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Hawker and Challenger arrivals boost fast-growing Private Sky
Ireland's Private Sky plans to increase its fleet by four mid-to-large jets in 2010 having recently brought a Hawker 900XP and a Challenger 850 into service.

Ireland's Private Sky plans to increase its fleet by four mid-to-large jets in 2010 having recently brought a Hawker 900XP and a Challenger 850 into service.

"The new aircraft have been deployed in Russia and Europe," says Ray Mills, operations director. "Our customers are primarily business executives, individuals from the music industry and sporting personalities as we specialise in delivering first class flexible service. In the future we will be concentrating on the European and Russian markets which have shown positive signs of recovery. Our aircraft are used for both business and pleasure flights."

Mills says the Hawker 900XP and Challenger 850 were chosen for their range, cabin size and passenger capacity. "Our diverse fleet enables our chartering department to satisfy our clients' requirements whether it is with respect to number of passengers, length of the flight or baggage capacity required," he adds.

The fleet, which has grown from two aircraft in 2007 to nine aircraft in 2009, includes two Hawker 850XPs and a 800XP, a Citation XLS, two Learjet 60s and a Learjet 31A.

Headquartered in Ballymurtagh, Shannon, Private Sky offers aircraft management, executive charter and aviation consulting services. Mills says: "Although operating in a difficult economic climate, we have grown consistently in all areas over the last three years. We are planning further growth over the next year in all three areas. On the aircraft management size we anticipate the addition of four aircraft this year. On the charter sales side we will increase the charter hours on our current fleet significantly. On the aviation consulting side we provide completion oversight, pre-purchase inspections, issuances of Airworthiness Review Certificates (ARCs) and a complete technical records maintenance for private owners."

Private Sky entered the Russian market in 2007 providing both charter and aircraft management. It is working to add Spain to its aircraft bases in Shannon, Dublin, Belfast, London and Moscow. The company's ceo Eva O'Keeffe says: "We anticipate ordering more aircraft to satisfy increased demand. The fleet is a mix of new and preowned aircraft. In the past three years we have taken delivery of six new aircraft and four pre-owned."

Established in 1993 as Airlink Airways Limited the company was rebranded as Private Sky in 2008 and has been under new ownership and management since March 2007. The company recruits staff by recommendation, its website and advertisements. "There are no current vacancies but we are constantly looking out for high quality staff," O'Keeffe says. "The company has used the last three years to invest in key recruitment, cutting and streamlining all non-essential overheads and is diversifying from aircraft management fee income as a primary source of revenue through growing charter revenue and aviation consulting services. We have further expanded our geographic primary sources of revenue out from Ireland to the UK and Russia."

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