London Executive Aviation joins Luxaviation Group

Agreement confirms Luxaviation’s position as a European market leader

Luxembourg, 12 May 2014 – Luxaviation (www.luxaviation.lu), the Luxembourgish business aviation group, is celebrating a major milestone in its growth strategy with the integration of UK-based London Executive Aviation (‘LEA’), cementing Luxaviation’s position as one of Europe’s largest business aviation groups.

In terms of market share and fleet size, London Executive Aviation (www.flylea.com) is the largest business aviation charter operator in the United Kingdom, which is one of Europe’s three largest business aviation markets. LEA was founded in 1996 by Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, George Galanopoulos and Amanda Galanopoulos. The award-winning company operates a diverse fleet of 26 aircraft, ranging from the Beechcraft KingAir 200 turboprop to the large-cabin, long-range Dassault Falcon 2000LX business jet. LEA is also the largest European operator of the super-midsize Embraer Legacy 600/650 business jet, with a fleet of eight Legacy aircraft. As part of Luxaviation Group, LEA will continue to be led by chief executive Patrick Margetson-Rushmore and managing director George Galanopoulos, both of whom retain significant shareholdings in the company.

With the addition of LEA, Luxaviation Group offers the expertise and knowhow of 470 employees across five European operating companies: Luxaviaton (Luxembourg), Luxaviation (Germany), Abelag (Belgium), Unijet (France) and now LEA. Luxaviation Group is also active in the high-growth markets of Asia-Pacific through a commercial office in Singapore. Luxaviation Group now operates a combined fleet of 90 business aircraft, with particular strengths in the fast-growing large-cabin business jet market.

In common with other Luxaviation Group companies, LEA will retain its identity, leadership and operational independence while benefiting from valuable synergies within the group. These benefits include economies of scale in the purchasing of fuel, insurance, training and other significant cost areas; increased aircraft availability and utilisation within the group, with a broader range of aircraft types; and collaboration with other group companies to enhance best practice in all operational areas.

Patrick Hansen, co-CEO of Luxaviation Group, says: “The integration of London Executive Aviation into Luxaviation Group represents a further important step in our international growth strategy and superbly complements Luxaviation’s market-leading operations in Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. With economic recovery beginning to take hold across Europe, this is the ideal time to create a new force in European business aviation that harnesses the expertise, reputation and combined scale of the region’s most outstanding operators.”

Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of LEA, says: “We are delighted to become part of Luxaviation Group, as we share the same corporate culture and philosophy about the market’s future development. Luxaviation is bringing together strong and trusted brands, with deep local knowledge and long-term customer relationships, and enabling these businesses to thrive through purchasing efficiencies, collaboration and shared best practice.”  

George Galanopoulos, managing director of LEA, adds: “There is a superb fit between LEA and our new sister companies within Luxaviation Group. We have all grown and built our reputations through outstanding service and have a shared understanding of the evolving needs of customers. We also face common challenges, such as the increasing regulatory burden on our industry, and by joining forces are achieving the scale needed to continue setting new service standards.”

Luxaviation Group was advised by Saphir Capital Partners, a Luxembourgish M&A advisory company. London Executive Aviation was advised by the London City law firm Speechly Bircham.

Luxaviation Group and its operating companies will be exhibiting at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland from 20-22 May (stand 6017).

Further information:
(1)    Operating company information:
Abelag: www.abelag.be, Luxaviation Germany: www.luxaviation.com, London Executive Aviation: www.flylea.com, Luxaviation Luxembourg: www.luxaviation.com, Unijet: www.unijet.aero

(2)    Photo caption: (left to right) LEA chief executive Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, Luxaviation Group co-CEO Patrick Hansen and LEA managing director George Galanopoulos celebrate their companies’ new relationship.

When using pictures provided herewith in publications please quote source: “Luxaviation Group”.

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