Lydd Air, based in Kent, UK, is starting to offer ad hoc services from the Isle of Man using a King Air B200, under the banner of World Executive Airways. Senior line pilot and safety manager Barry Pritchard states that if the market improves, the company will look to make permanent additions to its fleet, and says the King Air is preferable to Lydd Air's Beechjet for this mission profile: “Most of the market is looking to travel for between an hour and an hour-and-a-half. When you base that on a turboprop versus a jet, it is probably about 30 per cent cheaper to do it in the prop.
“The King Air cabin is slightly larger. Our Beechjet is an option though, if the client so desires.”
The company has been in business for over 16 years and runs a scheduled service to Le Touquet, initially with Trislanders and more recently with Chieftains. The Isle of Man operation will focus on turbine-based charter, and Pritchard believes there is a demand for this in the region.
“This is a brand new concept,” he says. “We've got together with Rendezvous Sky, which is a new company set up by the owner of Rendezvous Handling Services, an IoM ground handler that will market the King Air locally.
“A lot of people do pay for charters out on the Isle of Man, but they are also paying for the positioning costs as well. It will be entirely G-reg AOC aircraft that we are using.” By 2015, Pritchard would like to operate with two King Airs in addition to the Beechjet.