LEA to slash the cost of private jet chartering
Yesterday, the first production model of the keenly awaited Citation Mustang ‘very light jet’ (VLJ) made its public debut at the National Business Aviation Association trade fair in Florida. To mark this occasion, London Executive Aviation (LEA) announces that it is to pioneer the introduction of this revolutionary aircraft into the UK business jet charter market. The four-passenger Mustang will enable LEA, the UK’s largest executive jet charter operator, to cut the cost of chartering a jet by up to 25 percent and is expected to stimulate increased demand for private air travel.
LEA has placed Cessna’s largest European order for Mustang aircraft, with seven scheduled to join the company’s charter fleet between Q4 2007 and Q1 2009. The first two Mustangs are expected to enter service with LEA by December 2007.
The VLJ is a completely new class of aircraft, with several manufacturers currently developing rival models. LEA selected the Mustang as ideal for the charter market because of Cessna Citation’s reputation for engineering excellence and the aircraft’s outstanding interior space and passenger comfort.
Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, LEA’s chief executive, believes the cost advantages of the VLJ versus larger jets will help accelerate the growth of jet chartering in the UK:
“We expect to be able to charter out a Mustang at the same hourly rate as a mid size turbo prop aircraft, which is significantly lower than the cost of current entry-level jets. We think this is going to change the way that many people think about air chartering, both for business and leisure. The speed and convenience of private jet travel will become more attractive to a far wider range of customers, both for travel within the UK and to continental Europe.”
Commenting on LEA’s choice of manufacturer, he says, “The Mustang will be the Mercedes S Class of the sky. It is beautifully engineered, will be a pleasure to travel in but still offers sensible value.”
LEA expects the Mustang to see demand for longer UK journeys, such as London to Plymouth or Bristol to Scotland, and that popular European business destinations will include Paris, Frankfurt and Zurich.
“The Mustang will also increase the crossover of jet chartering from business use to leisure”, says Margetson-Rushmore. “If you want a weekend’s skiing in Chambery or a memorable day’s golfing in Ireland, it couldn’t be simpler. For senior people who need to make the most of their scarce leisure time we think this will prove very attractive.”
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