London Biggin Hill-based operator Catreus is set to initiate independent charters, following approval at London City (LCY) and pending transfer of all its managed aircraft from its existing AOC to a fully Catreus one.
The company, which currently manages a fleet of six aircraft, is anticipating further growth, and has been encouraged by the health of the market since it acquired Fly Vectra in 2013.
Md Cy Williams plans to expand the fleet substantially to increase the operator's reach, which at this time is primarily Europe. The roster includes a Mustang, Bravo and four Excels, but the aim is to add aircraft that can undertake longer haul journeys.
“We do have clients who are looking at flights to Moscow or Dubai, so we'd like to expand our area of operation. Something in the heavy jet category would be good,” he says.
Williams attributes the success and growth of Catreus to its service levels and ability to ensure owners get a return on investment. He adds that brokers are also pleased with service levels. “We never over-promise, but we always deliver a good return to owners, which can offset the fixed running costs of the aircraft.
Demand for private aviation services remains strong. Catreus reports a 15 to 20 per cent increase on enquiries in summer 2014 compared to the same period last year. “This time of year is usually quiet , before the ski season starts. However, we are getting a lot of last minute calls, which can happen at this time of year. We also have customers booking for April and May next year, which is very surreal,” he concludes.