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ACE aims to trump the group charter competition
When it comes to group charter two Benelux operators have a vision of the future. They aim to steer their new venture towards a fleet of 30/40-seat aircraft at key airports around Europe.
Read this story in our May 2018 printed issue.

ASL and JetNetherlands have launched a new Netherlands-based company called Air Charters Europe (ACE) designed to cater for group charter. The first aircraft to be used by ACE, an Embraer ERJ 135, seats 30 passengers.

"Until recently, smaller groups were reliant on third parties for chartering such an aircraft," states group CEO Philippe Bodson. "This was undesirable for many companies because the aircraft had to be flown in from abroad. With Air Charters Europe we wish to change this and allow our numerous customers from the Benelux to travel in luxury and comfort in groups."

The company says that air traffic is expected to double by 2034 and forecasts that the number of jobs in the sector will increase from 63 to 99 million worldwide. "We travel more and more often and the way we do this is in constant evolution," Bodson continues.

"For example, it is no longer an oddity for companies to charter an aircraft to organise team building or to go to a conference or trade fair. It is this demand that we are responding to."

ACE has renovated the ERJ 135 by removing all of the interior plastic that was a feature of its airline usage. Each chair has its own power supply, the legroom between the chairs has been improved and walls have been finished in leather. Overhead baggage bins were also removed and replaced with additional sound proofing. The aircraft has a range of up to 1,620 nm.

"At the moment there are negotiations on a second, larger aircraft of the same type that will accommodate 42 people, the ERJ 145," explains Bodson. "In the medium term it is our ambition to deploy multiple aircraft that will be stationed flexibly at different European airports. In this way we wish to become one of the biggest players in Europe in the field of airliner charters for groups."