Cardiff, UK-based DragonFly Executive Air Charter, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has acquired another King Air B200 to add to its existing fleet of a 200 SE and a B200. The latest aircraft is one of a batch of B200s acquired for the RAF in 2003, primarily for multi-engine, multi-crew training. It has now been decommissioned, and converted to a vip passenger layout.
Chief executive Howard Palser comments: “I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to acquire this aircraft. It has an impeccable history and a full technical spec including TCAS and EGPWS.”
On delivery, the aircraft was repainted in Matterhorn white, and has now been finished in DragonFly's colours to match the two sister aircraft. Detailing was carried out by Pete Medley of Flying Colours Contracts in Oxford. “He is a true craftsman, and has done a superb job,” Palser says. “At the moment the aircraft is with our engineers, Iscavia Limited at Exeter, who are supervising refurbishment of the interior.
“We anticipate that the aircraft will be online in mid-December. Our intention is that in the new year it will be based at Blackbushe. Quite a large proportion of the charter flights we undertake for brokers originates in the London area.”
DragonFly's existing aircraft, 'Mike-Alpha' and 'MEGN' are already popular with clients and the addition of third aircraft G-OLIV will ease pressure by increasing availability and ensuring that two aircraft are always available when one of the three is undergoing scheduled maintenance. The operator always flies the King Air with two type-rated crew and is recruiting additional full-time and freelance crew in order to maximise availability.
Palser reports that DragonFly's profit over the last 12 months has increased by more than 30 per cent, and he is confident that growth will continue in 2015 with the addition to the fleet, the general feeling of improvement in the economy and increased activity in the charter market. He also confirms that the company has applied to the CAA for its own AOC, after having operated under the umbrella of Executive Aviation Services for the last 10 years. “It has been very useful to have had the support of EAS in our formative years, and I am most grateful to Peter Turner and his team, but everyone realises that there comes a time when you come of age and stand on your own two feet, and this for us is the optimum time to take this step.
“We are being guided through the AOC application process by specialised consultants Total AOC and are working closely with the CAA who have been extremely helpful to us during what is a lengthy and complex procedure,”says Palser.