Gulfstream opens new warehouse close proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta

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Gulfstream has opened a new aircraft parts distribution hub in Atlanta, within two miles of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The warehouse’s location will allow for parts to be delivered around the world quickly and efficiently.

“Atlanta is the optimal choice for our newest warehouse,” commented Derek Zimmerman, President, Gulfstream Customer Support. “Hartsfield-Jackson typically offers more than 150 domestic and 70 international nonstop flights and has been named the most efficient airport in the world. By distributing parts directly from Atlanta, we can save shipping and delivery time in order to provide the most expedient service to our customers.”

The warehouse maintains approximately $23 million in parts inventory. Crane Worldwide Logistics provides the warehouse space and handles logistics services.

Gulfstream’s global parts inventory totals more than $1.3 billion. Its parts network includes the main Customer Support Distribution Centre in Savannah with additional distribution centres in Van Nuys, California; Teterboro, New Jersey; as well as Amsterdam in the Netherlands; Basel in Switzerland; Hong Kong and Singapore.

Signature Flight Support acquires two Swiss FBO locations

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The world’s largest network of private aviation terminals, Signature Flight Support, has added two new locations to its European network, having acquired TAG Aviation’s FBO, SA and its fixed base operators (FBOs) at Geneva and Sion. The purchase represents Signature’s first foray into the Swiss private aviation sector.

Featuring three private passenger lounges, two crew rest areas, in addition to a small conference room, TAG’s facilities in Geneva’s general aviation terminal also provide Swiss and French customs clearance directly on site to arriving visitors. During the winter season de-icing is available and the FBS’s dedicated fuelling capabilities are capable of handling up to transport category aircraft.

The Sion facility is a complementary location encompassing a private terminal and hangar complex with on-site Swiss customs.

“Europe continues to be an area of strategic opportunity for our global business,” explained Mark Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer, Signature Aviation. “TAG Aviation’s tenured presence in Geneva presented an excellent means to enter the second busiest general aviation market in Europe, and its operations in Sion are a source of valuable seasonal traffic. We look forward to building on the extensive reputation for service excellence that TAG Aviation has cultivated.”

Signature Aviation sees traffic increase

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According to Signature Aviation, which operates the world’s largest FBO chain – Signature Flight Support, business aircraft activity continues to show an improving trend.

The company saw a 38% decline in revenues during the first six months of 2020 as a result of country lockdowns and travel restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In April the company noted a 77% reduction in activity year-on-year. However business aviation is now showing signs of recovery with May down an average of 58% from the same period in 2019. In June it was down just 32%.

Mark Johnstone, Signature Aviation’s CEO commented: “Since our AGM statement in mid-May, flight activity across our global network has continued to show an encouraging recovery and, in the US, with the support of the CARES Act, we have now called back all our furloughed staff. As we look forward, I remain confident in the resilience and potential of our market leading FBO business model, the quality of our unique network, the strength of our liquidity and therefore our ability to continue to invest in and grow our attractive and high return business.”

To further demonstrate the company’s positive outlook, Johnstone confirmed that Signature Aviation has recently reached an agreement to acquire two FBOs in Geneva and Sion in Switzerland. He added, “Finally, and as a precautionary measure given the macroeconomic uncertainties, we have secured a covenant waiver from our relationship banks for December 2020 and June 2o21.”

The company has also continued to invest growth capital during the COVID-19 period, recently opening its newly constructed Atlanta FBO, which has been built to LEED silver standard.

London Oxford Airport welcomes new Tamarck Aerospace facility

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Situated just outside the UK capital, London Oxford Airport is set to welcome a new European Installation Centre for Tamarack Aerospace, the manufacturer of Active Winglet Technology.

The new facility implements thec ompany’s long-held expansion goals and marks an exciting growth phase for Tamarack.

“We are very excited to be expanding into Europe, strengthening the business and being able to offer the same high level of service that our customers in the US love so much,” Nick Guida, CEO of Tamarack Aerospace said. “After a short period of building experience, our goal is to offer customers installations in just one week, which will be of significant benefit to mainly the charter market that exists here.”

Tamarack’s new facility will independently operate out of the Oxford Jet Maintenance International (JMI) facility. “We have had a great relationship with Tamarack Aerospace for a number of years, and love their innovative Active Winglet product,” Ed Griffith, director at JMI said. “We already carry out a range of maintenance on Citation 525 series aircraft at our brand new state-of-the-art 18,000ft facility, so this partnership is a great fit for us and our customers.”

Tamarack’s firs two customer installations are set to begin in late July 2020.

Steels up for Bombardier hangar at Biggin Hill

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Construction of Bombardier Aviation’s new 250,000 sq. ft hangar at London Biggin Hill Airport is now underway with the steels for the hangar going up.

As well as the state-of-the-art hangar, the facility will also comprise of a workshop, and office space and 650,000 sq.ft of apron area and surrounds.

“Construction of the hangar is continuing apace and it’s fantastic the steels are already being installed. The hangar will be able to house up to 14 Global 7500s at any one time and is a significant extension of Bombardier’s European customer support network at London Biggin Hill.”

The hangar’s construction contributes towards the dedicated business aviation hub’s ambitious target of generating 2,300 jobs at the airport by 2030.

Header image: From left to right: David Winstanley, CEO, London Biggin Hill Airport and Robert Walters, Commercial Director, London Biggin Hill Airport

SEA Prime and Signature Flight Support UK complete SFS Italy deal

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Signature Flight Support has acquired SEA Prime’s minority interest in Signature Flight Support Italy (SFS Italy).

Following its initial investment in SFS Italy in 2016 and having now acquired SEA Prime’s 40% minority interest, the deal means that Signature Flight Support now fully owns the Italian business.

Chiara Dorigotti, SEA Prime’s CEO, said: “We are glad to announce this deal with Signature Flight Support, which we see as the natural development of a successful 4-year partnership. SFS Italy will continue to operate at Milano Prime’s premises offering top quality services for customers and operators.”

Meanwhile, Mark Johnstone, CEO Signature Aviation, stated the acquisition shows “our commitment to growing our business in Italy and other key markets around the world.” He added, “We are proud to fully incorporate the Italian business into the Signature family and offer our customers premier choices for flight support services throughout the country. We are also thankful to SEA Prime for their strong partnership, which dates back to our entry into the Italian market back in 2016.”

SFS’s network in Italy is comprised of: FBOs at Milan Linate, Milan Malpensa and Rome -Ciampino. It also includes trip support arrangements at Bergamo, Catania, Florence, Naples, Palermo and Pisa. Additionally SFS maintains a Signature Select FBO partnership agreement at Venice Marco Polo.

London City gears up for reopening

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Having closed to commercial passenger traffic on 25 March in response to the coronavirus crisis, London City is preparing to reopen for passenger flights on 21 June.

Ahead of that date the airport has conducted  a survey that shows many of its customers plan to get back in the air as soon as possible.

The survey found that an overwhelming majority (79%) were either very likely or quite likely to travel when they are told it is safe to do so by the government and airports or airlines. Almost half of customers (48%) were very likely to do so.

And contradicting claims that business travel is over, 41% of London City’s flyers anticipate they will take a flight for business within the next three months.

Customers’ responses also revealed insights into what passengers expect from the new flying experience. With social distancing and personal hygiene at the front of everyone’s mind, 78% of London City’s flyers said they were more likely to avoid check-in desks, while 65% said having hand sanitiser stations in multiple locations is very important and 85% said they would be more likely to use an airport if they can get to their gate in 20 minutes or less. Additional cleaning of high-touch areas and surfaces was also deemed to be the single most important measure, with 68% of respondents calling it as very important.

Commenting on customers’ responses, Robert Sinclair, CEO London City Airport said: “This clear early demand from our passengers to get back to flying is really encouraging… We have worked hard to create a safe environment at the airport, so they can get back to flying in confidence. At the same time, we have to be careful not to sacrifice the speed through the airport which passengers have always valued and is now more important than ever, as these results show.”

Sinclair added that with the aviation market opening up across Europe this week, “It is my hope that air bridges can be agreed quickly with low risk European neighbours. This news would be a shot in the arm for the industry as well as for the wider UK economy.”

London First Transport Director, Adam Tyndall, added: “Both blanket Foreign Office advice not to travel abroad and the mandatory two-week quarantine for all arrivals into the UK should be limited to the highest risk countries. Aviation can play a vital role in the economic recovery – from exports and professional services through to universities and hospitality – but only if the government removes these indiscriminate constraints and reverts to a nuanced, risk-based approach.”

The first flights to resume at London City Airport will serve domestic routes. On 21 June British Airways plans to operate flights to the Isle of Man. New routes will also begin between central London and Teesside in the North East and Dundee in Scotland on 6 July. These will be operated by Eastern Airways and Loganair respectively.

To help boost regional connectivity, it is also expected that services to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin, will also return in July.

Luxaviation acquires Paris-Le Bourget VIP terminal.

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Paris-Le Bourget VIP Terminal (FBO) has been acquired by Luxembourg-based Luxaviation Group from Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA) Group.

“With the acquisition of the prestigious Paris-Le Bourget VIP Terminal, we are able to further grow our 26 strong VIP Terminal network under our ExecuJet Brand and provide our clients with an unrivalled full-service ground handling in an unparalleled location,” said Patrick Hansen, CEO of Luxaviation Group.

Owned by ACA Group, Sky Valet France handles the VIP terminal at Paris Le- Bourget managing its own terminal with secured parking, dedicated security filter and ramp area. In 2019 it handled more than 6,000 business aircraft movements representing 12% market share.

Dominique Thillaud, President of the Board of ACA said: “After five years of continuous growth andhaving achieved a market share of 12%, we are pleased with the finalisation of this sale contract to Luxaviation Group, which will extend the efforts and good results of Sky Valet Paris- Le Bourget. The dynamism of this VIP terminal at one of Europe’s leading business airport can only contribute to the dynamism of our remaining FBO activities, in France and in Europe.”

Meanwhile CEO of Luxaviation France and Portugal Karol Gueremy, who will be supervising the team at the newly acquired terminal said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the 15 experienced colleagues of Sky Valet France in our Luxaviation team in Paris. Their recognised excellence matches the high-level service spirit of Luxaviation throughout the group and increases our service offering.”


King Aerospace outgrowing hangarage at Ardmore Municipal Airport

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A provider of aircraft services for aircraft including maintenance and avionics King Aerospace is outgrowing its four hangars’ 200,000 sq.ft of space at Ardmore Airport, part of Ardmore Municipal Airport in Oklahoma.

The company is finalising its plans to build a new hangar that will add 90,000 sq. ft.– a 45% increase. The additional footage will accommodate multiple large aircraft and facilities that will support large aircraft interior projects. Construction is expected to take up to 15 months.

Dallas-based King Aerospace has been at the airport since 1993 having been attracted initially by the two runways. The longest at 9,000 ft accommodates commercial airlines and long-range business jets. At 3,500 ft. the other serves turboprop aircraft and light-to-midsize jets.

“We appreciate the city’s ongoing improvements to infrastructure and commitment to help companies like King Aerospace grow,” said King Aerospace’s President, Jarid King. ‘Our city partners are always there for us, helping in ways large and small.”

Located between Dallas Fort Worth Airport and Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma, King Aerospace’s corporate aircraft division supports VVIP aircraft, specialising in the Boeing Business Jet. It also serves as a primary subcontractor for the company’s military/ government aircraft division.


Waltzing Matilda sees pick up in business

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Boston-based jet charter operator, Waltzing Matilda Aviation (WMA) has noted a pick up in business in the past week having experienced a quiet April and first half of May.

Based on levels of activity at its home base – Laurence G Hanscom Field Airport in Bedford, Massachusetts, WMA believes business is coming back faster than for some of the bigger national players who have been forced to furlough crews during the downturn. Having maintained full staffing levels in recent months WMA has used some of this downtime to invest in new systems and enhance its website.

Commenting on how WMA has been fielding up to 50 jet charter enquiries a day up from 5-10 just two weeks ago, CEO John Thomas, said: “With a massive imbalance in clients wanting to fly from Florida to the North East we are seeing unbelievably low pricing for one way southbound flights as low as $6,500. But we don’t expect this imbalance will last for more than a couple of weeks after which southbound pricing will rise to their more normal levels.”

Thomas added that with the FET (Federal Excise Tax) holiday until the end of December, as well as low fuel prices, now is one of the cheapest times to fly privately. “We have picked up a number of new corporate customers who have already made the decision not to allow their staff to fly commercially for the forseeable future and therefore see private aviation as the only viable option.”