A London-based charter company comes to EBACE confident that the market is showing clear signs of recovery.

"One glance at our order book shows that the European business aviation industry is beginning to recover," says Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of London Executive Aviation (LEA).

"Our industry naturally got a huge boost when operations resumed after the volcanic ash cloud, when customers turned to business aviation while the airlines got back up to speed," he says. "However, even before then, there were clear signs of returning customer demand."

"In March 2010, we booked in 149 jobs at LEA, compared with 115 jobs booked in March 2009. That's a very encouraging 29.6% increase across our total fleet."

London Executive Aviation
 © London Executive Aviation

LEA operates 24 aircraft, comprising seven types of business jet from the entry-level Cessna Citation Mustang to the transatlantic Dassault Falcon 900EX. Over the first quarter of 2010, LEA saw a 19.7% increase in overall fleet bookings to 438 compared with 366 in the same period in 2009.

"It's the larger business jets that are really attracting attention at the moment." Margetson-Rushmore says. "In the first quarter of 2010, for example, LEA booked 86 flights for the company's fleet of Embraer Legacy 600 aircraft, which fly up to 13 passengers, compared with 40 flights in the first quarter of 2009, up 115%.

"In particular, the Legacy 600 is proving a very popular choice among rock bands. We've already seen an unusually high number of tour managers booking the type this year for flights in the spring and summer," he says.

Source: Flight Daily News