May 10, 2017:
Italian operator Topjet and German air ambulance specialist FAI rent-a-jet are collaborating to market a Global Express for charter. FAI will operate the aircraft as it has longstanding experience with the type, while Topjet will be tasked with selling charter on the jet, marking the company's first foray into long range.
"The aircraft belongs to an Italian customer who spreads his time equally between Europe and the US," says Topjet president Dino Rasero. "It is an ideal aircraft for empty legs across the Atlantic. Sometimes it goes and he comes back from the US by other means. It is a very good deal we have and marks the beginning of our long range operations. I think it is good news for the market in general.
"We sell charter services on the jets and allow others to manage them, so we don't have an AOC. The aircraft that we own are managed by Eurofly Service International, and FAI has this one because it is very familiar with the Global Express.
"We hope that we will have another one in the future because we have negotiations with customers to buy other aircraft. We have other short and medium range aircraft that belong to our company directly: one Hawker 850 and two Hawker 400. This is the perfect size to implement a bigger opportunity for our company."
This year, flying time at Topjet is up 15 per cent from 2016 and it is seeing demand for smaller aircraft coming back after that sector was hit heavily by the economic crisis; the lighter end of Topjet's fleet is now flying 450-500 hours a month. Rasero says the Hawker 400 is the most popular aircraft in the fleet. "I think it is one of the best price versus quality aircraft. It is bigger than a Citation yet people can charter it for almost the same price. Compared with the Bravo or Encore it is a lot faster, roughly 80-100 knots. The oval section on the Hawker offers a lot of shoulder and head room to passengers. We are thinking of adding another one to our fleet because at the moment we don't have enough to meet demand. In my opinion, three is a magic number because a lot of our owners leave them where we land. We can offer them from the key places such as Milan and Sardinia."
FAI has also taken on its sixth Challenger 604. Founder and chair-man Siegfried Axtmann is pleased to welcome both jets: "I am delighted to be operating these excellent performers and equally delighted to maintain our position as the largest business jet operator in Germany for the second year. Our primary goal is to continue to be one of the most profitable business jet operators in Europe and so far it is looking like we will achieve this again."