M.A.S. Airways is re-branding as Bluestream Aviation and acquiring four Challenger 604s. "Our target is to relaunch in January with a fleet that will establish us as a premier U.K. charter operator," says md John Matthews, who started the company less than seven years ago at the age of 19. "Earlier this year, we felt that we had reached the point in our development where we should move the company to the next level. This meant adding larger and longer range aircraft to the fleet and expanding the AOC coverage to worldwide operations."
Michael Platt, who runs Europe's third largest hedge fund Bluecrest Capital International, with around U.S.$14 billion under management, and is ranked level with the British Queen on the Sunday Times "Rich List", will be Bluestream Aviation chairman. Matthews, and co-director Cy Williams, will remain large but minority shareholders. The hedge fund is providing the financing, including an initial $105 million, that will enable the addition of longer range charter aircraft to the existing Citation fleet now comprising an XLS, Excel, Ultra, Bravo and Citation II and a PA31 Chieftain.
The PA31 carried out the first M.A.S. charter on 19 November, 2000. "They were humble beginnings but I had the support of Cy's father David as a business partner. His experience and input helped me avoid the pitfalls that startup businesses face," says Matthews.
Platt, who was already involved with M.A.S. in an aircraft management capacity, agreed to provide the finance to take the company to a new level of business activity. "We may add further large and long range aircraft as client demand dictates," says Matthews.
Frank Murray, airworthiness manager, says: "These are very exciting times for us here at M.A.S. and we are convinced that, by adding the long haul capability of the four Challenger 604s, we will be able to establish ourselves as the U.K.'s premier executive jet charter operator."
Matthews adds: "We are making substantial investment in additional operational management and support staff and are confident that the level of customer service will be enhanced significantly."