Turkish operator Redstar has taken delivery of a Learjet 45XR, which it will use for VIP transportation. The company acquired its first LR45 last February for medical work. General manager Emre Dursun says that demand for the first unit was high: “Everything was going very well with it so we decided to invest in a second one. After researching the market extensively we agreed that this aircraft was the right one for our purposes. We are an air ambulance company and we were looking for an aircraft to be used in this way.
“However, some of our customers asked us if we would use this machine for VIP charter. Fortunately for us we signed a contract before the aircraft was introduced into service to provide charter flights for one of our customers within Turkey and the wider region. So our original intention to use this aircraft as an air ambulance is not what actually happened.”
The second Learjet will predominantly be used for VIP and its finish and interior will suit this role. Dursun indicates that he will now be looking for a third aircraft of the same type to support Redstar's ambulance flights and grow the VIP charter side of the business.
“We had ordered stretchers that could be fitted in the aircraft,” he continues. “However, based on demand in the market we are using this aircraft for VIP purposes and won't be installing the stretchers. Air ambulance demand will be covered by the addition of a third aircraft, which we hope will happen three to six months down the line.”
Gulf Helicopters Company in Qatar has been a shareholder in Redstar since 2014, and as part of its growth strategy Redstar will look to introduce helicopters into service. “The type of helicopter hasn't been determined yet but that's also in our plans; we want to bring our fixed wing operations to a stable level and then start building capabilities for rotary,” concludes Dursun.