Kate Sarsfield/LONDON

A single-engine fractional leasing programme has been set up in Zurich, Switzerland, with Pilatus PC-12 turboprops.


SkyAir TimeJet has already taken delivery of five aircraft, making it the largest European PC-12 operator, and has signed up 14 customers. "We hope to add two aircraft and five to six customers to our programme each year and already have two more PC-12s on order which will be delivered early next year," says SkyAir chief executive Juerg Fleischmann.

SkyAir says there is "high demand" for the seven-seat PC-12 within Europe. "TimeJet is typically aimed at small and medium size companies which need to avoid delay ridden international airports. The PC-12 can access over 2,000 airfields, even those with runways as short as 600m (2,000ft)," says Fleischmann.

TimeJet customers subscribe to 50, 100 or 150 flight hours a year, which includes monthly management and operating costs. For a 100h contract, customers pay a monthly leasing fee of SFr9,000 ($5,200), SFr1,500 per occupied flight hour and aircraft handling fees of SFr300 per landing. Response time, only guaranteed under the 100h and 150h contracts, is set at 24h and 18h respectively.

Although SkyAir is believed to be the only European PC-12 fractional operator, a similar shared ownership programme deploying Socata TBM-700s was launched in February by Luxembourg-based Jetfly Aviation. An impending decision by the European Joint Aviation Authorities to approve commercial single-engine instrument flight rules operations could also result in an influx of single turboprop-based charter operations in the region.

Source: Flight International