"Officially, we're not biased, of course," says Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of London Executive Aviation, with a smile, "but we can't deny we were delighted Chelsea reached the UEFA Champions League football final against Bayern Munich. In truth, I've long been a Chelsea supporter and regularly visit Stamford Bridge with my sons, so I'm naturally thrilled by the team's achievements this year.
"And what a fantastic result for Chelsea and stunning finish to the match. Didier Drogba winning the game, with literally his last ever kick as a Chelsea player, was extraordinary. As you can imagine, there were lots of happy passengers flying back to London with us.
"Ultimately, we flew a diverse fleet of 15 aircraft to the general aviation airport of Oberpfaffenhofen for the match, which represented over half our entire business jet charter fleet. In fact, our entire available charter fleet was flying over the Champions League final weekend, which goes to prove business aviation really is in high demand again and fighting back after the recession."
He adds: "The fact the match went to extra-time and penalties meant we had to rapidly reorganise our planned return schedules and slots, but flexibility is one of the great virtues of business aviation. All our passengers were on their way home within minutes of arriving back at Oberpfaffenhofen airport after the match. We would like to thank everybody involved in the Champions League operation, including all our crews, our operations team and the handling team at Oberpfaffenhofen, for making the weekend such a success.
"Next stop: Poland and Ukraine for the Euro 2012 football championships!"
Safety in the cloud
LEA recently announced that it has signed up for Vistair's SafetyNet cloud-based safety reporting system for its entire fleet. Nick Attah, flight safety officer, says: "We pride ourselves on providing our customers with a comprehensive set of aircraft charter options, backed by a robust safety management system. SafetyNet is a core component of that policy," he adds.
Vistair's customers include a variety of commercial airlines, as well as TAG Aviation and Netjets.