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Strong growth for Flyinggroup prompts call for green power
Building on strong performance over 2022 and leadership in sustainable operations, Flyinggroup urges the industry to convert airports into gigantic green power plants.
Flyinggroup chairman Bernard van Milders wants solar parks on airport grounds.
Read this story in our March 2023 printed issue.

Benelux-based operator Flyinggroup completed a strong financial year in 2022. The consolidated group turnover amounted to 155 million euros, an increase of 41 per cent compared to 2021 and a doubling of 2019's result.

Chairman Bernard Van Milders also aims to pioneer sustainable commercial aviation. Consequently, Flyinggroup became a launch customer for Vertical Aerospace's VX4 eVTOL aircraft in 2022. Furthermore, an agreement has been reached with Eviation regarding its fixed wing electric Alice aircraft. Van Milders has also makes a plea to convert Flanders' regional airports into gigantic green power plants: “Energy requirements will only continue to increase in the coming years. If we want to match this pace of growth in sustainable energy production we must dare to consider all options, including installing solar panels on the unused areas adjacent to runways and taxiways.”

In 2022 Flyinggroup continued its positive trend of previous years. By focusing on efficiency, expanding its charter activities and re-launching the Flyingpartners shared ownership programme, the company was able to boost the group's consolidated turnover and recently took on the management of a brand new Dassault Falcon 900LX. “It will be joined soon by a Falcon 2000S and a Falcon 2000LXS," says Van Milders. "Our Maltese subsidiary Hyperion and Flyinggroup Middle East are experiencing dynamic growth and fleet development. Our company's structure allows us to accommodate a sizeable increase in aircraft management clients. Our team is ready.”

Currently, the shared ownership programme consists of one Cessna CJ3+ belonging to five parties. It will be joined by a second CJ3+ during 2023, followed by a third Cessna CJ3+ and a Pilatus PC-24 in 2024.

Van Milders continues: “Aviation stretches beyond mere aircraft. Flyinggroup combines premium service and responsibility. We acknowledge that flying impacts the environment. Therefore, we continue to minimise our ecological footprint with the aim of becoming climate neutral.”

The company's Antwerp headquarters in Belgium is 100 per cent energy-neutral. Built with sustainable technology, the structure produces more energy than it consumes. A geothermal installation has been placed 150m below the surface and the building's roof and front face are covered in 700 sqm of photovoltaic solar panels. Moreover, Flyinggroup is actively using and researching SAF applications.

“We don't just want to adapt, we want to evolve. We genuinely believe in emission-free air transport,” says Van Milders. “That is why we are investing time, energy and resources in the very latest aircraft technology, including electric and carbon emission-free planes, which we aim to integrate into our fleet soon.”

Flyinggroup is cooperating with other companies and government agencies to shape business aviation's future. “Airport operators will play a crucial role. We are committed to collaborating with them to develop and implement a long term strategy for airports in Flanders. Infrastructure and technology investments will bring sustainable solutions to reduce aviation's ecological impact. Without impeding on aviation's activities or its safety, it is feasible to construct enormous photovoltaic solar parks on the aerodromes in the short term,” he adds. “This is no science fiction. Examples in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria show that it is a viable idea. The sustainable energy produced by these green airport power plants can be used to charge the electric aircraft of the future. It is a concrete proposal that has a positive impact on the environment.”

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