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Route 1 Aviation introduces fractional Avantis to UK via AirGo AOC
London-based Route 1 Aviation is launching a jet card and fractional programme which seeks to attract regular fliers. The programme is a joint venture with AirGo, which will use the German operator's AOC and a core fleet of four Piaggio Avantis.
Read this story in our September 2014 printed issue.

London-based Route 1 Aviation is launching a jet card and fractional programme which seeks to attract regular fliers. The programme is a joint venture with AirGo, which will use the German operator's AOC and a core fleet of four Piaggio Avantis.

The company has been operating since 2008 as Fractional Jet Europe, and is using Route 1 as an entirely Avanti brand. AirGo has at least ten years' experience operating the type.

Route 1 director Chris Moody comments: “We are aiming this at the regular flyer who doesn't want to own his own aircraft.

“The Avanti costs roughly the same as a light jet to buy, but you get a midsize cabin for the price of a small cabin. If you compare it to a CJ2 or CJ3, even the Phenom 300, it has a stand up, five foot nine cabin and is six foot one across. So you get a spacious, comfortable interior, and it is as fast as a light jet, so you don't have the normal speed disadvantage of a turboprop. It is quiet, because of the rear mounted engines, and it burns about 40 per cent less fuel than a comparable jet. So all in all, it's a good combination.”

Route 1 has launched a jet card, which starts at €5,700 an hour, and Moody says that this amounts to a €1,000 per hour saving when compared with a NetJets scheme. “If you fly for more than two or three hours, the price comes down, and if you do a round trip you get 30 per cent reduction on the hourly rate, because there is no ferry leg to pay for,” he continues.

“The idea of the Route 1 programme is that you don't have to squeeze into a little tube to fly at a sensible price; it's got a bit of luxury for your money, no handicap for speed, plus we've introduced a flexible pricing model that no-one else is really doing; we think it is highly innovative.”

The second phase is to introduce shares on the new Avanti EVO, which is due to enter service towards the end of 2014. Currently there are no Avantis based in the UK but the partnership with AirGo, which operates a fleet of Avanti IIs, will enable Route 1's clients to experience the Avanti at UK prices. Moody hopes that his clients will then 'graduate' to the EVO.

He concludes: “All AirGo's pilots are Avanti pilots; when we get the EVOs they will manage all the maintenance and operations side. They are monitored by the German CAA, who do everything precisely, efficiently and very well.