Fractional fleet operator Flexjet has been awarded an AOC for Malta, as it continues to expand its European operation. The move marks an important milestone in the company's international expansion plan, which has seen its fleet of aircraft grow in Europe by 40 per cent in 2021.
Flexjet's new Malta operational centre, situated in the heart of Sliema, complements its existing European headquarters in London's Mayfair; tactical control centre in St Albans, UK, and its aircraft maintenance facility based in Milan, Italy. The new AOC gives Flexjet more operational reach as it extends its offering to a growing number of European owners and premium programme clients.
The operator has selected a Legacy 500 as the first aircraft to operate under the new registration. The midsize jet offers a range of up to 5,793 km, or around six hours flight time, and is part of the company's growing fleet in Europe.
Flexjet also operates Embraer Praetor 600 super midsize jets, giving its European owners greater freedom, with the ability to fly directly to the East Coast of the US and the Middle East.
With its long-established US operation headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Flexjet launched in Europe in late 2019. The launch followed several years of significant investment and planning. The European arm, led by MD Marine Eugène, has since grown its fleet and operation through further investment in infrastructure, crew and aircraft, following a $1.4 billion order from Embraer. The group's European fleet operations were also expanded by Directional Aviation's acquisition of UK-based helicopter operator Halo Aviation in May, in addition to the closer integration of charter arm PrivateFly.
Eugène says: “Flexjet owners are flying an increasing variety of routes within Europe and beyond, and our Maltese AOC allows us more reach and additional operational flexibility. We enjoyed working closely in partnership with Transport Malta's Civil Aviation Directorate, who share our commitment to the highest standards of safety and compliance. I am also delighted to establish our new regional operational centre within the professional Maltese aviation community, which will undoubtedly prove an important asset as we continue to grow Flexjet throughout Europe. Our first 9H-registration for Flexjet is an important milestone and one that we plan to build upon over the coming months.”
Civil Aviation Directorate Transport Malta director general Charles Pace adds: “We are proud to have an operator of Flexjet's calibre join our aviation community in Malta. Granting an AOC requires a rigorous evaluation of ownership and control, operational capability, safety standards, maintenance and documentation. The Flexjet team was well prepared for the process and able to demonstrate consistently excellent standards across the board. We were highly impressed by its safety-first philosophy, its experienced team, aircraft and crew, and are confident of a bright future. I would like to thank the CAD inspectors who worked on the project and the Flexjet management who entrusted us with its new company.”