Farnborough-based Gama Aviation has introduced a Cessna CJ2+ to its managed charter fleet, new onto the UK register. Together with the addition of a 13-seat Falcon 2000 due imminently, its European charter fleet now totals 28 aircraft, 11 of which are based in the UK.
The company reports a steady amount of wide-bodied charter and clients are primarily business clients flying to destinations in the USA, India and South Africa, but it has also seen an upturn in the use of smaller and mid-size jets, by government, vip, celebrities, business executives and leisure customers. Overall, business is up about seven per cent compared with this time last year.
In August Gama signed an exclusive partnership with Asia Miles to provide business jet services to its 3.9 million members worldwide. Asia Miles members can now earn miles when using Gama's business jet services, which can connect with Asian airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Dragonair.
Gama recently recruited its 100th pilot, and has bolstered its senior operations team. Capt Steve Woodfine has been promoted to chief pilot. A five-year employee and formerly fleet manager, he previously held management positions at South African Airways, Dan Air, Virgin Express and easyJet.
Ian Cheese has been appointed director of flight operations. Most recently, Ian was general manager for turboprops at UK low fare regional airline Flybe.
Capt Brian Cozens is newly appointed head of training, having previously held the same position at XL Airways.
"These appointments add significant experience and expertise to our already strong and long-standing management team as we continue our global expansion plans and shape our business for the future," said Gama Group ceo Marwan Khlalek. He paid particular tribute to Steve Wright who has been his right-hand man for 28 years.