PremiAir, the award-winning UK-based executive helicopter and private jet charter operator, has reported a steady growth in its aircraft management activities, generating confidence that the industry may be seeing some recovery from the economic downturn.
With a growing managed private jet fleet and maintenance bases at Oxford and Biggin Hill, PremiAir is strategically positioning itself to grow its private jet operations to a scale reflective of its current leading position in the executive helicopter market.
“Our Learjet 45 fleet has been operating charters for nine months now, during which time we have seen a steady increase in aircraft utilisation,” said David McRobert, Group Managing Director. “We are delighted to see that the Learjets are now working hard, with charter hours and revenue exceeding forecast levels in our 2011 business plan. We are now expanding our charter fleet with the addition of a new type, the Hawker 750, which will be joining the fleet in August.”
This represents a significant step for PremiAir, with the Hawker 750 offering clients an exciting additional mid-size jet to complement the current Learjet fleet. This 2009 aircraft will be based at Biggin Hill and features all the standard Hawker attributes including stand-up cabin, entertainment systems and Satcom plus the additional dorsal baggage bay which only the 750 model can offer.
Director of Charter & Management, Neil Gibson, who was part of TAG Aviation’s growth in aircraft management for many years, is using his considerable industry experience of global private jet operations to position the PremiAir team to add further mid-size and large cabin jets to the PremiAir fleet.
“We’ve been a key player in the management and charter of executive helicopters for 30 years, so our continued, steady growth in the private jet management and charter sector is a natural progression for our experienced team. PremiAir offers clients an integrated helicopter and executive jet management service, backed-up by our extensive in-house aircraft maintenance, airworthiness management and aircraft sales teams, with a focus on delivering the highest quality services throughout all our business operations.”
David McRobert also highlights an encouraging increase in charter operations, reporting aircraft utilisation and charter revenues above budget and closer to those experienced before the economic climate worsened.
“Whilst we are by no means at 2007 revenue levels, in some areas of our charter business we are seeing a return to pre-recession spending, which we saw drop away when the economic downturn hit. In particular, the re-emergence of corporate incentive and sports hospitality bookings, which decreased dramatically in 2009, has been an extremely positive sign and has provided a significant boost to business revenues.”
The PremiAir Charter & Management team recently enjoyed excellent charter revenues arising from the British Grand Prix and The Open Golf Championship related operations.
“Our entire charter fleet and several additional helicopters were utilised for the British Grand Prix,” commented Gibson. “We flew more than 370 passengers into Silverstone over the three day event, with every passenger treated to a luxury service – champagne breakfast, dedicated terminal facilities, personal handling by PremiAir staff and the reassurance that our large fleet of VIP helicopters and highly trained team could cope with any last minute changes of plan.”
PremiAir’s Grand Prix guests included main sponsors, F1 teams, several drivers, TV presenters and journalists. Just three days later, as the official partner of The Open Championship Hospitality provider, the helicopter charter fleet was once again fully utilised transferring sponsors, players and spectators into Royal St George for the Open Golf Championship.