Privately owned AirJet, a French charter and freight airline, is building up a fleet of Saab 2000s in a bid to capitalise on a growing market for the high-speed turboprop.

The airline's first Saab, leased from Jean-Paul Dubreuil, the former chairman and owner of France's Regional Airlines, was delivered last November and AirJet plans to lease a further two in May or June directly from the Swedish manufacturer. The company says there is strong demand for the aircraft among German and French corporate jet users, who are attracted to the 45-50 seat capacity.

Next month, AirJet also plans to add a third 100-seat BAe 146 for night cargo flights and daytime charters.

AirJet, which was bought from the Netherlands-based TNT by French private holding Aquitania in December 2000, expects turnover to increase from €20 million ($17 million) to €52 million this year.

Source: Flight International