Every minute counts for Belgian conservationist and connoisseur d'art Axel Vervoordt. Recognised as one of the world's elite antiquarians, he is a fan of fractional ownership.
He explains: "Years ago, for my very many business trips throughout Europe, I acquired a second-hand Cessna 340. The reason was simple. It obviously makes sense that I need to be first on the scene whenever a sought-after antique is on offer whether it be an auction, a public sale or perhaps after a bereavement."
He adds: "These opportunities often occur far from the large cities or airports, so having a plane was essential. Still, even though I had two pilots available not everything went completely trouble-free."
Vervoordt recalls: "Either one of them was sick, or the other had logged too many flying hours. In short, I needed a solution that offered me more certainty."
So he tried fractional ownership with the Flyinggroup, now expanding fast in France as it further diversifies internationally from its Belgian home market.
Simultaneously, Vervoordt sold his aircraft at a profit to an American businessman.
"From that moment on, the great advantage was that I no longer needed to worry about the operational side of things. It is not unusual that sometimes, for example, I have to be in England in the morning, followed by Germany in the afternoon and then even Italy in the evening.
"A simple telephone call is enough to set up this whole trip. Flying Group knows that every minute counts for me and makes every effort to keep me happy both as a regular customer and as a trusted partner. They ensure that I can enjoy a pleasant meal on board served in my personal porcelain service with a starched napkin, that my favourite wine is served at the right temperature and that a chauffeur-driven car is waiting on my arrival."
Vervoordt says: "I admit that I ask a lot, but that is appropriate to my activities as well as for my business acquaintances. Of course, this all costs quite a bit but considering the returns, the balance is nothing less than extremely positive."
Like many other successful businessmen, Axel Vervoordt's itinerary has grown over the years. The need to make best use of time accelerated with the conservation of 16 Renaissance houses in the centre of Antwerp, known as the "Vlaaikensgang" at the end of the 1960s. This cemented his reputation as a connoisseur d'art in his early 20s.
The Castle of 's-Gravenwezel, ten miles outside Antwerp, was bought from the Gilles de Pelichy family in 1984. Its roots date back to the 12th century. It has been restored to create 50 totally different rooms, each with an individual style and character.
Other large restoration projects have followed.