Monarch Airlines Airbus A320 captain David Fletcher is changing career to spearhead the launch of a Phenom 100 based air taxi charter operation targeting business throughout Europe.
VLJ Consultancy Ltd will be based at the U.K.´s Oxford Airport and its air taxi charter operation will cover mainland Europe plus UK domestic cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Newquay, other south west destinations, and cities in Scotland and Ireland. "Oxford airport will be the centre of the wheel and we are looking forward to adding the spokes," says Fletcher, the company´s md. "The air taxi company, whose name we will announce at this year´s Farnborough Air Show, will operate with the first Phenom 100 from May 2009. We hope to pick up traffic to a number of inter-European sporting events and short leisure breaks."
Fletcher says: "We are convinced this is the right time for an operation like this, but being a small player in the lucrative business aviation market can make or break you if you don´t have the right aircraft, or the right airport base. We are convinced we have the right base and will have the right aircraft at the right time and are very confident of doing well."
The company will be looking to recruit personnel, including several pilots later this year. "Discussions will also soon commence with chauffeur car companies, catering organisations and boutique hotels in the Oxford area," Fletcher adds.
He says investors in the start up business are private professionals who have committed to one Phenom 100, plus an additional two on option for delivery in 2012. The company is also looking at the larger Phenom 300 or possibly the Embraer Legacy 500 for future growth.