Swiss PrivateAviation (stand 650) - Lufthansa's dedicated business aviation division - is broadening its product offering with the introduction of large-cabin, narrow and widebody-airliner sized business jets.
Talks are under way with prospective customers with a view to adding the first aircraft within the next two months and up to six aircraft a year.
Speaking to Flight Evening News at the show this morning, Claudio Peer, chief operating officer for the Zurich-based, mainly light business jet operator, said: "To be a success in the management and charter business you must offer a full range of aircraft types, from the light-cabin Cessna Citation CJ1, for example, to the airliner-sized A340. Our growth plan calls for between five and six aircraft [large cabin upwards] a year, but this of course depends on the size of each type and the amount of man hours needed to support it."
Peer added that Swiss PrivateAviation will grow the fleet through private and commercial management and not through acquisition.
Chief executive Peter Koch said the introduction of large-cabin aircraft is a response to the growing demand for these types from Swiss PrivateAviation's sister company Lufthansa Private Jets, for which it operates a seven-strong fleet of Cessna Citations.
The lift is now provided by third-party operators Austria's Jet Alliance and Germany's DC Aviation.
He said: "We would like to service this demand for large-cabin and long-range types such as the Dassault Falcon 2000, Bombardier Challenger 604/605 and Global XRS - much of which is coming from LPJ's Russian customers."
Koch admitted that the large cabin management industry is very competitive in Europe compared with the more niche and discerning VIP airliner market to which it gains access through its sister company and VIP completions specialist Lufthansa Technik.
"Being a part of the Lufthansa group, we have a huge amount of experience with airliners and business aviation, but we can also leverage the necessary products and services offered by the company to support our customers," says Koch.
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