London Executive Aviation Achieves Record Performance
London, England, 18 September 2014 – As the European business aviation charter market continues to recover, London Executive Aviation (LEA), the UK’s largest private jet charter operator, is celebrating its strongest ever financial and operational performance.
In the year to 31 March 2014, LEA increased turnover by 23% to £33.2m (2013: £27m), reflecting stronger charter demand and growth in the company’s aircraft management revenues. In the same period, the company’s flown hours increased by 16% and its number of sectors flown grew by 18%. To manage increased demand, LEA increased its headcount in the period by 13%.
Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive, says: “In the last financial year, we were very pleased to see the nascent recovery in the charter market gather momentum. Demand was noticeably stronger, with an 18% increase in the number of quotations given and a 12% rise in bookings.
“In part, these results endorse LEA’s strategy of building a strong franchise in the large-cabin market, which has continued to perform strongly. As Europe’s largest operator of Embraer Legacy 600 and 650 aircraft, we have been well placed to serve niche customers, such as touring rock bands. However, we have also been pleased to see more corporate customers rediscovering the time-saving advantages of business aviation, using smaller aircraft such as the Citation Excel business jet and King Air turboprop. This resumption of corporate demand makes us optimistic about the current year’s prospects.”
George Galanopoulos, managing director, welcomes the growth in LEA’s aircraft management business: “Our managed fleet grew by 20% in the year and we currently have a total fleet of 26 aircraft, providing a stable stream of revenues. We are very proud to have been chosen by several new aircraft owners last year, who were attracted to our reputation for personal service backed by the advantages of our scale. For example, when one new owner needed a three-week trip planned throughout South-East Asia, we had the operations expertise and resources to manage that for him. Similarly, owners welcome the reassurance that, should they need a replacement or alternative aircraft on a particular day, we can provide it from within our fleet.”
In the current year, LEA expects to see new cost-saving benefits from joining the Luxaviation Group in May. Galanopoulos says: “Luxaviation is now the second largest business aviation group in Europe. By collaborating with our sister companies, we are already seeing valuable bulk savings in fuel, insurance and other cost areas. With charter margins under increasing pressure through the impact of online booking technologies, such savings are strategically important to any operator.
“Furthermore, we’re seeing real benefits from pooling knowledge within the group. For example, LEA is applying for a Part 129 foreign operator licence to provide services within the United States, and we’ve been able to get advice from another Luxaviation Group company that has already done this, making the process much more efficient.”
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