BAN's World GazetteerCanada
Vienna and Geneva-based operator Speedwings, which splits its fleet between charter and management, has taken delivery of a Learjet 75. It is hoping to make the aircraft the first of its type in Europe to operate for charter.
The company was founded in 2006 and now has a fleet of six aircraft based in Geneva. It acquired an Austrian AOC in 2011 and three of these aircraft are available for charter. Says nominated postholder ground operations Samuel Werner: “We usually have around 37 hours of flight time, per aircraft per month. The Learjet is a new aircraft for us and it fits with the requirements of the owners, so that is why they elected for the 75. We aim to be the first in Europe to charter the Learjet 75 ad hoc.
“This is the second EASA Learjet 75 – the first is in France, and only operates for corporate flights. Our LR 75 will be available for charter, I hope, around the beginning of next year. “This aircraft has more range than the Excel, which is currently the biggest aircraft in our fleet. It also offers new onboard features such as wi-fi, which is increasingly sought after. This is a new service that we can offer with the LR 75 which is not possible with the rest of the fleet. It is also a YOM 2014 aircraft, which is always an advantage when looking to sell flights.”
Charter activity through brokers represents roughly 40 per cent of the company's income. “They often elect for the youngest aircraft available, so to have a 2014 aircraft in the fleet is very good for us. This is the first on the Austrian register,” Werner continues.
“We also brought the first Phenom 300 into the Austrian registry this year; this will be available soon as well, for charter on our AOC.”
The company employs 26 staff across its two offices in Vienna and Geneva. The fleet is made up of two CJ2s and one Excel available for charter, with the Phenom and the Learjet 75 shortly to be added. It also managed a Citation V Ultra for a private owner. This year demand for its services has risen sharply, and flight hours are up 40 per cent in the year to date. Its latest project is to establish hangarage and FBO services at Payerne airport, to cover a growing interest in business aviation in the west of Switzerland.