Swiss PrivateAviation - Lufhansa's new dedicated business aviation division -made its debut today at EBACE, where it also kicked offan official marketing campaign designed to broaden its share of Europe's business aircraft management arena and boost operational support for its sister company Lufthansa Private Jet (LPJ).

The Zurich-based company recently took over the operation of LPJ's growing Cessna Citation fleet from Swiss European Airlines.

Swiss PrivateAviation -a subsidiary of Swiss International Airlines itself a subsidiary of Lufthansa German Airlines - was formed last year following the acquisition by Swiss of business aviation charter and management company Servair Private Aviation.

The acquisition of the 25-year-old company is intended to strengthen Lufthansa's foothold in the business aircraft arena and reduce LPJ's reliance on third-party operators - Austria's Jet Alliance and Germany's DC Aviation -for back-up when its dedicated fleet of business jets is fully used.

Jack Pelton 
 © Billypix

"We have spent the last six months restructuring and reorganising to bring the company in line with the Lufthansa philosophy," said Swiss PrivateAviation chief operating officer Claudio Peer at the show. "We have sold all three Servair business jets - a Cessna Citation Excel, Bravo and Citation II - and started with a clean slate," adds Peer, who is also a former senior executive of Servair.

Swiss PrivateAviation is offering two management options, Peer said. "Private management for those customers who do not want their aircraft made available for third party charter, and commercial management. This is our main focus as we will need to provide back up for LPJ during the busiest times."

LPJ last year amassed 1200 flight hours across its then four-strong fleet and subchartered around 200h. "We want to keep as much of this business as we can in the Lufthansa family, but we appreciate this will not always be possible," Peer said.

Under the current rules Swiss registered aircraft cannot provide point-to-point travel within Germany so DCAviation will continue to provide a key role for LPJ in that country.

In the meantime, Lufthansa is considering applying for a European Union air operator's certificate that will allow Swiss PrivateAviation to operate freely across Europe. The LPJ fleet currently consists of two super-light XLS+s, one CJ1 and two CJ3 light business jets.

A further two CJ1s are setfor delivery before the end of the third quarter. "We are looking to expand the range of business jets on offer from light to large-cabin models, but we don't really want to have more than four different manufacturer types in the fleet," Peer said.

Source: Flight Daily News