U.K. air charterer DragonFly has acquired a second aircraft; an eight-passenger Beechcraft 200SE. Scheduled to come into operation in November it joins a Super King Air 200 and will meet growing demand for organ transplant fights as well as charter business.
DragonFly Executive Air Charter, launched as a company only in January 2005, is based at Cardiff International Airport but also provides charter flights from London, the south east and the Midlands to Ireland, France and Germany.
It recently flew a team of surgeons in an 0400 Sunday morning dash from Heathrow to Poitiers, France, to obtain a heart for a sick child at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.
Founder and ceo Howard Palser says: "It was immensely satisfying to realise the importance of that flight and the part we were playing in the huge team effort involved in the transplant operation."
Such flights often have to take place at night and Cardiff is open 24-7.
Palser adds: "Our crew lives close to the airport and we can be airborne within 60 minutes of receiving a call from transplant organisers. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to dovetail urgent mercy flights with conventional charter business and this is one of the reasons for our acquiring a second aircraft."
Sports flights have also boosted DragonFly's business, particularly last summer's football World Cup and the latest Ryder Cup golf championship.
Palser says the B200SE was chosen for its comfort, reliability and safety.