Luxaviation, the world’s second-largest business aircraft operator, has launched a dedicated VIP helicopter division, which it hopes will become the global name in high-end rotorcraft management and charter.
The company manages about 250 business aircraft and 20 helicopters across its network, which covers Africa, the Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East. It also owns 24 fixed-base operations through its ExecuJet subsidiary.
Luxaviation Helicopters plans to expand the rotorcraft business organically, through joint ventures and by acquisitions. “It’s a logical extension of what we do,” says Charlotte Pedersen, chief executive of the newly formed company. “Our aim is to bring the luxury service standards of business aircraft into the helicopter world, and become the global brand for VIP helicopter charter and management.”
Pedersen – who was formerly Luxaviation’s chief operating officer – stresses that the company is looking to work with local operators to develop the market together: “We want to work with established, well-respected local companies across the world who can support our customers,” she says. “This is a great opportunity for us to grow the business and to keep our clients within the Luxaviation network.”
The company is looking to manage helicopters from the mid-size category upwards, “but we will consider smaller models”, Pedersen says.
Luxembourg-headquartered Luxaviation began operations in 2009 with a single business jet. It started down the acquisition trail in 2011 with the purchase of German charter company FairJets. Since 2013, it has added five more companies to its portfolio through debt-funded acquisitions, including London Executive Aviation in the UK and Swiss business aviation services provider ExecuJet.