Swiss aircraft charter company to take on its first non-Boeing aircraft for services

Swiss business aircraft services company PrivatAir will establish a base in Germany as part of a deal to run a corporate shuttle on behalf of Airbus. The Geneva-based company's aircraft charter division is to take delivery of two 126-seat Airbus A319s in a business-class layout in April ahead of taking over the shuttle service between Airbus's headquarters in Toulouse and three of its facilities in the rest of Europe.

As part of the five-year deal, the aircraft will be registered in Germany, with the company evaluating the location of its German office, either Hamburg, close to the Airbus site in Finkenwerder, or Düsseldorf, from where it runs an all-business class service for Lufthansa under its Swiss air operators certificate. One aircraft will be based in Finken-werder and the other at Broughton in the UK. PrivatAir is also considering the location of its crew base, as the aircraft will be available for weekend private charters.

The two A319s will be the first Airbus aircraft in PrivatAir's previously all-Boeing fleet. The company, which also operates a Cessna CitationJet shuttle on behalf of Procter & Gamble in Ohio and New York state, will now concentrate on winning further contracts, says chief operating officer Greg Thomas.

The aircraft will be leased from US lessor CIT Aerospace and delivered direct from Finkenwerder. The A319 service will replace two 96-seat BAe 146s, operated by British European and WDL Aviation, and PrivatAir is exploring several other Airbus shuttle routes using smaller aircraft, Thomas says.

Source: Flight International