ASL/JetNetherlands has had its fourth Citation Sovereign approved for commercial operations, and is expecting delivery of a fifth, which it will manage on behalf of an owner who is upgrading from a CJ3. The company's Legacy 450 has also made its first landing at London City airport. "The fourth Sovereign is nicely booked already, which is positive," says safety manager Maxime Wauters.
"The type is a really successful aircraft in our fleet. As for the L450 landing at London City, we have had this approval for a while, but for some reason the aircraft just wasn't booked on that route.
"This booking was a three-day trip from Paris to London City. It was a first for us and I believe it was one of the first landings for a Legacy 450 at LCY for a commercial flight, even though the Legacy 500 has landed there before.
"It was a big achievement, and the client was really happy, so I think we might be seeing them again."
The Legacy 450 is proving to be a good aircraft for ASL, especially given its runway performance. "You can take it to St Tropez La Mole and it is still the largest aircraft that is able to operate there commercially with such a high payload," adds Wauters. "To be able to reach these kinds of destinations is really important.
"The 450 was somewhat difficult to introduce to our clients at first, because it lies between a Citation XLS in terms of cabin layout and the Falcon 2000 in terms of space in the cabin. Embraer calls it a mid light, we call it a midsize, but it is far wider than an XLS and has a flat floor and 1.84m cabin height, meaning that it really feels like a midsize in terms of comfort and equipment. We still have to build the market loyalty for that aircraft."
Several ASL clients have upgraded from the XLS to the Legacy, and have been pleased with the decision. "They are telling us that it is absolutely fantastic in terms of comfort and efficiency. Every single person comments that the aircraft is extremely quiet and smooth. We also have clients flying in Falcons who wanted to try the Legacy and said that it is on par with the Falcon for comfort, and with better runway performance, allowing access to more airports. The wing design, engine power and build makes it a very efficient aircraft. Those that have tried it, usually fly it again."
The company also has a Phenom 100 in its fleet, but it is operated exclusively for the owner. Both Embraer and Textron have provided good support to ASL over the years. "We are in the process of adding another aircraft from Embraer, which is coming up on the charter market soon," Wauters explains. "We have a great relationship with Embraer and its after sales support is excellent.
"Our fleet is predominantly Textron however, and these are excellent products as well. We have been operating them for years and there are still more coming into the fleet.
"I feel that the types we have are very complementary to each other; it's a good combination."