Flexjet set to almost double its European fleet by the end of 2022, following successful pilot hiring campaign and opening of new Tactical Control Centre
May 19, 2022
- The premium private jet operator opens new state-of-the-art Tactical Control Centre at Farnborough Airport as it sees year-on-year flight activity increase by +180%
- Flexjet was the fleet launch customer for Embraer’s super-midsize Praetor 600 and is now adding three more to its fleet in Europe
- The move comes ahead of the annual EBACE industry convention in Geneva, Switzerland, from 23 to 25 May
London, 19th May 2022: Premium private jet provider Flexjet is set to almost double its European fleet in the coming months, following a 180% annual uplift in flight activity in the region in the first four months of 2022.
Continuing to reinforce its partnership with Embraer Executive Jets, Flexjet is adding three more super-midsize Praetor 600s to its European fleet before the end of May. It is also set to operate the Gulfstream G650 in Europe from July, mirroring the success of its U.S. G650 programme, with two of the ultra-long range jets based in Europe by the end of the year.
Flexjet has made significant investments in its European crew and infrastructure over the past six months to prepare for the fleet increase, opening a new state-of-the-art Tactical Control Centre and office space at Farnborough Airport in April to form the operational heart of its European operation. This replaces its previous UK operations facility in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and adds to its second European Operational Centre in Malta and sales centre in London’s Mayfair. The company has also undertaken a focused hiring campaign for pilots, successfully adding 33 more to its European crew, since the start of November 2021.
These announcements come ahead of the European business aviation industry’s premier event, EBACE, taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 23 to 25 May 2022.
Flexjet European Managing Director, Marine Eugène, said: “We are delighted to confirm these significant investments, which are fueling our continued expansion in Europe. Demand for our services continues to be exceptionally strong, with our fleet already seeing a +180% annual uplift in activity so far this year. New programme sales and forward bookings are also very robust, so we are well-prepared for a busy summer and second half of the year.
“The opening of our new facility at Farnborough Airport, which includes our state-of-the-art Tactical Control Centre, represents a very significant investment in infrastructure and perfectly places our team on the site of one of Europe’s most impressive business aviation airports, as we continue our ambitious plans to build Flexjet in Europe over the coming years. With Farnborough such a key London gateway, we are also excited by the potential to broaden our offering here, including providing seamless central London connections via our group-operated helicopter fleet.”
The three new Praetor 600s are part of a global $1.4 billion [£1.1 billion] order Flexjet placed with Embraer in 2019, when Flexjet was announced as the Praetor fleet launch customer. With a flight range of 7,441km, the high-performing jet is the only super-midsize aircraft capable of transatlantic flight.
Additionally Flexjet has worked closely with the Embraer Services & Support aftermarket team this year to retrofit Ka-band Wi-Fi on its Legacy 500s, making it the only large fleet operator in Europe to offer the ultra-fast Wi-Fi connectivity on all its aircraft.
Michael Amalfitano, President & CEO of Embraer Executive Jets, said: “Flexjet is one of our most important global customers and we are delighted that our technologically advanced Praetor 600 is proving key to their European market success. This is a long standing, mutually rewarding, evolving partnership for us, and we look forward to finding new ways to support Flexjet’s growth and continue to offer their customers the ultimate experience in business aviation.”
Marine Eugène added: “Our strong partnership with Embraer remains pivotal to the next phase of our expansion. The Praetor 600 is a fantastic aircraft, offering exceptional performance and unsurpassed comfort in its category. Our premium fleet offering, together with our Flexjet Red Label service experience, gives us a highly competitive position in the European shared ownership market.”
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Flexjet is one of the world’s leading providers of private jet travel and a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. Long-established in the U.S. fractional jet ownership market since 1995, its European operation launched in 2019 based in London’s Mayfair, with a Tactical Control Centre At Farnborough Airport, and a second Operational Centre in Malta.
In Europe Flexjet offers shared ownership of its premium fleet of business jets, including the Embraer Legacy 500 and Praetor 600. Internationally the exclusive fleet includes the Embraer Phenom 300, Legacy 450 and Praetor 500, Bombardier Challenger 350, the Gulfstream G450 and G650.
Flexjet’s European operation is compliant with the International Standard for Business Aviation Operators (IS-BAO) and is a Wyvern Wingman Certified Operator. In the U.S. its fractional aircraft programme was the first in the world to be recognised as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honoured with 23 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating, and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2.
In Europe Flexjet holds a 4AIR Silver Rating, recognising its leading approach to sustainability. This includes offsetting 300% of carbon emissions for every flight, with Owners also able to commit to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) or credits; and invest in the Aviation Climate Fund (ACF) to support future flight research and development projects.