Swiss business aviation operator PrivatAir plans to add another 12 airliner-size jets to its fleet in the next three years, says chief executive Greg Thomas.

At present it operates three Boeing Business Jets (BBJ), four Airbus A319s and a 757-200 in various corporate shuttle, VIP and business cabin configurations.

All of the new aircraft will either be A319s or BBJs for its airline and corporate customers, says Thomas. The first aircraft will be a 56-seat BBJ in an all-business configuration for the recently announced service being conducted on behalf of Swiss. This six-times weekly operation will begin in January, providing non-stop flights between Zurich and New York Newark airport. It will replace a Swiss A330.

PrivatAir's deal with Swiss adds to its first deals with Lufthansa to operate scheduled routes on behalf of a network carrier. The concept has been relatively slow to take off, says Thomas. However, he believes that "sub-contracting in this market environment is the key to making it work".

The business may have been slow to expand, but Thomas is confident of signing another airline deal within months. Of more concern is the availability of aircraft.

Source: Flight Daily News