interior and avionics enhancements in 2005. In total there are 269 examples in ser vice, and some of these can be found in 13 countries around Europe and the Middle East. The largest populations are in Germany and the UK, and the largest individual fleets are those of Europe Star Aircraft GmbH in Austria and the UK’s Manhattan Jet Charter. Asking prices for pre-owned Premier 1 aircraft range from $3.8m to $4.7m, and for the 1A from $5m to $5.9m.
Manhattan Jet Charter (MJC) and European Skytime are combining to offer clients the best of two worlds – Premier cost-effectiveness and spaciousness and Learjet range and speed. MJC offers a block hours scheme for its Premiers based at Farnborough and has introduced
Beechcraft Premier 1A
Me & My Aircraft throughout 2009 AUGUST Twin engine turboprops
SEPTEMBER Twin engine helicopters OCTOBER Very light jets NOVEMBER
Cabin class piston aircraft DECEMBER Super midsize jets
Make your opinion count! Citation 525 CJ1
Citation 560 Encore
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Manhattan Jet Charter augments world’s largest Premier fleet with Learjet alternative AOC management services for European Skytime’s Learjet 40XR and 45XR operations. Trevor Jones, MJC md, says: “The Learjets represent a good partner for the Premier operations. We can now offer our block customers flights into Cannes or provide longer range flights with additional passenger capability when required. Being able to offer a total of eight aircraft stands us in good stead in providing replacement aircraft in the case of breakdown and in offering a wider range of aircraft to our client base.” The block hours scheme is called the Premier Hours Option and it allows clients to convert some hours from the Premier to the Learjet at an agreed offset rate. “We also provide a back-up service to the Learjet operation in the case of overbooking or breakdown,” Jones explains. The Premier 1, according to Jones,
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Premier 1: ideal for taller passengers.
Trevor Jones: pilots love the Premier 1.
is an aircraft where everyone wins. “Pilots just love the aircraft. It is very exciting to fly with initial climb and cruise performance very similar to the Lear 45,” he says. “Passengers prefer the larger cabin size, everyone has their own space and it is very suitable for taller people needing that little extra headroom.” Jones adds: “Another very good feature is that it has a rear external baggage hold which can take 400lbs. There is plenty of room for skis and golf bags.” But: “The crew do not like the toilet which is not externally serviced. It may well be of a similar design to that installed on other aircraft but an externally serviced toilet is much better and is a must for all new aircraft design in my opinion.” He adds: “We do not like having to use the fuel anti-ice additive on two counts. Firstly you have buy it, and secondly you have to carry it. I would like to have seen fuel heaters on the engines but I am told this might have added to the weight of the aircraft, which incidentally is slightly under 5,700kg.” Some aircraft, Jones points out,
have pressure refuelling purchased as an optional extra, but this again adds to the aircraft weight. “Pressure fuelling is not always as useful as first thought as not all suppliers provide the fuel with the additive and you are forced to revert to over wing refuelling. However it might get you refuelled much quicker at Nice on a Sunday afternoon!” Jones points out: “The original designers may have had in mind a single pilot owner concept for the American market. So as MJC has operated six Premier 1s in a multicrew ad hoc charter environment throughout five summers and winters with all the commercial pressures then yes we are going to see more snags and problems than the private owner but simply because of the number of hours being flown.” But he adds: “An excellent feature offered by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) is the provision of the Support Plus contract. This is a pay by the hour servicing contract which covers almost every eventuality and includes airframe and avionics. The engines can be covered in a similar way by either the Williams Total Assurance Program (TAP) or a tailored JSSI programme. These are all a must but will require a contract period of five years for the Support Plus – this can be transferred and sold
on with the aircraft.” Servicing must be undertaken by an authorised HBC service centre. Jones says that each service centre is required to hold a certain inventory level of spare parts. “But from our experience we would recommend that operators themselves keep available items including engine antiice valves which seem to have an ability to fail just when you don’t need it and will stop you flying into known icing. I believe HBC is resolving this issue.” He recalls: “In the early days there were a number of recurring failures of flap computers and some ADC issues which appear to have gone away now due to the ongoing improvements being made by HBC. Like any aircraft flap failures are significant because of the increased landing distances required due to the increased Vref speeds. Some early aircraft apparently were reported to have had some issues with the operation of the liftdump system. In 2004 the system was modified so that it no longer needed weight on the nose wheel to operate. It is a manual system deployed by pilot at touchdown and is very effective.” In 2006, Jones says, HBC announced a reduction of between 3 and 4 knots Vref which was very well received by public transport operators. “Unfortunately operators are still having to refer to the original landing performance charts originally calculated for the higher Vref. Revised ones have not been produced to show the appropriate reduction in landing distance. There has been very little benefit to the commercial operator and subsequently commercial operations into airports like Cannes remain virtually impossible for the
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
sake of a new chart written around the lower Vref. This would be very welcome particularly if it were combined with a four degree approach landing distance chart.” But Jones says that, to date, HBC has resisted recalculating the landing performance graphs for the revised Vref. “Consequently we are unable to sell commercial charter flights to Cannes using the Premier 1 or 1A.” He adds: “After five years of operations I cannot report any major issues with the airframe besides some paint flaking at the rear tail cone area. Re-painting can be a problem because the composite requires a special preparation and painting procedure and it cannot be assumed that just any paint shop has the required training and expertise.” Additional training is required because some engineering practices for composites differ from that of conventional airframes. Jones says the Premier has a good ramp appeal, is fast at Mach.80, comfortable and practically unbeatable on sector cost versus speed when operating within its
JULY 2009 7
sector range for the payload. He adds: “Continuous climb to its max certified level of F410 is easily coordinated by ATC. Some aircraft, although designed to fly at these levels, are often restricted due to their final cruise level Mach number being too slow. This factor is often overlooked when determining which aircraft to purchase. The Premier meets these requirements most of the time, however it is true that on hot ISA days the last few thousand feet are clearly at a reducing rate of climb. This is not surprising when one considers that the Williams FJ44-2A produces only 2,300 lbs thrust which of course is one reason for the economical operation.” MJC, formerly Manhattan Air Ltd, started operations with the Beechcraft King Air 200 in October 1993 but, in response to market demand in the London region, changed to jets and purchased its first Premier 1 in June 2004. “With currently six aircraft, including one Premier 1A, we subsequently have become the largest operator of the Premier in the world,
according to HBC,” Jones says. On value, the Premier 1 met speed, comfort and cost requirements for a capital outlay of less than US$6 million. “It’s true that the Learjet 45 met many of these conditions and certainly had better range, however it was also somewhat more expensive,” Jones says.
Manufacturer’s comment Hawker Beechcraft Corporation says that until 30 September, 2009, the Premier 1A is available for zero-cost maintenance for five years or 1,000 hours, whichever occurs first. “In addition, customers can take advantage of bonus depreciation in 2009, which could provide significant tax savings.” HBC has also announced that Aeronautics Limited will be a non-exclusive sales representative for England, Scotland and Wales. “In addition to HBC’s own factory direct sales team for the UK, Aeronautics Limited based at Kemble airport will market and sell new and pre-owned currentproduction Hawker and Beechcraft aircraft,” says Sean McGeough, vp international sales.
Learjet 31A: Ideal for keeping several appointments on the same day.
Learjet 31A clients favour speed over cabin size Germany’s Aero-Dienst, which brought its two Learjet 31As into operation in 2000 and 2001, reports that most clients are senior managers fitting several appointments in different parts of Europe into one day’s work itinerary. “For their business speed is crucial, not cabin size,” says Andreas Strabel, supervisor aircraft management. Clients and pilots, he says, really like the powerful and dynamic aircraft’s sleek and elegant ramp presence. Strabel adds: “Double tires on each main landing gear is a safety plus in wet runway conditions, there is a wide entrance door, flat floor throughout the cabin and a spacious separated lavatory in the aft part of the cabin providing more privacy.” LEARJET 31A
The largest Learjet 35 fleet – for target simulation.
‘Straightforward’ veteran pulls its weight The Learjet 35 is ageing but FAI says it still manages to get 1,800 flying hours a year out of each of its three aircraft. Volker Lemke, director of sales and marketing, says: “While its days are slowly being counted down, the Learjet 35 remains the aircraft charter industry’s workhorse in many areas, especially that of worldwide air ambulance flights. Given its so far unparalleled cost-benefit ratio and its well-known appropriate flight range, the Learjet 35 has proven itself in the last few years as one of the cornerstones of FAI’s achievement of worldwide service delivery.” Lemke says that, during 2008 alone, the Learjet 35s flew air ambulance missions to over 100 countries all over the world and logged over two million nautical miles. “Even though these aircraft are nowadays proving to be maintenance intensive because of their age and their high degree of use, FAI still manages to get about 1,800 flying hours a year out of each one of them,” Lemke adds. “One of the reasons for this is that, since it was one of the most extensively produced and most widely distributed worldwide aircraft of its class, there remains a good supply of spare parts.” FAI has established its own maintenance facility which can carry out a variety of technical support operations up to and including the 12,000 hours mark. Lemke says: “Round-the-clock coverage by our own technical department also allows us to take care of unplanned maintenance issues with a short time frame such as unexpected technical problems.” FAI has an extensive network of
LEARJET 35A The Learjet 35 first flew in 1973, and was a stretched version of the previous Learjet 25 but with TFE731 turbofan engines. The Learjet 36 was a variant with longer range. There are well over 500 Learjet 35A/36A aircraft in operation, including in ten European countries. The aircraft are popular in Sweden, but the largest concentration is in Germany where there are several multi-aircraft fleets. The largest of these belongs to GFD in Hohn, with eleven aircraft used for militar y target simulation, but there are also several air charter operators with more than one of the type. Pre-owned asking prices range from $750,000 to $3.1m.
providers and well thought out logistics as far as spare parts are concerned. “This,” Lemke says, “allows us to obtain the on-time delivery of essential spare parts. We fundamentally do not see the need for any further significant efforts on the manufacturers’ side, as the most interesting improvements on the Learjets in recent years have been developed by other companies such as Raisbeck or AVCON.” FAI’s Learjets have meanwhile been completely modified and now have an improved performance regarding range, aircraft stability, and fuel consumptions thanks to wing modifications, tip tank extensions, delta fins and lockers. The limited space in the cockpit, some antiquated instruments and a high frequency of small technical
The Learjet 35 brings older style maintenance requirements.
problems and so forth, all do not make the Learjet 35 the aircraft of choice for a worldwide operation where many pilots are concerned. “They want to familiarise themselves with a modern state-of-the-art aircraft,” Lemke points out. “There are, however, also some fascinating aviation aspects: lots of power, high speed, great manoeuvrability that make the aircraft behave a bit like a sports aircraft and still make this workhorse attractive for pilots.” He adds: “In addition our pilots get to know a lot of places around the world that would not be accessible with other aircraft of the same category such as, for example, the Citation II. The Learjet 35 has a special advantage over such aircraft. From the technical standpoint our technicians get pleasure from working on a good and straightforward model, whereas more modern aircraft generally bring with them much higher technical complexity.” Bruno Sørensen of North Flying A/S and Andreas Rhein of Senator Aviation Charter both say they are very satisfied with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability, operating capability and value of the 35A.
The Learjet 31 was based on the successful model 35, with new wings with winglets and rear fuselage delta fins. It has a range of around 1,200 nm and first flew in 1987, being replaced by the EFISequipped model 31A in 1991. There are 209 Learjet 31As in operation around the world, including eleven European countries. The largest population is in Germany, where there are five dif ferent operators. Most fleets comprise just one aircraft of the type, but Aero-Dienst in Germany has two. Asking prices for pre-owned Learjet 31A’s range from $2.5m to $4.1m.
Speed is more important than cabin size.
Aero-Dienst charters both 31As in a six-place seating configuration with a centre club four seat arrangement. Strabel says: “Typical missions are for distances of less than 1,200 nm with two to four passengers on board. The 31A is one of very few jets in its category certified under the FAR Part 25 transport category.” Aero-Dienst, one of the largest Learjet authorised service centres in Europe, does its own line and base maintenance in-house so tight communication between the operations and maintenance department keeps dispatch reliability high and maximises the efficiency of flight operations. Germany’s ProAir is among other companies operating a Learjet 31A. It says the aircraft is perfectly suited to meet demand for short and medium distances and for combining two or three business meetings at different locations on the same day. Pluses include its baggage space, its 1,100 n.m. range and cruising speed of 475 knots.
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Stuttgarter Flugdienst GmbH General Aviation Airport Stuttgart D -70629 Stuttgart > New > New > New: Tel. +49 (0)711-49 00 22-22 Fax +49 (0)711-49 00 22-33 www.sfd.eu
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
8 JULY 2009
ME & MY AIRCRAFT
HondaJet operational debut delayed A new rival to small jets will come on the market later than originally anticipated. Honda Aircraft Company has announced that a delay in receiving critical components for conforming aircraft production for its HondaJet will result in later deliveries to customers. The company is partnering with aerospace industry suppliers for the manufacture of major subassemblies utilising proprietary Honda designs and technologies. “First customer delivery, originally scheduled for late 2010, is projected in the fourth quarter of 2011 following completion of FAA flight-testing certification,” says Michimasa Fujino, president and ceo. The company says it is pleased with the progress in establishing the new world headquarters campus in Greensboro, North Carolina, where the HondaJet is being developed and will be manufactured. The campus complex incorporates all engineering, sales, support, marketing, and administration functions. The recently completed world R&D centre on campus houses the ongoing construction of conforming aircraft. The R&D facility also houses the world delivery centre for all HondaJet aircraft. “Our production facility will incorporate not only production functions, but also world-class flight training facilities,” says Fujino. “The HondaJet incorporates many innovative technological advances.” Well over 100 of the US$3.9 million HondaJets have been ordered. The HondaJet proof-of-concept aircraft has accumulated more than 425 flight test hours and attained a top speed of 420 knots and a maximum altitude of 43,000 ft in flight testing, he adds.
Learjet 45 ‘needs more baggage space’ but is otherwise ideal for executive charter operations LEARJET 45XR The eight-passenger Learjet 45 first flew in 1995 and entered ser vice in 1998. The current model 45XR has upgraded engines and an increased take-off weight, features which will be available as retrofit to earlier models. The smaller six-passenger Learjet 40 is based on the model 45. Around 400 Learjet 45/45XR aircraft are now in ser vice around the world, with examples based in thirteen European countries. The greatest concentration is in the UK, where Air Partner Private Jets has a fleet of six. Air Four SpA in Italy have four Learjet 45 aircraft, and Abelag of Belgium three. Pre-owned aircraft asking prices range from $4.3m to $11.6m.
Belgium’s Abelag Aviation Group regards the Learjet 45 as an ideal aircraft for charter flights, according to Bart Hautekeur, technical director. “It has high performance, good range, luxury cabin and fits perfectly between the other aircraft in the Abelag Group fleet,” he says. “The only one minor negative point is the available baggage space in the aircraft, especially when you compare this with the Citation 525 series and the 560 XL.” Another Learjet 45XR operator, also licensed for online maintenance, says that it is very satisfied with the dispatch reliability. “This new aircraft is a sleek midsize eight-seat jet with transatlantic capability. We have just returned from a trip to the United States – there were no issues or problems and the passengers were very happy. We are very satisfied with the value and the best aspects include the improved pay load, range capability, flexibility and time to climb performance. It is an exciting aircraft.” The UK’s Ravenair has three Learjet 45s based in the north west at Liverpool John Lennon and
Kevin Greenwood of Ravenair's AOC operations discusses with Learjet 45's charter merits with charter broker Terry Farthing of the London Jet Centre .
Manchester Airports. Operations director Wayne Barrett says the company is reasonably happy with the availability of spare parts. “However some parts need to come from the US and this increases the lead time especially if we are dealing with an AOG situation.” But he adds: “We are very pleased with the support we have received from Air Partner Private Jets at Biggin Hill and Ocean Sky at Manchester.” General Air Service based at Wevelgem and Antwerp, which carries out line and base maintenance for Sky Service and third parties, has been merged with the maintenance department of Abelag Aviation which performs line and base maintenance for Abelag
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Hervé Laitat and Barth Foucart of Abelag, which has streamlined maintenance.
Aviation and third parties. Hautekeur explains: “These maintenance organisations have belonged to the Abelag group for a number of years but both were
Small jets by numbers We asked Jeppesen to provide trip data for a typical mission from Milan to Athens, a distance of 833 nm, for a selection of small jets. We have Aircraft type
Fuel burn (lbs)
Minimum required fuel (lbs)
Beechcraft Premier 1A
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assumed a payload of 200 lbs at High Speed Cruise and designated Heraklion as the alternative airport.
Handbook of Business Aviation in Europe
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working with different procedures, post holders maintenance and quality systems. To make it all simple, and to help our third party clients, we decided to create one maintenance organisation with one approval, management located on the three most important airports for business aviation in Belgium – Brussels, Wevelgem and Antwerp.” The combined organisation, Abelag Technics, maintains Abelag's 19-strong business jet fleet, and third party aircraft. “It is an EASA part 145 approved facility with FAA capabilities and was a Bombardier service centre for 15 years and started with maintenance support on Learjets in 1972. Abelag was the first Learjet operator in the Benelux,” Hautekeur says. “We perform all maintenance, up to D checks, on our Learjet 45s and also on the Learjet 60. There are no problems with spare parts. Bombardier has sufficient availability for the Learjets and the delivery is also fast enough.” He adds: “We are as a maintenance organisation certainly focused on maintenance of the smaller jets. We now have approval for line and base maintenance on the 525A. We hope to have our approval for the 525B very soon. Next year we will have the first delivery of a few Phenom 100s. Our goal is also to offer full maintenance support to our customers for this aircraft.” But maintenance approval ranges from the Beechcraft 90/200 series, Embraer 121, and Citation 550/560 series to the 525A, 560 XL, Learjets 45 and 60 and Falcon 2000 EXeasy. “We can also offer CAMO (Part M, Subpart G & I) services. On the avionics side, we are Garmin, Honeywell Bendix/King dealers.” Abelag Technics is audited by the Belgian CAA and EASA surveyor teams and also by other flight departments such as Skyjet/Vista jets and Netjets for whom it flies. The 30-strong team includes 14 qualified EASA PART 66 engineers.
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Citation 525 CJ1
Citation 525 CJ2
Citation 525 CJ3
Aircraft data provided courtesy of Jeppesen. Not for operational use. For additional information on Jeppesen's ITPS services, visit www.jeppesen.com
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
JULY 2009 9
Speedwings to build own facilities at Payerne for flexible maintenance Switzerland’s Speedwings, which operates two 560s and a 5 Ultra as well as other Citation models, is planning to build maintenance facilities at Payerne. Jean-Yves Guillet, project manager, says: “The main maintenance problem, especially for small aeroplanes, is availability and flexibility.” Guillet explains “This is one of the main reasons that Speedwings would like to build maintenance facilities in Payerne. It would provide a very appropriate way to maintain our own fleet and get more flexibility in relation to maintenance and dispatch reliability.” In most cases, he says, the company is happy with the availability of spare parts, as it currently outsources obtaining them along with the maintenance. However Guillet would like to see two improvements in support from the manufacturer. “The switchover of computerised maintenance from Cesscom to Camp is in progress and it would also be desirable to receive the service bulletins by electronic mail,” he points out. Guillet says the aircraft are very powerful when taking off in short airfields and have the capability to reach high cruising level in a short time period at a less congested level resulted in time gains. But the worst aspects are the lack of APU for cabin air conditioning. Payerne, though presently a military airport, is being opened to civilian aircraft. Speedwings has received Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) permission to build a handling infrastructure, a maintenance workshop and hangarage facilities and details are being finalised to enable the building works to start. “The project owner is still working on security and the civilian/military procedures in order to hopefully get final approval by the end of 2009,” says Guillet. “Payerne is well located in central Switzerland and has the advantage of an already good existing infrastructure.” Triple Alpha GmbH’s Hans Pfeiffer points out that maintenance gets expensive with ageing aircraft but says the best aspect is the Citation V’s multi-role capability. “I am very satisfied with the operating capability. It can take eight
Hans Pfeiffer: maintenance is expensive.
CITATION ENCORE+ The original Cessna 560 was the Citation V, a stretched and upgraded Citation S/II which was cer tified in 1988. This JT15D-powered aircraft was later given EFIS and rebranded as the Citation Ultra before being reengineered and given PW535 engines as the Citation Encore, with first deliveries in 2000. The Encore+ was first delivered in 2007, featuring PW535B engines with FADEC, Pro Line 21 avionics and new interior styling with LED indirect cabin lighting. The 560 series of jets are used prolifically around Europe and there is also one example in Bahrain. However, The majority reside in Austria, Germany and the U.K., with the largest fleets in the hands of Abelag and Flying Par tners in Belgium, Aerowest in Germany, Solid Air in the Netherlands, Speedwings in Switzerland, and the largest of all with NetJets. There are 259 Citation Vs in service, and pre-owned asking prices range from $2.3m to $3.7m. There are 276 Ultras and those for sale have tickets from $2.5m to $4.9m, and 162 Encore models for which between $5.2m and $7.4m is asked.
Maintenance flexibility is a priority.
passengers and deal with long range and short fields.” Pfeiffer is very satisfied with dispatch reliability, saying it is “bulletproof in all aspects” and operating capability and satisfied with the maintenance but would like to see increases in zero fuel and maximum take-off weights. Cmdr Werner Kohler of Jetcircle says the 560 Ultra burns too much fuel but he is satisfied with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability.
ATS: very satisfied with 400A maintenance support.
Single point fuelling on 400A operator wishlist Air Transport Service (ATS) which targets charter demand in its catchment area of central Europe, reports that its Beechjet 400A, configured for seven, is well suited to shorter journeys. Aniko Serfozo, office manager, says ATS is very satisfied with maintenance support and operating capability and satisfied with dispatch reliability and value. “As our company develops we will, of course, improve our fleet to be able to fulfill the enquiries and expectations of clients,” Serfozo adds. ATS also has a Hawker 800. Andrea Tombari of Aliparma Srl says that the most desirable upgrade for the Beechjet 400A is single point refuel for commercial operations. He is very satisfied with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability and value and satisfied with the operating capability. “The best aspects include the cabin size and comfort,” he adds. Allan Hellemann of JJO Invest ApS says there is good maintenance support and dispatch reliability is a satisfactory 99.3 per cent. “We are very satisfied with the operating capability. The cabin handles six-plus passengers on two hours trips, which is perfect for our European operations. We are also very satisfied with the 400A’s value. It is a type that
HAWKER 400XP The Hawker 400 line began in 1978 with the first flight of the Mitsubishi Diamond, continued into Beechcraft ownership as the Beechjet 400 from 1985, the 400A from 1989 and was upgraded and rebranded as the Hawker 400XP from 2003. The line is set to continue with the introduction of the Hawker 450XP. The Diamond was never prolific, but there are Beechjet 400s and 400As in 17 countries
Beech 400A: ideal for short journeys.
is overlooked in the EU but enjoys a good swept-wing speed and an operating cost less than a Citation 550. The best aspect is the cabin and the airline type cockpit.” On upgrades: “It looks like the Williams powered conversion
around Europe and the Middle East, and especially in Italy, Turkey and the UK. The 400XP is in operation in Austria, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK, but by far the largest operator is NetJets with more than 25 on the fleet. Pre-owned asking prices range from $1m to $1.76m for the 400, $1.8m to $3.5m for the 400A, and $5m to $5.8m for the Hawker 400XP.
could be a bargain.” He concludes: “Owner and pilots are happy: we all think that it is a top of the line light jet.” Beechcraft Vertrieb und Service GmbH in Augsburg, Germany, says it has the largest Beechcraft spare part shop in Europe and points out it has full EASA and FAA approval. “We are quite flexible with working times when it comes to keeping ground time low, and we offer repair teams at the client’s location if needed.” “Standard parts for the Beechjet 400/Hawker 400XP are either in stock or available within a short time.” But it warns: “Special parts are usually ordered on request and may take some time.”
CAM Aviation expands small aircraft support services to include Hawker 400 Denmark’s CAM Aviation A/S, which specialises in maintaining and servicing smaller aircraft, has invested to expand its capabilities to aircraft including the Beechjet/ Hawker 400. Per Brogård, financial, sales and marketing manager (pictured right) says: “Maintenance and general back-up for small business aircraft has developed a great deal and will develop more in the next few years regardless of the economic recession we experience at present.” He adds: “This is making demands on companies for service
and personnel.” CAM Aviation is an authorised service centre for companies including Hawker Beechcraft, Raisbeck, Rockwell Collins, Honeywell and Garmin. Brogård says: “We are in close contact with the factories and manufacturers in the United States,
which ensures that we here in Europe can provide the best service to our customers. It also ensures that the aircraft owners and operators get the back-up they deserve.” CAM Aviation, based at Copenhagen Roskilde, services and maintains aircraft including the Beechcraft 200 and Beechcraft 1900, Citations and PC-12 as well as the Beechjet/Hawker 400. Brogård says that many operators are looking at repairing, modifying or installing new equipment in their aircraft rather than buying new in a time of recession.
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
10 JULY 2009
Operators could use more range and speed but praise 525 series short haul economy
ME & MY AIRCRAFT Arab Wings provides a wide range of services from medical and emergency evacuation to long haul private charter but its Citation 525 is favoured for shorter charters. This is consistent with the feedback from other operators of the Citation series: the 525 (CJ1), the 525A (CJ2), the 525B (CJ3) and the 525C (CJ4). Many of the respondents to EBAN’s survey put increased range at the top of their wish list. “The 525 is a powerful and economical option for short trips,” says Arab Wings’ Capt. Jerman. “It cruises at an altitude of 41,000 feet, above most weather, and yet can use smaller, regional airports, to save ground transportation time. With enhanced safety options, it offers privacy and workplace amenities for up to five passengers.” Head of maintenance, Abdullah Mahmoud Alrowaythi, says Arab Wings is happy with the availability of spare parts and maintenance but would like more support on the avionics side. Alrowaythi adds: “We’d like the manufacturer to continue to improve the efficiency of the braking system but generally Arab Wings is very happy with the CJ1.”
CITATION CJ SERIES
Capt. Jerman and the Arab Wings’ Citation.
Capt. Jerman says one of the best aspects of the CJ1 is flying with the latest generation of avionics and technology but he points out that the
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range is more limited than he would ideally like. Joerg Ramsauer of DJT Aviation GmbH, which operates a CJ2 is unhappy with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability, particularly the landing performance, but satisfied with the value of an aircraft which is popular with clients. The most desirable upgrade, he adds, is a second PFD. DJT Aviation is headquartered in Graz, Austria, but has a base in Cannes, France, and operates private charter to destinations around the world. One CJ1 operator, which reports it is satisfied with maintenance support, says: “We would be far more satisfied if we had a Cessna owned and operated service centre in UK. But we are very satisfied with operating capability and value. The best aspect is its ability to go almost anywhere in Europe and its low operating costs but it could do with an extra 40 knots in speed.” Another survey respondent, whose company operates a CJ2, is very satisfied with maintenance support and satisfied with dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. Verdict: “The best aspect is the operating cost index for private operations but the worst thing is that the real range is about 100-150 nm less than book performances. The most desirable upgrade is Collins package in new models with FMS Collins 3000 and new capabilities in the Pro Line 21 system.” Jetcircle’s Werner Kohler gives a similar satisfied or very satisfied verdict on the CJ1 and CJ1+ but says: “A few nautical miles more on the
range would help a lot.” Another respondent agrees but says the best aspects are the operating cost and flexibility. Manuel Campos de Almeida, who works with a CJ3, says that the manufacturer has not eliminated problems. “The lack of cockpit space and the need to simplify Pro Line 21 are issues,” he says. But he is satisfied or very satisfied, with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability.
Larger cabin is on operators’ wishlists.
Dessyslava Boyadjieva of Avio Delta Ltd, which operates a CJ1+ and a CJ2+ is satisfied with the aircraft’s economy, maintenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability but would like the “small” passenger cabin made larger. The CJ3 cabin reflects this feedback. Another respondent was unhappy with the maintenance support but satisfied, or very satisfied, with the dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. But the complaint was that: “The cockpit windows are not electrically heated. The system works via bleed air and is very noisy and quite complicated. The most desirable upgrades include APU, hi-speed internet and Espresso machine.”
The first 4/5 passenger Cessna 525 CitationJet was designed as a successor to the original Citation I and took to the air in 1991, with the first customer deliver y in 1993. It was superceded by the CJ1 in 2000, which was upgraded to CJ1+ during 2005. The 525A CJ2, with cabin expanded to accommodate six passengers, was first delivered in 2000, and superceded by the improved CJ2+ in 2006. A further enlargement saw the first deliveries of the 525B CJ3 in 2004, still with six passengers but with the addition of a lavatory. In the pipeline is the sevenpassenger clean-sheet design 525C CJ4, which is due to enter ser vice early in 2010. The CJ series jets are prevalent all over Europe, and range from single aircraft corporate operations to multiaircraft fleets. Pre-owned asking prices for the original Cessna 525 range from $1.4m to $5.2m, for the CJ1 from $2.2m to $4m, for the CJ1+ from $3.7m to $4.9m, for CJ2 from $3.5m to $6.4m, for CJ2+ from $5m to $6.8m and for the CJ3 from $5.1m to $8m.
Hans Hegelund of Papier Mettler, which operates a CJ3, is very satisfied with maintenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability as well as satisfied with value. He feels that the price is the worst aspect but, unlike some others, is happy with the range. Another “very satisfied” operator of the CJ3 is Marcus Abeln of Helitrans AS who says: “The Proline 21 cockpit with the IFIS 5000 integration is superb. You have all the info you need at the touch of a button. It doesn’t get any better than that. But the worst thing is the cabin heating on the ground at low outside temperatures with engines running.” He adds: “It would be good to get an electrical heater that would run on ground power or on an engine generator when on the ground. This is not available as yet. Also getting CJ4 windows in the CJ3 would be perfect as well.” He says this would eliminate wind noise from the bleeds and help window defogging. Verdict: “Overall a complete aircraft in its class.” Dr M Samek of Samek Flugzeugvermietung GmbH, which operates a CJ1, is unhappy with maintenance support but satisfied with dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. He adds: “The best aspect is the quiet cabin and the worst is cruise speed if flying longer distances.”
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EIDC hails historic first type rating for SJ30 Debra Draheim has gained the first single pilot type rating for the SJ30 since Emirates Investment Development Company (EIDC) acquired Emivest Aerospace Corporation last year. Draheim is the pilot for the privately held company that will take delivery this summer of SJ30 serial number 008. “She is the first woman and mother to become single pilot type rated in the SJ30,” says EIDC coo Joe Gullion. Draheim, who has worked as a captain on the CRJ-200/700/900 with a regional airline says: “I really enjoy flying the SJ30. It is a swift and agile
jet. I was surprised to see how easy it was to fly and am impressed with its speed, fuel efficiency, and capability. The entire team at Emivest provided their time and resources to help me learn everything I could to prepare for my single pilot check ride, and the training was excellent. It compared to an airline structure, except I could go down to the factory floor to examine the aircraft in different stages of development for hands-on training.” Gullion says the SJ30 has a range of 2,500 nautical miles and a cruise speed of Mach .83 (486 kts). "This single pilot certified jet operates at
altitudes to 49,000 feet and maintains a ‘sea level cabin’ through 41,000 ft (12 psi differential).” Paul Arrambide, chief flight instructor, adds: “Debbie has been a great student and exemplifies the quintessential SJ30 pilot with a good blend of the love of flying, the enthusiasm for performance, and safety always. She made history with Emivest.” Draheim holds a bachelor of science in maths from the US Naval Academy and a bachelor of science in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle aeronautical university.
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
JULY 2009 11
Skyjet calls for new spare parts centre in Europe Operators of the Citation 500/501, including SkyJet Aviation, would like to see a more convenient spare parts centre in Europe. The company’s Glória Király says: “Basically we are satisfied with the availability of spare parts because we can get everything from the United States, but sometimes the shipping time is too long and the price is too expensive.” SkyJet Aviation has had mixed experiences where maintenance is concerned. “We have found some organisations to be reliable but others have proved not to be dependable.” The company’s wish list for improvements includes longer range and lower fuel consumption but it praises the easy handling and good access for maintenance. North Flying’s Bruno Sørensen
aircraft is easy to fly, is reliable and has a low purchase price. However he is concerned at the cost of maintenance.
Bruno Sørensen: satisfied operator.
Greater range desired.
expresses satisfaction with maintenance support, dispatch reliability, operating capability and value. But Manuel Campos de Almeida, although satisfied with the 501’s maintenance support, dispatch reliability and operating capability, is unhappy with the value. He says the best aspect is the unloaded short field
take off and landings and the worst aspect is noise levels. Another respondent, William ‘Bill’ Dolan of Rockville Investments (Jersey) Ltd is very satisfied with the maintenance support, dispatch reliability and value and satisfied with the operating capability. The best aspect, he says, is that the
Citation II and Bravo may be relatively mature, but still have a lot to offer George Galanopoulos, md of London Executive Aviation, which currently operates two Citation IIs and one Citation Bravo, says they have performed well for LEA. “They are obviously relatively old aircraft now but are very good for their age. They offer us very usable performance at a competitive capital cost. There are some limitations in the design, such as the range, which could be better. However, from our standpoint the aircraft continue to perform well for a wide range of charter customers, so we don’t see the need to invest in upgrades – the cost would be disproportionately high.”∏ Galanopoulos adds: “Operationally, they perform well. The reliability is good and when there is a maintenance issue it tends to be dealt with quickly, which is one of the advantages of a long-established type. A criticism would be that the supply of parts could sometimes be quicker, but we’ve communicated that to Cessna and understand it is being looked at.” LEA’s maintenance is handled by Jetcare at Southend Airport, which took over the executive aircraft maintenance business from Flightline Engineering. “Their team of two licensed C550 engineers have good experience on the type and offer us excellent service,” says Galanopoulos. “Day-to-day line defects are taken care of by our own engineers.” Galanopoulos says the Citation II and Bravo are great workhorses for the charter industry and will be in service for a long time to come. “The best aspect of the C550 is the low acquisition cost. It offers good value for money.” Operators would like more speed. Torben Andersen says the C550-457 could do with more powerful engines. Ian Simpson of Phoenix Air Ltd. says the Citation II still has a niche, despite newer, faster aircraft competing in the same market.
ME & MY AIRCRAFT
Cessna is planning a centrallylocated parts depot in Europe for all Citation aircraft but cannot give further details at this point. At present, parts needs are therefore handled by Cessna’s Paris service centre or one of 11 further independent service centres in Europe. Cessna will build a new European Citation service centre at Valencia Airport, Spain. The opening date is not yet confirmed. There is, therefore, no dedicated centre for 500/501 parts but these parts are covered by the facilities mentioned.
1969 saw the first flight of Cessna’s first business jet, the model 500 Citation, later given a new wing and dubbed the Citation I and single-pilot I/SP. When production ended in 1985 a total of 692 had been delivered. Examples remain in more than twenty countries around Europe and the Middle East, with the largest populations in Italy and the UK. Most are operated solus or in pairs, but Italian operators Icaro have three, and Unifly four. Pre-owned asking prices range from $395,000 up to $1.3m.
E U R O P E A N
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Workhorses earn their keep.
CITATION II/BRAVO A stretched version of the Citation I, the Cessna 550 Citation II first flew in 1977. There was also a single-pilot version Citation II/SP and over 800 of these and the re-winged Citation S/II were delivered before a switch from JT15D to PW530A engines created the Citation Bravo. This had new avionics, new interior, trailing link undercarriage, air stair and enhanced per formance, and was produced until the last example left the Wichita line in 2006 – the 1,070th Cessna 550 to be built.
Citation 550 series jets are ver y popular throughout Europe, but especially in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The largest fleets are operated by Airlink Luftverkehrs GmbH in Austria, Unifly in Italy, Airpink in Serbia, Grafair in Sweden, and Xclusive Jet Charter and London Executive Aviation in the UK. Pre-owned asking prices for the II, S/II and II/SP range from $800,000 to £2.9m, while Bravos are tagged at between $2.6m and $5.3m.
But generally, as Jan Vana of ABS Jets says, the aircraft are regarded as good, reliable workhorses. He is satisfied with the dispatch reliability and operating capability of the Bravo and very satisfied with the value. These sentiments are echoed by Bruno Sørensen of North Flying A/S and Christian Johansson of Quick Net Air AB in their responses on the Citation II. Johansson says: “The best aspect is the low cost/high value and the worst the high altitude climb performance and lack of speed. The most desirable upgrade is the so-called ‘Branson-kit’ for higher max ramp/maximum take off weight.” He adds: “It is a very nice airplane to operate, simplified, low cost,
reliable and valuable.” Andersen is very satisfied with the C550-457’s maintenance support, dispatch reliability and value but, though satisfied with the operating capability, points out the aircraft has “no power at altitude.” Simpson says that he is satisfied with the Citation II maintenance although it "seems to spend more down time than we would like” and “engine maintenance bills are creeping up steadily,” Like other operators he feels the best aspects include seating capability and range while the worst aspects are lack of speed and older avionics and noise in the cabin. “The most desirable upgrade is a glass cockpit,” he says.
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E U R O P E A N
Sloane proves one Bell that beat two halve s s
Sloane 206B Helicopter helicopter s has after to its added a Bell what AOC in director operationa the UK Paul Forster “very l services long, registration laborious described and painfulas a .” The repotentialcompany additionfirst spotted months in Greece the ago. on a “We trip were 12 company and noticed over there two aircrafthad started a charter to cannibalis to flying. We thenkeep one of e both machines put a silly their fleet on it,” he said. and they bid in for took The project us up out to make of one aircraft designatedthe parts was for any Sloane’s initially spare-time engineers But after had. that a particularl it was y busy workers decided should that a coupleyear the completio be point n. “Fromdedicated of of to the smoothly, view builders’ any real particularl it went y as there very urgency. “It was wasn’t only finished after around the work that it four became months had Greek a nightmare ago bureacrac documenta y regardingdue to tion. In thought fact we An EBACE the it wouldn’t miraculou eventually press Toulon-Hyere happen, conference explained sly it s Airport. but then provides Forster. came through,” (L-r) Jonathan the The setting Soper for Signature flight Bell will mainly (Signature), training be used came BernardFlight Support and charter. on the for Lecat, to only Bernard join forces “It just done fleet 10 days Stouff with the some some (both French of self-fly ago, so it’s CCI), Chamber they’ve the members Louis hire Demarque with of Commerce all reacted down said Forster. and Peter and positivelyhere but Whitehead Industry The to it,” (both in establishing One of promote company Signature). a handling Europe’s the aircraftdidn’t Full story, developer work facility start largest was completed page until at to s with 14. time the paper Embraerhas placed real estate to Spain’s there’s start: “It’s , so now was an order us to for a a nice a brand start ment Fadesa made Legacy aircraft. been machinethe airplanes selling completely new interior at and that the this year’s the announce delivering in Europe. delivering “It charters resprayed. and – EBACE, aircraft it’s company’s fills the our first We’re Europe at £480 adding marketpla would also next replace September existing down niche for those per hour we’re month airplane airplanes ce. 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Christian the Swedes Page 4 is expected supervisor missions said: “Mostvice chairman delivery said: Legacy. it’s important When aircraft. imminently “We moved of a of Fadesa's 2,000nm will fall John selecting for air launch website the customer Embraer in the facilities because to have the TLC charter category occasionaor under certificatio is now pays although brand Aviation in Geneva. of a fixed or operator program, They’ve lly need n, whichwaiting new expects PrivatAir they were airframe of for JAA here, hourly to fly a Legacy will also and Jet planned already Hill so maintenan 3,000nm. order next month. rate going hours says got several Portugu businessit was important Page 5 brings for to to move he the Legacy the totalWhile the Fadesa “We’re the US. ese delighte parameterflown andce based on the centre.” trips to be include with Citation order and see delighted in this the to 74 options, s. 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E U R O P E A N
Air Entre offers longprise flights with haul Falcon its 900
SS AIR ISSUE
has purchased 900, which by charter is currently a Falcon Air Entreprise. and managed sales Vice broker president said: “The Arnaud because owner Poisson aircraft he wanted chose the 900 with also keen a large a long range available to have cabin. We were such of our in our charter an aircraft fleet, charter customers as many a long were asking range So far aircraft.” to the have included Falcon’s destinatio and the Africa, US. the West ns Air Entreprise Indies Falcon also 50 and manages Aerospatia owns a le Corvette. a twin added: jet for our “The Falcon Poisson private image. We 900 is very have good presidents individual a mixture of and show s, so obviously company business attract such stars, aircraft a great deal an aircraft of interest.” will existing is an addition The fleet. 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Increased range option enhances appeal of Learjet 40XR to European operators Bombardier’s decision to introduce an option for increased range for the Learjet 40XR enhanced the aircraft’s appeal to European operators. The 268 nm range extension option was achieved through providing a 687lb increase to the fuel tank capacity. Operators say the 40XR, which
can be configured for six or seven passengers, has a good size cabin and the benefit of full aft lavatory. But Germany’s DC Aviation decided to add a Learjet 45XR to fill what it perceived as a gap in the charter market between the Learjet 40 and the Learjet 60. The company says: “With a maximum cruising range of 1,833 nm, the
45XR can carry up to eight passengers non-stop from Moscow to Milan in just 3:10 hours or three passengers from London Luton to Istanbul in 3:20 hours.” The 40 and the 40XR have found favour in operator fleets in Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK as well as Germany.
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EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
12 JULY 2009
Executive Airlines gains from long range charter focus Executive Airlines, now operating its ninth Gulfstream, says that the long range charter sector is looking promising for at least the next 18 months, despite the global recession. Francisco Sanz, manager private aircraft management department, received the latest Gulfstream 200 from Steve Jones, Gulfstream International’s regional vp for Europe (front page photograph). “The company is now the world’s leading G200 charter operator,” he says. The new G200 is configured for 10 passengers. Sanz says: “It can comfortably fly routes such as London-Jeddah or Moscow-Mumbai. Highlights of the jet include excellent comfort, with the most spacious cabin of aircraft in its segment (2.18 m wide by 1.91 m high). It offers a long range of up to 3,400 nm and a cruise speed of 850 km/h (460 knots). The G200 cabin design features a door separating the galley and the flight attendant’s seat from the rest of the cabin for greater privacy when travelling. “The company’s charter business is concentrated in the long range segment and Executive Airlines has not been affected by the difficult global economic climate because long-range charter clients continue
to use the service, in contrast to what is happening with light jet clients.” He adds: “The outlook for 2009 and 2010 is still promising. We are currently negotiating new additions and hope to incorporate at least three new aircraft before the end of the year. We are aiming to have 30 aircraft and consolidate our leadership in Europe at a strong, steady pace by reinforcing all management areas adequately in order to maintain the level of service that we are known for.” Executive Airlines currently operates 25 jets: 16 are Gulfstreams – four G550s, nine G200s and three G150s. Sanz says the company’s good performance and growth are reflected in its business figures: 3,878 flights last year and a total of 9,047 hours’ flying time, representing an increase of 43.37% on the previous year’s figure. “In the first quarter of 2009 two new aircraft were incorporated under management,” Sanz adds. In addition to its charter and private aircraft management services, Executive Airlines also offers FBO services at the airports of Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia as well as business aviation flight planning and consulting.
Rizon ready to add Global XRS to management fleet Rizon is preparing to operate its first managed Global XRS which will join its first in-service Challenger 605 at its base in Doha. Rizon, which has bases in the Middle East and UK, has been granted its Air Operating Permit (AOP) from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, becoming the first Doha-based private jet company to receive approval for business jet operations from Qatar. (See EBAN 5 June 2009).
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GREECE REGIONAL REVIEW
Gainjet: crews regularly fly into Athens.
Competition from eastern Europe and fragmentation drive Greek operators to invest for the future The Greek market is evolving. More managed aircraft are coming on stream giving charter clients a wider choice of aircraft. Gainjet, one of the larger operators, is driving changes as well as expanding its fleet to 15 aircraft. “We are happy to add three or four aircraft this year with the emphasis on management but we are being careful, especially in the current global financial climate, to ensure that the expansion is soundly based,” says ceo Ramsey Shaban. “However, some of the most interesting changes are taking place in Athens.” Gainjet, he discloses, is in advanced stages of negotiations with
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Comprehensive Greek online data free-of-charge The 2009/10 EBAN Handbook of Business Aviation in Europe gives details of many more Greek charter operators. It also lists business aviation facilities and services including airports, FBOs and maintenance centres. The details can be accessed online through a search of aircraft operated or the airport bases. For more information please visit www.handbook.aero
Interjet: expanding aircraft management.
two MROs designed to provide a maintenance capability for corporate jets. “Facilities based in Athens would enable us to provide services for third parties and enjoy the benefits of doing our own maintenance. The discussions could also lead to the establishment of a new dedicated FBO in Athens to serve corporate and charter aircraft. On some days, there are around 30 to 40 private aircraft at the airport.” Shaban says that Greece welcomes and encourages private aviation and that corporations, including those owned by ship owners, are acquiring jets that need management services. “Apart from this demand people are still flying to the Greek islands. The last two or three years has seen a much larger and more diverse fleet of private aircraft using Athens and there is a good base for considered expansion and diversification in services.” Gainjet, which recently added a new 78-seat corporate B757 to its fleet (EBAN May 2009) also operates a BAe146 configured for 34 passengers and a G550. These complement a 40seat MD83 based in Manston, UK, and seven G200s. Gainjet is operating a Phenom with Bucharest-based partner NSS Global Investments (NSSGI) and its new acquisitions could include a Falcon 2000LX and a G650.
“International operators like us obviously have the advantage of a broader base of business,” says Shaban. “The Middle East market is static but Africa has good potential and we are catering to demand for flights to countries including Gabon and the Congo. Many companies wishing to develop business realise that the continent has varied resources and good potential and this often means visits to relatively remote areas.” Gainjet owns three of its aircraft and the rest are managed for owners. “We have kept a sensible balance of ownership and management that is standing us in good stead. The wide variety of our fleet also ensures that we can meet most charter requests,” Shaban says. Shaban believes that the Greek corporate and charter market will continue to develop and provide opportunities over the next few years even if the global downturn continues.
Theodora Tsinonis, commercial director of K2 SmartJets.
Air Lift SA, which has heliports at Aspropyrgos, Maroussi and K. Kifissia in Attica, has recently added an EC120 to its fleet of two B430s and three AS355s. Andriana Fragou, sales and marketing manager, says that its single-engine and four seater attributes will enable Air Lift to offer very competitive prices for clients including island-hopping tourists.
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
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JetEx launches Paris FBO JetEx is celebrating the grand opening of its newest, luxury FBO at Paris Le Bourget. Adel Mardini ceo says: “The new facility boasts two vip lounges, crew rest rooms, full Internet access, quick and easy entrance from the apron and ample parking to accommodate aircraft as large as the A380.” Acquired from Belgium’s FlyingGroup, the remodelled facility has been designed to accommodate clients including heads of state. “In addition to greater luxury, the FBO also provides the shortest possible distance between aircraft and car,” Mardini adds. “Paris is the start of an FBO network with five more to come on stream in due course.” Miltos Mouzakis of Magna Aviation with Elizabeth Hurley and husband Arun Nayar at Athens just before boarding.
The company operates in the Balkans as well as in Greece. “Of course business is not as buoyant as last year but it is still going well,” Fragou reports. “There is good demand for business and holiday charter and we are keeping busy.” Interjet is working to reinforce its presence in the strategic south eastern European region, continuously upgrade its services offered, and expand aircraft management and maintenance services. The Interjet name covers a group of companies which includes Interjet Hellenic Aviation and Tourist Enterprises S.A and Interjet Helicopters Hellenic S.A., one of the pioneers of private jet charter operations in the Greek market. Interjet’s fleet consists of seven jets and three twin engine helicopters. “Apart from luxury jet and helicopter chartering, the company has placed emphasis on aircraft management, with a continuously growing number of aircraft joining its fleet,” Interjet reports. It carries out EASA Part 145 maintenance on its own and third party fleets and the group also specialises in air ambulance and has carried out hundreds of medical evacuations across the Aegean and the Mediterranean. Since 1992, Interjet reports, its jets and helicopters has enjoyed a diverse range of business and leisure demand. “Placing great emphasis on the immaculate maintenance of the aircraft, the quality of service delivered and the continuous training of the flight crew and technical personnel, Interjet has managed to build up a substantial clientele consisting of large companies and top vip executives.” It adds: “We are one of the largest operators in south eastern Europe in the vip and business aviation market and were the first company in Greece to operate a combined fleet of private jets and helicopters.” The jet fleet consists of a Falcon 2000 EX EASy, Embraer Legacy 600, Citation Excel, two XLS, a Sovereign and a Citation V Ultra. It also has three AS355Ns. Other big operators include K2 SmartJets which was founded by a group of private entrepreneurs from key business sectors, including the maritime shipping and air transportation industries. Based in Athens, K2 SmartJets operates primarily in Europe, Middle East and Latin America. The company says its Legacy 600’s range of 3,200 nm enables non-stop intercontinental flights. Miltos Mouzakis, an air charter broker who runs Magna Aviation in Glyfada and has compiled an up-to-
New operational hangar at Oxford
Eurocopter showcases EC175
FAS to maintain Lineage 1000
The UK’s Oxford airport has completed work on its new 21,000 sq ft Hangar 11, large enough to accommodate an Airbus ACJ, Boeing BBJ or Embraer Lineage. The first aircraft to position there was a longrange Gulfstream 550, operated by Gama Aviation. The airport says Paris Le Bourget is the most popular destination for travellers flying privately from the airport. Guernsey took the number two slot, followed by Geneva, Switzerland; with Jersey and Nice in fourth and fifth place.
Eurocopter showcased the EC175 for the first time in Europe at the 48th Paris Air Show. A full-scale mock-up of the 16-seat civil helicopter in its corporate version was on display. The EC175 programme is jointly managed by Eurocopter and HAIG, Eurocopter’s Chinese partner.
Embraer and Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) have agreed to extend the Abu Dhabi company’s maintenance capabilities to the Lineage 1000. FAS became an Embraer authorised service centre in the Middle East in November 2008, covering the Phenom 100, Phenom 300 and Legacy 600.
High speed internet date set Ramsey Shaban: Greek connections.
date analysis of all the aircraft registered and operating in the country, confirms that the Greek market is fragmented and complex for foreign companies to deal with. “There are 13 Greek AOCs plus three European AOCs whose companies either base an aircraft permanently in Athens, or the owner, for his own reasons, has chosen to register the aircraft and select a European AOC, outside Greece,” he says. Mouzakis says that Premier Aviation Services is in the advanced stages of obtaining an AOC and that, as well as a dozen Greek charter operators, there are three scheduled air carriers that also offer ad hoc charter. These are Astra Airlines, Athens Airways and Skyexpress. The aircraft on a foreign AOC are a Falcon 900DX EASy configured for 14 seats (German), a Citation Sovereign (nine seats, Swiss) and a Premier 1 (six seats, UK). The Greek charter operators include Aegean Airlines, Aeroland, Airlift SA, Bluebird Air, Intersalonica, Life Line Aviation and Olympic Aviation. Mouzakis says: “Especially where charters into Greece are concerned operators based here face competition from international providers. Charter operators from eastern European countries such as Bulgaria and Serbia offer competitive prices and price has become very much more of a factor in this time of global recession. There are also regular requirements for aircraft that might not be available in Greece.” Operators in Greece are having to work hard to retain their business levels or seek to expand them. Competition from international operators, looking to augment business which has tailed off throughout western Europe in recessionary times, is increasing. But the country’s increasingly pro-active stance on private aviation, the plethora of islands that need helicopter services, and the demand for management of private jets are positive drivers of business growth.
JetEx celebrated the launch of its first FBO in Paris.
Cessna will offer Aircell’s new High Speed Internet system as a factory option aboard its Citation XLS+, Citation Sovereign and Citation X business jets. Roger Whyte, Cessna svp sales and marketing, says the first installations from the Cessna factory will be available for new aircraft deliveries in the second quarter of 2010.
Flightworx boosts air ambulance trust Flight support specialist Flightworx Aviation, a provider of global flight support services, has launched an aircraft charter brokerage service. Flightworx has also decided to donate part of its fee to Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust. Stephen Finch, the UK-based company’s bdm, says: “We have a one-stop shop business approach and as well as global flight support our services include flight operations consultancy, aircraft charter and a non-biased fuel shopping service. “The addition of the charter brokerage service has further broadened our capabilities. We’re very proud to be able to help the Trust; its work is immensely valuable to the whole region.” Flightworx pays 10% of its broker commission to the ambulance trust.
Manhattan trains Lineage engineers Manhattan Aviation is providing training to engineers for the Embraer Lineage range. Darren Gates, md, says: “We have been providing EASA Part 147 Embraer 170/190 training for a number of years now. Our customer base is worldwide and Embraer themselves have used our services to deliver training to their customers in Africa and the Middle East. We are now in a position to tailor the training to executive jet customers operating the Lineage.”
Sabena and Al Wazzan in maintenance partnership Sabena technics and Al Wazzan Group have launched a partnership to provide MRO operations from Kuwait City starting in the autumn of 2009. They have committed to develop a maintenance centre to provide services to operators in the Middle East. Christophe Bernardini, Sabena ceo, says: “The company’s first customer will be Wataniya, an operator already supported by Sabena technics.”
Jet Republic chooses carbon offset programme Jet Republic has joined Bombardier Aerospace’s carbon offset programme. Jonathan Breeze, ceo, says: “We take our social responsibility seriously and looked at a variety of programmes to offset the emissions of our aircraft. Bombardier’s programme is the most robust of its kind in the market and provides the added benefit of being endorsed by the company that manufactured our aircraft.”
Avisa opens office in Bulgaria Avisa Aviation Safety Systems has opened an Eastern Europe office in Sofia, Bulgaria. Justin Goatcher, md, says: “Sofia was selected as the obvious choice to set up and develop an aviation support company due to its superb location in the heart of Eastern Europe.” Steven Bentley the resident manager, says Avisa will provide the full range of EASA approved, aviation airworthiness and maintenance based services.
Gozen expands Atatürk hangar facilities Gozen Air Services has brought two new hangars into service at the general aviation apron (A14) of Istanbul Atatürk airport. The company says: “The hangars can accommodate all types of business jets including the Gulfstream V and Global Express. Each hangar provides 24 hour security. Gozen can now accommodate two mid-size aircraft and one heavy jet at the same time in each hangar.”
Coventry offers free handling The UK’s Coventry airport is offering free ground handling to the end of of July to business aviation clients using its new FBO. Airport director Brian Cox says: “The airport has many clear advantages for the executive traveller with its central location, ease of access and exceptional levels of customer service. We are also extremely flexible and have the benefit of no slot restrictions.”
G650 debut flight nears The first flight of the G650 is scheduled to take place this year following extensive ground testing. “The speed and ease with which the wing join, engine mount and fuselage components, including the empennage, came together is a tribute to the people who designed and manufactured these major parts,” said Pres Henne, svp, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream Aerospace. The G650, he adds, is the largest-cabin, longestrange, fastest business jet to be manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace,
Al Bateen completes private airport formalities Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen executive airport has completed the formalities to change its designation from a military airbase to a private and corporate jet airport managed by the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). HE Khalifa Al Mazrouei, ADAC chairman, says: “The airport offers exceptional convenience and flexibility. “Private jet operators have the option to provide their own flavour of client service through establishing their own airport lounges, or they can offer access to one of ADAC’s existing lounges which are being upgraded this year.”
Bell 429 certificated Bell Helicopter has received type certification from Transport Canada for the light twin Bell 429 helicopter. Deliveries are expected to begin during July.
For contact details, consult www.handbook.aero
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
14 JULY 2009
Bel Air selects AW139 for offshore services Denmark’s Bel Air has taken delivery of the first of several ordered AW139 medium twins. Susanne Lastein, md, says the aircraft will be used in a 12-seat configuration for offshore services. She adds: “The Bel Air team decided to buy AW139 helicopters after a meticulous comparison between all offshore helicopters in the medium weight class. The AW139 is the perfect type for Bel Air to expand its operations into the offshore market and to provide our customers with the service they require.” Lastein says Bel Air likes the payload, performance, multi-role capability and flexibility. “We specialise in services including offshore transport and training but the AW139 can be used for a number of other applications, including charter.”
Esperia acquires Grand as helicopter hub plans progress
BGAD 09 at Marshall Cambridge Airport, UK, in June proved to be a successful networking day for the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) with several potential new members coming forward. One of these was PrivateFly, the online broker. Adam Twidell (left), ceo of PrivateFly, says: “Our clients expect both transparency and financial security and these industry issues are being addressed with ventures such as BACA’s proposed ‘escrow’ facility.” Bernard Keay, BACA’s deputy chairman, says the proposed ‘client account’ is similar to an escrow. “Just like purchasing a scheduled airline ticket, private jet customers should have financial protection. With a client account, the customer’s payment would be held by BACA as an independent third party, until the flight has been made.”
Italy’s Esperia Aviation Services SpA is acquiring a Grand light twin for charter services at Rome’s Urbe airport. The company says the Grand, configured with six seats, has a spacious cabin and interior crafted to the highest standards. “It has a superior performance with a maximum cruise speed of 155 kts, a maximum range of 432 nautical miles and an endurance of over four hours. It also offers advanced avionics, high levels of safety, low operating costs and excellent customer support.” The Grand is fitted with advanced composite rotor blades that reduce noise level well below ICAO limits. The company adds: “Esperia is developing its highly personalised flight services capability. At the same time, it is involved in the development of infrastructure.”
Esperia: Grand acquisition.
A partnership between AgustaWestland and Esperia, launched in April 2008, aims to establish a helicopter hub at Urbe. Esperia is building new hangars and hospitality and office areas. At the same time AgustaWestland is establishing a helicopter maintenance centre. “The two companies are now committed to further expanding this partnership with additional similar initiatives in other parts of Italy,” AgustaWestland says.
Film makers take the stage at Oxfordjet
s an air charter operator how much of your business is booked by brokers? Forty per cent? Sixty per cent, or more?
The charter broker is a vital link in the business air transport process, and in some cases they account for a majority of a fleet’s flight hours. This magazine is for them. You’ll never find a better opportunity to put your services in front of buyers from all over Europe and Middle East.
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Oxford Airport’s Oxfordjet business aviation terminal is benefiting from its “Hollywood appeal.” Virgin Media’s Living filmed its new 10-part series Four Weddings using the facilities. David Surley, the UK airport’s head of customer services says: “The filming took place over two days with the brides first being filmed on the airport’s apron with executive jets in the background. Sequences were also filmed in the lounge.” Four Weddings was filmed for showing on the UK’s ITV network. Four couples, each planning a wedding or a civil partnership attend the other couples’ weddings and judge them according to a set of criteria including venue, food, dress and overall presentation. The couple that scores the most points wins a luxury honeymoon. “We are very happy to accommodate filming requests whenever possible,” says Surley. “oxfordjet’s modern lounge area provides great space and can be dressed according to filming requirements and of course, the aircraft in the background add an element of luxury and excitement if desired.” He points out that ITV has filmed at the airport before and part of pop group Girls Aloud’s Christmas Special was also recorded in the new terminal.
EUROPEAN BUSINESS AIR NEWS
JULY 2009 15
Marketplace Contact Mark Ranger on: +44 (0)1279 714509 firstname.lastname@example.org
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