UK operator Gama Aviation has expanded its charter fleet with the addition of a multi-role King Air 350C. The prop is being offered for utility and corporate use, and will be available in four configurations: executive, commuter, cargo and medevac. The King Air will be based at the company’s Glasgow Airport facility, which formally opened in November 2013. It is also expected to run regular charters from Farnborough.
Commercial manager Paul Cremer says: “We have received considerable interest for the aircraft in its cargo configuration as currently there is restricted access to aircraft of this size for cargo and freight missions.
“We expect it to be very popular with existing clients as well as encouraging a new client base.”
The aircraft can be quickly configured for medevac. Adds Cremer: “The double Lifeport facility in the medevac configuration provides yet another option for this flexible platform.” In its executive and commuter formats Cremer anticipates the aircraft will be in high demand from travellers seeking easy access to the more remote parts of Scotland. With a range of up to 1,400nm it also provides a cost-efficient transport mode for European charters and only requires a 1,000 metre runway.
Global marketing officer Duncan Daines explains the reasons for basing the King Air in Glasgow: “We will use it in its ambulance configuration as part of our contract for the Scottish Ambulance Service, so it will be a relief aircraft for there as well, in case one of our existing aircraft goes tech, or if we have increased capacity. However, it is spending a lot of time further south too. It is going wherever the market is taking it.
“If we have a booking for cargo we can facilitate that rather easily. It is essentially why we bought the aircraft, because it is flexible and multi-role. It takes us back to the beginnings of the company when we had our original Beech Baron.”
With its authorised service centre at Farnborough providing main-tenance for King Air, Baron and Bonanza aircraft, the company has a long association with Beechcraft and Textron Aviation products.
The aircraft joins a varied UK fleet that includes types such as the Challenger 604, Learjet 45, Gulfstream G550 and Hawker 1000. Cremer continues: “Our mixed fleet means we can fulfil a variety of mission requests. However, the addition of such a versatile aircraft brings an extra dimension to our offering.”
Concludes Daines: “There are particular industry verticals, such as automotive, aviation, and medical, where items are required on a ‘just in time’ or emergency basis. The King Air, with its flexible configuration, is ideally suited to these missions.
“Naturally we will take a view on adding further aircraft once we have fully understood how this aircraft is being sold and which configurations are being most commonly used.”