March 9, 2017:
UK operator SaxonAir has added a London Stansted-based Legacy 500 to its worldwide AOC.
The aircraft will be available for charter and the operator is promoting it in association with Stansted FBO Inflite. Captain Nick Mills has been with SaxonAir for three years and says that the Legacy is a fantastic aircraft in comparison with the Hawker 750 and 900 he flew previously: "It's a new type for me, and it is a truly amazing fly-by-wire, next generation jet. There is nothing in the same class that can match it.
"It flies so well and handles beautifully. The cabin altitude is very low and I've noticed the difference already; you don't feel quite so drained after hours in the cockpit and are much fresher when you arrive. The quality and spec for a super midsize jet is tremendous and I think passengers will really appreciate it. Once you've experienced the Legacy, you won't want anything less."
SaxonAir has been operating a Gulfstream 550 globally over the past 12 months and this has opened up many more opportunities. CEO Alex Durand explains that he was looking for an aircraft to sit between his two Hawkers and G550; the Legacy was a 'perfect fit': "The L500 has got the capability of operating to Dubai non-stop, and that is the sort of route that we wanted to do," he tells EBAN. "It is more economical than the usual heavy jets transiting these routes, but with no compromise on the space, comfort and on-board services available to charter clients. For trips such as these, it is more mission-appropriate."
The company is headquartered at Norwich, so having the Legacy based at Stansted, close to London, is convenient. "This means that we can be cost-effective for a large part of the charter market," Durand says. "The Legacy was shortlisted by the client and was chosen because it was a clean-sheet design. Other aircraft designs were updated versions of older airframes. The Legacy has come straight from the drawing board, and everything has been designed with the customer in mind. Every feature has had a lot of customer input and the result is that is feels just right. I have never travelled in a business jet of this category with cabin noise levels so low."
Another advantage of the Legacy is its short field performance. Charter sales manager Jack Hellewell is very pleased that it is approved to operate in and out of London City. "It can perform as a midsize but with longer range and more space inside," he states. "We have taken a lot of charter bookings already."