October 15, 2012:
Farnborough-based AOC operator Manhattan Jets has signed a new contract to manage a third Premier 1 jet, expanding its fleet to five aircraft.
As a result Manhattan Jets says that it now manages every UK-registered Premier 1 aircraft available to charter.
The company has also taken on the operation of a Learjet 45 on behalf of air ambulance operator CEGA.
The newest addition to the Premier 1 fleet is available to charter alongside two Learjets (40 and 45XR) and two existing Premier 1s which the company has managed from new. "With the same six-seat, club four plus two configuration, a spacious cabin and plenty of luggage space, the Premier 1 model is one of the fastest light jets in its class capable of speeds of up to 470mph with a range of 2,345 miles, making it an ideal choice to reach a variety of key cities in Europe for leisure breaks and time-saving business trips," says md Steve Westlake.
The company was the first operator to take delivery of the new Premier 1 in Europe, 19 years ago. "Premier 1s are our expertise. We have grown up with them and know the aircraft inside-out. Our crew are very experienced and we have more Premier 1 rated pilots than anyone else in the country," Westlake says.
"Adding a third Premier 1 to the fleet makes perfect sense. With the launch of our new flight commitment programme, Manhattan Skytime, the demand from businesses for fixed-cost short-hop flights to Europe is growing and the Premier 1 model with its advantageous speed, bigger cabin and luggage capability is an ideal aircraft to service our business customers."
The air ambulance Learjet, newly acquired by CEGA (as reported in EBAN, August 2012), is expected to benefit clients through its capacity to carry not just patients and medical crews, but also an accompanying relative or employer. Its generous interior makes it suitable for the most complex critical care cases, while its auxiliary power unit provides a climate controlled cabin, even on the ground.
The new jet, which extends CEGA's international reach, will join the Bournemouth-based company's fleet of three Beech King Air 200 aircraft providing air ambulance and repatriation services.
"This significant investment has been made to meet the growing demand for longer distance critical care transfers, particularly from emerging and remote destinations back to Europe," says Graham Ponsford CEGA group chief executive.
"Our combined fleet now enables us to offer clients optimum air transfer capabilities, within and well beyond Europe; with seamless medical care and communication enhanced by our integrated assistance operation."
Manhattan is delighted to have been selected to operate the aircraft: "We directly employ our own Learjet 40XR/45XR rated pilots and are responsible for training the CEGA crew who will fly the new air ambulance," says Westlake. "All crew undergo an individual focused training process and rigorous crew selection guidelines in line with Manhattan Jets' bespoke training mandate, ensuring full compliance with standard operating regulations. CEGA are in the business of saving lives and we are delighted to play a part in this important work."Ê
CEGA's new aircraft has been added to Manhattan Jets' AOC licence. The company will provide an operational support contract, which means Manhattan Jets is responsible for operating the aircraft, selection and training of crew and all aspects to do with flight operations.
Westlake continues: "CEGA has a massive reputation both in aviation and medical repatriation. The company is the best at what it does having flown its own aircraft for almost 40 years. Both we and CEGA take a very practical approach to doing things properly. This is a great opportunity for us to bring another aircraft under our expertise and undertake missions that are different to our usual vip charter."
CEGA's investment in the Learjet 45 supports its recent launch of a global private repatriation division; created to serve individuals in need overseas who either do not have travel insurance or find that their policy does not cover them.
Manhattan believes it offers particularly effective cost-control for managed aircraft customers. "We understand the need to proactively manage the costs associated with all aspects of aircraft ownership, management and charter," the company says. "For example, monitoring fuel costs, exchange rates and payment options each week to find the most cost-effective
airport to uplift fuel and the best way to pay for it, often making considerable savings."
| Useful contact details from the Handbook of Business Aviation in Europe