Tag Archives: UK

Jet Charter Broker PrivateFly Acquired by Directional Aviation

Directional Aviation, parent to subsidiary OneSky LLC – which holds fractional provider Flexjet and charter brokers Skyjet and Sentient Jet – announced yesterday the acquisition of U.K.-based online charter broker PrivateFly.

Launched in 2008, PrivateFly will combine with charter broker Skyjet, “to create one of the world’s largest online booking platforms for private jet charter, one with a robust digital platform and a physical geography and assets tailored for countries on four continents,” according to Directional’s press release.  No purchase price was disclosed.

The combined PrivateFly/Skyjet entity will have a presence in both the U.S. and Europe and will leverage OneSky’s existing assets and infrastructure.

OneSky’s Flexjet provides fractional jet ownership, leases and jet cards.  Sentient Jet sells jet cards exclusively.  Skyjet sells on-demand charter and a membership program.

Charter Alerts – current news about charter operators, brokers and aircraft – are posted by FlightList PRO, serving charter brokers and operators with the largest platform of aircraft in the U.S., Europe and worldwide.

For its part, PrivateFly acquired U.S.-based broker Bird Dog Jet last November bringing with it a preferred supplier relationship to the $23.7 billion Virtuoso network of luxury travel agencies.

PrivateFly co-founders Adam Twidell and Carol Cork will lead Skyjet/PrivateFly as CEO and chief marketing officer, respectively, a OneSky spokesman told Aviation International News.  They will both report to Andrew Collins, who is now the global brand manager for Skyjet, PrivateFly, and Sentient Jet, and also retains his title as president and CEO of Sentient Jet.

Directional Aviation also holds aircraft remanufacturer Nextant Aerospace as well as various parts, services, leasing, and aircraft finance businesses and was estimated to have $2.5 billion in revenues and 3,000 employees in 2017.

Directional has been growing through acquisitions domestically and abroad. It acquired Sentient Jet in 2012 and then Flexjet and Skyjet in 2013.  In 2016, it acquired U.K. charter operator FlairJet.  Directional principal Ken Ricci last year told Forbes.com, “What I see happening is opportunities overseas more – we are starting to see a shift to more opportunities outside the U.S. than within it.”

Sources:  Company press release, AIN, Forbes.com

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Bliss Jet Launches Individually-Ticketed Private Jet Passenger Service New York To London

Bliss JetBliss Jet announced yesterday the first individually-ticketed private jet flights between New York and London on a regular schedule, according to a press release from the company. This new service offers sophisticated travelers an ultra-exclusive transatlantic travel experience that is significantly more efficient, convenient and secure than the airlines’ first and business class products.

Pre-screened travelers, who are accustomed to flying private or in premium cabins, can begin taking advantage of Bliss Jet’s new class of service between New York’s Westchester County Airport and London’s Biggin Hill Airport in September. Bliss Jet is now accepting reservations.

According to the Bliss Jet website, the leadership team consists of David Rimmer, Toni Drummond, Omar Diaz and other familiar names in the U.S. jet charter industry.

“Bliss Jet is for people who schedule time in minutes, not hours,” says President and CEO David Rimmer. “We will cater to discerning, intercontinental travelers who seek a unique, private jet experience that is superior to any scheduled premium cabin service, yet far more cost-effective than bespoke private jet charter.”

Bliss Jet’s premier service will enable busy travelers to circumvent the hassles of flying from congested major airports. According to the company, Bliss Jet passengers can expect to:

• Arrive at the airport only 30 minutes before departure
• Board an aircraft just a few steps from the private terminal
• Benefit from discreet, highly professional security
• Avoid lengthy airport and flight delays
• Proceed rapidly through boarding, deplaning and customs
• Arrive faster at their final destination with immediate baggage retrieval and ground

“We are offering all the advantages of a private jet experience on optimally-scheduled flights that bypass the inefficiencies of business class travel,” Rimmer says. “Not since the days of the Concorde has a door-to-door journey between New York and London been this fast or refined.”

Bliss Jet passengers will be able to choose custom meals from an extensive menu, access a variety of inflight entertainment options, and connect to worldwide Wi-Fi. Upon request, Bliss Concierge services will arrange ground or helicopter transportation, or private charters for passengers flying to another location.

Bliss Jet flights will depart from New York on Sunday nights so that passengers will arrive at London’s uncrowded Biggin Hill Airport refreshed, relaxed, and ready for a productive work week. Return flights depart from London after lunch on Friday so passengers can schedule morning meetings and arrive back in the United States for a family dinner or a Broadway play. Travelers accustomed to private jet charter will appreciate that Bliss Jet provides virtually the same amenities at a fraction of the cost. Seats on the 14-passenger jets will cost $11,995 each way. Unlike crowded business class sections, Bliss Jet will limit seat sales well below the maximum aircraft’s capacity for extra comfort.

“Bliss Jet security will be supervised by top global firms in New York and London to ensure the safety and security of everyone on board,” Rimmer says. “Our security team, complemented by high-level security intelligence, will provide comprehensive, discreet coverage that far exceeds regulatory requirements and the industry’s best practices.”

Every flight will be operated by a highly-experienced carrier and crew on aircraft judged superior by respected third-party safety audit standards such as Wyvern Wingman, ARGUS Platinum ISBAO and the Air Charter Safety Foundation. The initial schedule of flights will be operated for Bliss Jet by Jet Access Aviation under a Public Charter approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Bliss Jet CEO David Rimmer is an experienced premium air travel and charter industry innovator. He will lead a seasoned team of private jet professionals who will ensure Bliss Jet passengers receive the highest level of customer service. A pioneer with more than 15 years of private aviation leadership experience, Rimmer has created exponential growth and generated significant success in the private aviation market by championing industry-leading safety standards and business practices.

“Throughout our careers in private aviation, the Bliss Jet team and I have catered to the needs of the world’s most prominent and successful people, including CEOs, heads of state, royalty, film and music superstars, and ultra-high net worth individuals, all of whom have very high expectations when they travel,” Rimmer explains. “Bliss Jet will capitalize on that priceless insight to meet, and exceed, the expectations of these discriminating passengers.”

Source:  company press release

Online Charter Broker Stratajet Gets $8M Influx For Booking Platform

Private jet charter booking platform Stratajet announced an influx of $8 million in additional funding. The new investment, which adds to $6 million in capital previously raised, came from London-based venture capital group Octopus Ventures, with support from Stratajet’s existing backers Playfair Capital and JamJar Investments.

stratajet logoUK-based Stratajet launched its platform to consumers earlier this year and according to the company has since generated more than 2 million charter flight quotes.

“This milestone of Stratajet generating two million quotes proves how effective our system can be at giving a wider range of travelers access to the private jet industry,” said Stratajet founder and CEO Jonny Nicol. “Unlike other online brokers, we can provide all customers with accurate prices without wasting the time of the operators.”

Sources:  AINonline, company press release

Other Charter Alerts for StrataJet: 9/17/15 Stratajet Set To Launch Online Charter Booking Engine

VistaJet – 2015 US Flight and Pax Traffic Grows Triple Digits, Worldwide Double Digits

VistaJetU.S., European and Asian based charter operator VistaJet experienced a more than 21-percent increase in global flight traffic and passenger growth of more than 23 percent in 2015, which the company said was its strongest year to-date. The company’s fastest-growing market was the U.S., with flights to the U.S. up 135 percent and within the U.S. up 165 percent. The VistaJet fleet, which is entirely owned by VistaJet, will reach 60 Bombardier Challenger and Global jets by March 10.

VistaJet operates 5 Global 5000’s and 3 Challenger 350’s based across the U.S. available ONLY in FlightList PRO.

Last year, VistaJet began service within China in partnership with Apex Air, which operates a Challenger 850 for VistaJet charters. Flights to China climbed 25 percent year-over-year; flights to Asia were up 62 percent and the number of passengers climbed 57 percent.

In Africa, VistaJet saw growth of flight traffic of 15 percent; the number for the Middle East was 58 percent. Europe also saw growth, with the number of flights up 13 percent and passengers traveling into Europe up 17 percent.

According to chairman and founder Thomas Flohr, “2015 was a record year for VistaJet. We welcomed more passengers onto our jets than ever before. VistaJet is still increasing its geographic reach in the U.S. and China, and we are taking market share from our main competitors in all of our core markets.”

Source:  AIN News

Q&A with CEO of PrivateFly, Adam Twidell

By Jennifer Agress, Haute Living

Adam Twidell, CEO of the UK-based PrivateFly

Adam Twidell, CEO of the UK-based PrivateFly

For most of us, there are few things more exhilarating than hopping on a plane and flying somewhere exotic. And with private jet travel gaining popularity in South Florida — a 22% rise in the past year alone, to be exact — Miami’s finest are traveling with more luxuries than ever.

Just last week (on a Challenger 601, no less), we had the fabulous opportunity to meet Adam Twidell, CEO of the UK-based PrivateFly, to learn about his company, why private jets are the only way to fly, and of course, why the Magic City is hopping on the trend. Here’s what he had to say, below: 

When did you discover your passion for flying? “No one in my family was a pilot. I didn’t think you could just be a pilot! I was studying at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Air Force was hosting a program where they would teach you to fly for two years for free, with no commitment to join. I was taking electrical engineering classes and wanted something more fun to do, so I signed up for the program. By the end of the two years, I just loved flying, so I became a pilot in the Royal Air Force.”

Why do people love private jet travel? “Mainly, flexibility, privacy on board, schedule and time — you depart at your time, when you’re ready. On a commercial flight, you’re fixed by their roots. Private jets can also get to a lot more airports than commercial planes, so they can bring people closer to their destinations. For me, I’ve always thought the holiday starts as soon as you get to the airport. It’s a completely different feeling at a Fixed-Base Operator than at hectic airport, where you’re rushing and worried about baggage.”

What inspired you to start PrivateFly? When I left the Royal Air Force, most people went into commercial flying, like with British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. Then I discovered that you could be a private jet pilot, and it seemed fantastic. I joined NetJets, a great private air company, and I started speaking to customers there and noticed how unhappy they were; they were always so paranoid they were paying too much. One day, I was flying passengers from London to Nice, and we were flying back with an empty plane, only to go back later to pick them up. I met a crew of an identical plane flying the exact same route, but in opposite directions, and it made me think: If these two companies had known that they were both flying the same track, could they have worked together and worked it out? That’s where the internet came in — I talked to people in the industry and they told me no one would ever book a private jet online. I’m glad I didn’t listen!”

What sets PrivateFly apart from the competition? “When customers come to us with a plane or helicopter inquiry, we immediately tell them what it should cost. Then, the request goes out to market and aircraft operators quote against each other — the customers watch all this going on, and can choose who they want to fly with. They can do all this online or on an app, or if they prefer, they can also do it with our live customer service team that’s around for 24 hours a day. We always know where our aircraft are because our technology actually integrates with the software they use. The difference with PrivateFly is all in its service, attention and technology. We’re doing what no one else is doing, and in the most affordable way possible.”

How far in advance does someone need to book a plane? “Our record for getting someone airborne from inquiry is 42 minutes — and we even had a car waiting for him when he landed. Most reservations, however, are made 2-3 days in advance.”

Why do you think Miami is such a big market for private jet travel? “Because of its location, Miami is a hub where you can fly to markets in all directions. It even has South American access, which is emerging. There’s also a lot of wealth in Miami and it’s so close to great destinations for holiday trips. East, you have the Caribbean, and you’re only 40 minutes from Cuba. You can cover the whole of the United States from Miami. Outside of that, there are so many languages spoken here, and it’s a great place in terms of both lifestyle and weather. Who wouldn’t want to be here?”

courtesy Haute Living

Air Partner Acquires Bains Simmons, Adds Aviation Safety Consulting to Services

air partnerAir Partner plc, the air charter brokerage and global aviation services group, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Baines Simmons Limited, a world leading Aviation Safety Consultant for a total net cash consideration of up to £6.0 million.

Founded in 2001, Baines Simmons is a trusted consultant and adviser to more than 750 aviation organizations and more than 40 aviation authorities and has helped develop the skills and expertise of more than 120,000 aviation professionals.

The business has grown to be recognized as a leading authority in Aviation Safety Consultancy, specializing in aviation regulation, compliance and safety management, advising clients across civil and military markets such as KLM, SAS, Thomas Cook, Thomson, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, The Isle of Man Government, BAE Systems, MoD, Rolls Royce, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Airbus, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and UK Military Aviation Authority (MAA).

bains simmonsThe reputation of the Baines Simmons brand and the expertise of its employees within the aviation sector are key elements which should enable the business to help shape the evolving safety requirements in the industry and in particular, the sub-sectors of aviation regulation, compliance and safety management performance. Baines Simmons will provide Air Partner with the opportunity to extend the Group’s service and product capabilities which will complement and enhance its existing brokering business.

The acquisition reiterates Air Partner’s commitment to maintaining the highest possible standards in aviation safety.   Baines Simmons brings with it an unrivaled client list built on a solid foundation of expertise coupled with a strong and credible industry reputation.

Mark Briffa, Chief Executive of Air Partner, said: The acquisition of Baines Simmons is an exciting step for Air Partner. We look forward to working with the team at Baines Simmons on a range of strategic and complimentary growth opportunities from new regulatory changes, busier skies, greater organisational complexities, geographic expansion and new performance products and services.”

Following acquisition, Baines Simmons will continue to be managed by its current executive team led by Managing Director, Andrew Parker and founders, Keven Baines and Bob Simmons.

Gulfstream 550 changes operators in U.K.

Saxonair Charter UKOperator SaxonAir Charter LTD at Stansted, UK, has taken on management and charter of the 2012 Gulfstream 550, G-MRLX.  Previously with Gama Aviation LTD, it began operation under SaxonAir in late May, and is the only G550 based at Stansted.  With it’s 6,000 mile range it can fly nonstop to Los Angeles or Hong Kong.  The ultra long range jet features Wi-Fi on board, individual passenger entertainment screens and seats 16 passengers with three cabin seating areas.

Three Gulfstream 550’s are available for charter in the UK, this one at EGSS Stansted and two at EGLF Farnborough.

SaxonAir Charter now operates a total of 9 aircraft in the wide variety categories of turboprop, very light, light and midsize jets, long range jet and helicopter.  The SaxonAir Charter full fleet is available only in FlightList PRO.

SaxonAir Charter Gulfstream 550 based EGSS Stansted, UK

SaxonAir Charter Gulfstream 550 based EGSS Stansted, UK

Europe’s TAG Aviation and Bromma Business Jet Form Alliance

Tag Aviation Jet CharterCharter Operator TAG Aviation announces the launch of a new charter alliance between Bromma Business Jet and TAG Aviation.

TAG is now the sole sales agent for Bromma’s Falcon 7X based in London Farnborough and Stockholm Bromma, according to the company.

Now TAG is the charter operator or agent for four Falcon 7X aircraft throughout Europe.  The entire TAG charter fleet of 36 aircraft worldwide is available in FlightList PRO.

Julie Black of Charter Brokerage Chapman Freeborn Appointed to BACA Council

Julie Black of Chapman Freeborn has been elected to join the council of the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA). The appointment took place following a recent meeting of the BACA council at the Baltic Exchange in London.  Julie, who is UK head of VIP charter at Chapman Freeborn, has been in the aviation industry for more than 20 years and brings a wealth of aviation experience and vitality to the association.

Julie Black, Chapman Freeborn Air Charter Broker

Julie Black of Chapman Freeborn, Air Charter Broker

Julie’s aviation career began as a graduate in the marketing department of London City Airport, and was followed by roles at Regional Airports Limited at London Biggin Hill Airport.  In 2003 Julie was invited to join Chapman Freeborn and quickly developed into an excellent charter broker, specializing in music and entertainment. In 2011 Julie was asked to take responsibility for the development and management of the Chapman Freeborn UK VIP team.

About her new role on the BACA council Julie commented, “I’m really excited to join the BACA council. The unique air charter industry has never been so vibrant and challenges abound for all sectors.  I consider it a key message to help promote the value of the brokering industry to customers and suppliers alike and to widen the profile of the air charter industry.”

BACABACA is a worldwide association of air charter professionals.   As the world’s largest Air Charter Association, BACA was founded nearly seventy years ago for its members of Air Charter Brokers and operators from around Europe and the rest of the world.  BACA’s principal objective is to promote integrity and ethical business practice in the aviation industry.

Full press release

Naljets Adds New Challenger 350 to Charter Fleet Based UK

Naljets Charter UK2014 Challenger 350, G-SCAR, is now available and operated by NAL Flight Partner (Naljets) for charter, based EGNM Leeds Bradord, UK.  The new jet will be chartering along side the company’s Gulfstream 200 also based out of the UK.  The Challenger is capable of transcontinental flight with a range of 3,200 nautical miles (5,926km) and features luxury cabin space that can accommodate 10 passengers.  It has some of the world’s most advanced avionics technology, including a ‘Synthetic Vision System’ which overlays outside terrain as well as runway and airport features on to the cockpit displays in bad weather.

Naljets managing director Craig McLeod added, “Last year we received record numbers of charter requests for our aircraft. The addition of the new Challenger expands our capability further and, being the first Challenger 350 registered in the UK, the interest in the aircraft is very strong.”

Naljets specializes in discreet acquisition and aircraft management services for business jet owners and companies, including management and consulting on all aspects from purchase to parking, flight operations, journey management, flight and ground crew training and provision.  Naljets charter fleet is available in FlightList Pro.

Challenger 350 G-SCAR jet charter based UK

Interior of Challenger 350 G-SCAR jet charter based UK

London Executive Aviation Adds King Air B200 to UK

King Air 200 charter UKBased on the Isle Of Man in the UK, London Executive Aviation’s new King Air B200 is now available for private charter.  The 2003 aircraft, registration G-CIFE, has six armchair seats and smaller side-facing seat, all in grey leather.  Boasting a bar and separate lav, G-CIFE has updated avionics and 4-bladed props which ensure a quieter cabin.


ONLY IN FLIGHTLIST PRO – Just Added: Boeing 757-200 VIP Based London UK

TAG Aviation (UK) LTD now has G-TCSX, the Boeing 757 VIP charter airliner, available in 58 or 72 passenger configurations.  Based at EGGW London-Luton Airport, it compliments the UK fleet of 17 executive jets operated by TAG UK ranging from Citation CJ3 to Gulfstream 550.

Listed only in FlightList Pro.

Boeing 757-200 VIP Charter by Tag Aviation UK

Boeing 757-200 VIP Charter by Tag Aviation UK

Arena Aviation: Two Citation XLS Available For Charter at London-Biggin Hill, UK

Citation XLS- G-XLTV and G-SLTV are available for charter, based EGKB Biggin Hill, UK.  The model year 2005 and 2008 midsize jets are certified for maximum 8 passengers.  Biggin Hill airport is approximately 12 miles/19 KM southeast of central London and a short reposition flight to any London-metro airport.

Citation XLS operated by Arena Aviation, London-Biggin Hill UK

Citation XLS operated by Arena Aviation, London-Biggin Hill UK