Luxaviation Helicopters has snapped up UK rotorcraft services company Starspeed, to become the largest VIP helicopter provider in the world.
The deal, for an undisclosed fee, is the first purchase by Luxaviation Helicopters since its launch in February as a division of business aircraft charter and management company Luxaviation. The deal more than doubles its rotary-wing fleet.
Starspeed’s line-up consists of 23 managed aircraft, including a Bell Helicopter 429 light-twin, six Airbus Helicopters H155 medium-twins and a heavy-class, 16-seat Sikorsky S-92. The inventory will be incorporated into Luxaviation’s 19-strong fleet of managed helicopters.
Company chief executive Charlotte Pedersen says the acquisition of Starspeed followed a period of “careful” market evaluation. “We were looking for a company with a great reputation to help us to to grow the helicopter market, and become the global brand in high-end rotorcraft management and charter, just as Luxaviation has done in business aircraft sector.”
Luxembourg-headquartered Luxaviation began operations in 2009 with a single business jet. Since 2011 it has acquired six companies, and now ranks as the world's largest business aircraft charter and management company, with a fleet of 250 fixed-wing aircraft.
“There is so much untapped potential in the VIP helicopter market,” says Pedersen. “This is a growth area, and we will continue to look for opportunities to expand the business.”
Pedersen says the company will explore further acquisitions, but adds that she is also keen to develop the venture organically – with a particular focus on multi-engined helicopters – and through joint ventures and partnerships with local operators.
“We want to work with established, well-respected companies across the world who can support our customers,” she says. “This is a great opportunity for us to grow the business and keep our clients within the Luxaviation network.”