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Von Essen Aviation has pledged to grow further after acquiring the U.K.'s PremiAir Aviation from the Sir Robert McAlpine Group.
Andrew Davis, von Essen group chairman, says: "Business aviation is growing fast in Europe and von Essen saw an excellent opportunity to acquire PremiAir and help it grow and expand its operations both organically and through further acquisitions." The PremiAir name will be maintained, he adds.
PremiAir, which has a major focus on twin engine helicopters, will continue to manage the von Essen Aviation fleet whose aircraft include AS355s, S-76s, a Bell 222, and also Premier 1s operated by Manhattan Jet Charter. PremiAir also manages further AS355s and S-76s as well as EC155s.
The PremiAir operating bases at Blackbushe Airport near Farnborough in Surrey, and Denham Aerodrome between Heathrow and Luton are part of the von Essen purchase. Also included are PremiAir's engineering and maintenance business and its support networks for business and police helicopters.
PremiAir, meanwhile, has overhauled two more helicopters to take the number of luxury AS355s in its fleet to seven. "The overhaul of the two AS355s is part of the company's expansion plan," says md David McRobert.
PremiAir recently added a third S-76. "This was completely refurbished to include cream leather interior upholstery and matching paintwork," says McRobert. "It is fitted with a noise shielding cocoon, a walnut veneer credenza and Sky Show TV."
The S-76 travels at up to 160 mph and seats up to seven passengers. "Our charter customers want to be able to travel from point to point, in style," says McRobert.
PremiAir will have several helicopters in Scotland for July's open golf tournament in Carnoustie.
Von Essen Aviation's H.Q. is the London Heliport at Battersea which was acquired by sister company von Essen Hotels in a deal worth #50 million and signed with Weston PLC (EBAN March 2007). Von Essen now has 23 hotels, the latest acquisition one just outside Lyon in France, the Chateau de Bagnols.