30/05/2008 OXFORD AIRPORT SECURES FIRST VLJ OPERATOR
Newly established VLJ Consultancy Ltd confirmed that Oxford Airport, UK will be its client’s headquarters for a fleet of new Embraer Phenom 100 Very Light Jets. The new private air charter and bespoke air taxi company, whose name will be announced at this year’s Farnborough Air Show, will operate with the first Phenom 100 from May 2009.
It is proposing a route network of air taxi charter services with the four-seat Phenom jets, covering mainland Europe, plus UK domestic cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Newquay and other South West destinations, as well as cities in Scotland and Ireland.
Oxford Airport will be the center of the wheel and we are looking forward to adding the spokes, says managing director David Fletcher, noting the company hopes to pick up traffic to a number of inter-European sporting events and short leisure breaks.
David Fletcher took the opportunity to visit EBACE in Geneva, Europe’s premier aviation show last week and came away extremely encouraged: We are convinced this is the right time for an operation like this, but being a small player in the lucrative business aviation market can make or break you if you don’t have the right aircraft, or the right airport base.
He added: We have been convinced of the merits of Oxford Airport from the outset with its extremely attractive airport charges, its position outside the London TMA (terminal movement area), a strong and affluent catchment area and owners who have pledged considerable investment to make Oxford a first class business aviation airport. Coming to EBACE and viewing the specifications of other very light jets on offer we are now convinced we have the right aircraft too.
David Fletcher, currently a Monarch Airlines Airbus A320 Captain, will head up the new company. They will be looking to recruit personnel, including several pilots later this year. Discussions will also soon commence with chauffeur car companies, catering organizations and boutique hotels in the Oxford area, said Fletcher.
Investors of the new start up business are private professionals. They have committed to one Phenom 100, plus an additional two on option, for delivery in 2012. The company is also looking at the larger Phenom 300 or possibly the Embraer Legacy 500 for future growth.
Oxford Airport announced at EBACE that their new business aviation terminal for passengers and flight crew will be known as Oxfordjet. The new facility is due to open in July this year. Overlooking the main business aircraft apron, the new Oxfordjet facility will give crews easy access to their aircraft. Separate lounges will be provided for crews with additional rest areas, along with VIP and ˜VVIP’ zones for passengers, assuring maximum anonymity and privacy. Private shower rooms, a crew kitchen, bar and meeting rooms, together with customs and immigration facilities will also be provided for within the new facility.