UK charter and management company Zenith Aviation has taken delivery of first of two Bombardier Learjet 75s from an October 2017 order for the superlight business aircraft.
The seven-seater is scheduled to enter commercial service on 19 April on receipt of its certificate of airworthiness from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The second Learjet 75 is expected to arrive at Zenith’s London Biggin Hill base on 21 April, and enter service before the end of the month. Zenith already has two of the type, which arrived in late 2016.
“The arrival of the fourth unit will make us the largest operator of the Learjet 75 in Europe,” says Zenith managing director Stuart Mulholland.
The aircraft will help to fill the demand for short-haul charter flights from within this burgeoning market, he adds. Zenith’s line-up also includes a managed Learjet 45 – the predecessor to the 75.
Mulholland points to a 40% year-on-year climb in charter hours across the Zenith fleet in 2017. “Each of our aircraft typically flies around 400h annually, but last year they were each recording 600h,” he says.
He is confident the market will remain bullish in 2018. “New aircraft are a major draw for charter customers,” Mulholland notes. “The arrival of our first pair of Learjet 75s at the end of 2016 triggered a wave of new business, so we expect to be very busy indeed when all four aircraft are in service.”
Zenith is now seeking to acquire a new superlight Cessna Citation XLS+, to replace a 2008 model which it sold last year.
The company is also hoping to break into the long-range business jet charter market, with the arrival in the third quarter of a managed Global XRS, says Mulholland.