Boston, Massachusetts-based Part 135 charter operator Waltzing Matilda Aviation (WMA) is in the process of adding two Challenger 604s to its Part 135 certificate. It has already taken delivery of both of the managed aircraft and hopes to have them on the certificate by mid February. One is a nine passenger aircraft, the other will seat 11 passengers, and the main charter focus will be US transcontinental trips and flights to the Caribbean. The company anticipates further fleet deliveries over the course of the year, and CEO John Thomas says: “We expect to take on another Citation Excel in Q1 and a 30 passenger ERJ135 in Q2 2022.”
WMA launched Connect Airlines in October last year to connect Toronto Billy Bishop City airport in Canada with airports in the Northeast and Midwest US. It hopes to achieve Part 121 FAA approval and to commence scheduled services by the end of March. The company has so far taken delivery of the first two Canadian built Q400 turboprop aircraft, N881WM and N882WM, with which it will start operations.
WMA was co-founded by Thomas in June 2008. He has been involved in the aviation industry for the past 35 years both as group executive at Virgin Australia Airlines and as a strategic advisor to major airlines, OEMs, business and general aviation, FBOs, airports and air navigation service providers. He also sits on the boards of Canada-based Skyservice and Icelandair Group, and is senior advisor to Spike Aerospace, ATM Consultants Group and CAPA Centre for Aviation.
The effect of COVID on business has been a mixed one over the last couple of years, and Thomas says: “The company has introduced lots of new protocols, and it has been operationally challenging; there was very tight supply on simulator training slots and we added precautions for pilots. But commercially it has taken business to a whole new level.” He expects to realise continued strong growth as this year progresses.