August 1, 1999
To cater for its clients' desires for larger, longer range aircraft, Madrid-based air taxi company Sky Service Aviation has doubled its fleet by adding a Learjet 55 aircraft. The company also plans to add an aircraft with transatlantic capabilities at the end of the year, according to its chief of operations Captain Manuel Collados. "We already operate a Learjet 35 but sometimes customers want more room and range so we looked at the Learjet 55 and now operate two aircraft," he said. \rThe 1984 model aircraft is based at Madrid Torrejon and features four club seats and a three-place beige leather couch in the aft. The aircraft is managed on behalf of a Madrid-based client and is available for third party charter when not being used by the owner. Sky Service Aviation will soon be joining the transatlantic jet set if its plans to acquire an aircraft capable of making the hop across the pond in one go reach fruition. Although the addition of the Lear 55 has opened up new possibilities, the company still has to make a fuel stop in Iceland on route to the US. Collados says that no definite aircraft type or manufacturer has as yet been chosen.\rHe echoes the exasperation common to all operators at Torrejon who are required to use Madrid-Barajas airport when the former military base closes at midnight. Collados explains that all flights that arrive at Barajas during the night still have to leave by 6.00 the following morning. He told EBAN that he sees little chance of the situation changing despite recent developments at Barajas, "We have a license to operate GA at Torrejon for another 40 years," he points out. "We have all the facilities for business aviation except public transport - we have to use taxis all the time." Any concerns have not however put a damper on his belief in the current healthy state of the industry in the area. As evidence of this he points to his own company's growth plans and those he sees at other Spanish and Portuguese operators.