Founded in 1996 as London Executive Aviation (LEA), Luxaviation UK is the UK’s largest business aircraft charter operator. The company provides a full range of business aviation services, including management, chartering, consultancy and sales. Luxaviation UK operates a large and diverse fleet of light, midsize and large-cabin aircraft from bases in the UK and Continental Europe. The company is led by co-founders Patrick Margetson-Rushmore (chief executive) and George Galanopoulos (managing director).
In May 2014, LEA became part of the Luxaviation Group, the second largest corporate aircraft operator in the world with bases across Europe, South Africa, Australasia and Asia. As part of the Luxaviation family, the company's customers benefit from access to a combined fleet of more than 250 business aircraft worldwide, increased aircraft availability and a broader range of aircraft types.
In 2015, LEA was named ‘Best General Aviation Operator’ in the prestigious Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) Excellence Awards for the fourth time in a row, also marking the sixth time the company has won the award in nine years. LEA also won a 2007 and 2006 Gold award from Buying Business Travel magazine in the Executive Aircraft category.
In 2016, LEA changed it's trading name to Luxaviation United Kingdom.
Luxaviation UK's client list includes investment banks and other financial institutions; large and mid-size businesses; US-based executives en route to continental Europe; leading air brokers; celebrities from music, entertainment and sport; high net worth individuals; government; hospitals and medical assistance companies.
Luxaviation UK makes more than 500 flights per month from the UK to over 10,000 destinations in Europe and the Middle East.
The Luxaviation UK fleet
Luxaviation UK has a diverse fleet of 24 aircraft with bases in the UK and Continental Europe, as well as access to a combined group fleet of more than 250 business aircraft worldwide. Luxaviation UK's fleet ranges from the entry-level Cessna Citation Mustang up to the Dassault Falcon 2000LX. In 2013 alone, Luxaviation UK added a Phenom 300, Falcon 2000LX, Legacy 650 and Challenger 300 to its fleet.
The breadth of the Luxaviation UK fleet means it is able to offer the most cost-effective solution for a wide range of business travel needs. This strategy is one of the reasons Luxaviation UK has proved consistently profitable. For example, shorter journeys and smaller groups can be accommodated in a Citation Mustang, rather than a higher priced aircraft.
Luxaviation UK was the first executive air charter firm to obtain European Joint Aviation Authority certification and, in 2001, was the first to introduce the world’s most popular business jet, the Cessna Citation Excel, to the UK charter market. The company has been consistently profitable since its inception and is widely regarded as one of the best-managed firms in its industry. Luxaviation UK’s senior management team has over 40 years’ combined experience of UK business aviation.
- The expansion of the business aviation market has seen the advent of various new travel options, including fractional ownership (in which one owns a share in a specific aircraft, with proportional rights of usage), jet cards or block hours schemes (which entitle one to a fixed number of flying hours in exchange for an advance lump sum payment) and ‘all business’ scheduled airlines serving certain destinations.
- However, chartering aircraft by the hour remains by far the most popular choice for business aviation, since it provides an identical experience in terms of aircraft, crew and customer service, yet offers an attractive blend of flexibility and value for money. For all but the most regular travellers, conventional chartering typically offers the most attractive financial proposition.
- Charter operators like Luxaviation UK also help bring much needed liquidity to the broader business aviation market, such as by subcontracting for fractional ownership or jet card operators when their own aircraft are fully committed.
Luxaviation UK's management team combines a wealth of experience of commercial aviation with tight financial disciplines. The main management team is headed up by:
Chief Executive, Patrick Margetson-Rushmore
- Former partner with Baker Tilley and Macintyre Hudson accountancy firms
- Founding partner of LEA, overseeing strategy and finance
Managing Director, George Galanopoulos
- Authorised examiner for the Civil Aviation Authority, council member for BBGA, Fellow of Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators
- Founding partner of LEA, overseeing flight and business operations