London City Airport Jet Centre is responding to the “phenomenal” growth in general aviation movements by opening a new charter brokering service, PrivateJet.
Jet Centre commercial director John Brutnell says the demand for charters at the airport drove the decision to launch the service, which will source private aircraft for any client itinerary. In its first month of operations PrivateJet has already organised charters of a Boeing 737 and several smaller aircraft. “The success of the airport has generated an opportunity to diversify and organically grow our general aviation business,” he adds.
Brutnell attributes the success of the general aviation business at the airport to London City’s “very strong brand identity”. He claims that despite being new, PrivateJet will be launched into an “established market, supported by both the airport and the Jet Centre”.
The Jet Centre was opened in 2002 in “little more than a Portakabin”, says Brutnell, growing from nothing to more than 10,000 movements in 2005 – up 50% on 2004. He claims that chartering private aircraft can be as cost-effective as scheduled air travel and that the benefits are “unsurpassed in terms of flexibility and service standards”.
Future plans include a doubling of the Jet Centre’s area to accommodate the expected increases in general aviation traffic. “We need to be ready for the Olympics in 2012,” says Brutnell.