Kate Sarsfield/LONDON

Swiss business aircraft "airline" PrivatAir is expanding into the US market and strengthening its position in Europe after acquiring Ogden's Flight Services Group (FSG) in Connecticut and Transair at Paris Le Bourget airport.

The deals also mark the Geneva-based company's entry into the fixed based operator, ground handling and aircraft sales market.

Dave Kinson, PrivatAir's technical director says: "We have been planning to widen the range of services offered to our customers, whom we felt we lost control of once they stepped out of the aircraft." The company admits expanding its product range will spread the risk in the event of an economic downturn.

PrivatAir specialises in transporting VIPs, including government officials and heads of state, as well as providing tailored charter services such as promotional tours and product launches.

The company plans to adapt its services to the US market from where it also plans to broaden its operating base through joint ventures and further acquisitions.


PrivatAir operates six aircraft in total - three Boeing Business Jets, a Boeing 737-300, a 757 and a Gulfstream IV-SP, which has been dispatched to Connecticut to support the US operation. The 737-300 is expected to follow shortly.

Kinson admits further aircraft acquisitions are unlikely in the short term as FSG manages a growing fleet of 46 aircraft, of which 20 aircraft are available for charter. He says: "Our immediate plan is to renovate the Transair FBO. Work has begun on an FFr8 million [$1.1 million] facelift due to be finished in June."

Source: Flight International