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Air Hamburg adds three jets and hopes L500 venture pays dividends
Air Hamburg in Germany is about to take delivery of three more aircraft: a Phenom 300, Legacy 500 and Legacy 650. The operator currently has 20 aircraft in its fleet.
Read this story in our March 2017 printed issue.

Air Hamburg in Germany is about to take delivery of three more aircraft: a Phenom 300, Legacy 500 and Legacy 650. The operator currently has 20 aircraft in its fleet. “We are picking up our latest Phenom 300 imminently from Melbourne in Florida,” says partner Simon Ebert. “A pre-owned Legacy 500 will also be delivered by Embraer in Florida at the end of March. We have the first two pilots returning from the initial rating and then another four will be going. They are amazed by the technology and performance of the aircraft. The 650 is a 2015-build and this will join our fleet by the end of March.”

He says that the Phenom signing was based on popularity: “A lot of people are demanding the one that we already have in the fleet. Our customers seem to like it more than our CitationJets, so that's the reason we have gone for a second one.”

The L500 is more of an experiment: “It isn't competing with anything else in our fleet,” Ebert explains. “We have the XLS+ above the Phenom, and then we have the Legacys. It is the first 500 that we will be operating and it took us a while to come to the decision. But we are still not sure whether it was the right choice. It can fly almost as far as the 600 and the kinds of flights we do are manageable for both the 500 and the 600. But we are a bit concerned that passengers will always go for the 600 over the 500. We may go for a second one at the end of the year or the beginning of next year but for now we are just going to give this one a try. “We also have a lot of customers that think in simple terms, so an aircraft named the 600 will always be better than one called the 500. I think the hardest thing is that the aircraft is new to the market and needs to find its niche. Embraer would have made it easier for us if they had given this aircraft a different name, other than 500.”

The Legacy fleet in general has been very busy for the operator over the past few years; its three 600s and five 650s all surpass the 1,000 hour mark each year. “All of them are available for charter 24/7 and none of them are owner aircraft, so that's why they fly a lot.”

Ultra long range may be the next target for Air Hamburg: “We are looking at some heavier jets but won't finalise our decision until later in the year. Both the Falcon and Global 6000 are possible candidates but we have work to do with the L500 in the meantime, because there is always work to be done when introducing a new type into your fleet.”

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