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Capital looks for more Super King Airs to crown successful expansion
Capital Aviation is planning to acquire potentially two more charter aircraft in 2007 as it builds on a rapid expansion of business and bases in south west England and the Channel Islands. The acquisitions, likely to be more of the popular Super King Air 200s, would take the fleet to ten, mostly based at Exeter but with a growing capacity planned for operations from Capital's newest base at Plymouth, opened in December 2006.

Capital Aviation is planning to acquire potentially two more charter aircraft in 2007 as it builds on a rapid expansion of business and bases in south west England and the Channel Islands.

The acquisitions, likely to be more of the popular Super King Air 200s, would take the fleet to ten, mostly based at Exeter but with a growing capacity planned for operations from Capital's newest base at Plymouth, opened in December 2006.

Capital, launched in 1991 by Capt. Malcolm Humphries with a lone Golden Eagle, has grown to provide a fleet of two Super King Air 200s, two Piper Chieftains, and four Cessnas, a 404 Titan, a 421 and two 310s, with a staff of 25. Most pilots are full-time.

Humphries, chief pilot and md, says: "We are hoping to build at Plymouth what we have built at Exeter where our movements represent over 35 per cent of the business aviation traffic. We are definitely expanding the fleet and are currently looking at Super King Airs because of their space, comfort and range, with the possibility of two further aircraft in 2007." A nine seat Super King Air 200 is based at Plymouth.

Capital's major charter focus is medium haul, into and around Europe with the major focus on executive charter and air ambulance. Its operating bases in Jersey, Exeter and Plymouth are well placed to service demand to destinations ranging from France and Belgium to Greece and Ireland.

Humphries says: "It is very exciting to see so much interest from Plymouth businesses. We'll be providing a solution that will enable local business people to travel much more easily and cost-effectively from Plymouth city airport to any destination around Europe."

He adds: "The established demand is primarily corporate and business but there are some entertainment events or a group charter where a Super King Air is booked for a holiday."

Companies are becoming more aware of the waste of productive time when company directors spend two or more days away from the business when charter aircraft enable them to fly to a meeting and back in one day.

"There's no sense in losing time and paying for two or more nights in a hotel," says Humphries. "Up to nine people can charter a whole aircraft and fly in absolute luxury from Plymouth direct to say, Dublin and back, for #2,700. This works out at only #300 per head. Because of the time we save them, our clients can often return the same day, avoiding costly overnight stays, which really makes it a viable option for many businesses."

One local businessman, Jonathan Mills, director of Derriford-based Formedia, says: "I reckon that's an eye opener for many. The cost to charter is far from the jet-set prices you'd expect."

Terry Linge, airport director at Plymouth, says: "Capital Aviation will give many more options to local business people, including the possibility of direct flights from Plymouth to and from London City, Paris, Rome, and indeed any destination around Europe."

Humphries, an aviation enthusiast from boyhood who attained his commercial pilot's licence at the age of 20, says the decision to expand is based on established business demand.

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