French TBM operator Voldirect has renewed its AOC so that it is compliant with the new SET IMC regulations, and is reporting that its flight hours have increased by more than 20 per cent versus the previous year. "While keeping our main base in Rennes, Britanny, we recently opened facilities at Lyon in the east of France, which has extended our services and has been part of our ongoing expansion,” CEO Frederic Caussarieu tells EBAN. “We have also based another TBM at Toussus Le Noble, close to Paris, which is now operated by us for public transportation in the same way as the one in Lyon. There has already been a lot of interest in these two new aircraft.”
Voldirect was the first company in Europe to be approved for single engine turbine flights in July 2013, and these operations are now accepted across the continent. “We contributed to the pan-European SET regulation documents published in March 2017,” Caussarieu adds. “We updated our operating manuals and SOPs to meet the new regulations before the start of summer, and we were granted a new AOC compliant with them in July. Most of the changes I would say were improvements, which is good news for us and others.”
Having started out with a team of five, Voldirect now employs 12 staff and is continuing to recruit to support its ongoing expansion: “Overall flight hours seem to be improving, and there is a good trend developing this year compared to last. We have received more interest from customers and brokers.
“This is due to the consolidation of the regulation and the attractiveness of the pricing, not to mention the capability of landing on short airfields that you get with the TBM.”