|Tell us about JetFly? |
JetFly Aviation SA was created 20 years ago, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The concept started with a group of six Swiss business executives who purchased a turboprop and split the ownership cost, including pilot fees. Then they added another aircraft and started telling their discerning friends and associates in the business community who also came on board, each contributing to the cost, flying about 50 hours a year each. The business concept evolved into JetFly today, now a leading fractional ownership and aircraft management company focused on Pilatus PC-12 and PC-24 jet aircraft.
Today, 300 co-owners enjoy access, via shared ownership, to a fleet of 29 aircraft (23 PC-12s and six PC-24s) for which they enjoy guaranteed access to their aircraft anywhere in Europe, at short notice. Shares are offered in blocks of hours – starting at 35 hours annually. New clients are advised on what would suit them best, relative to where they fly and how often.
The JetFly Group also includes Fly7 and Fly7 Finland (formerly Hendell Aviation). The latter is the AOC for Fly7 and the aircraft management arm. The number of aircraft Fly7 looks after in Europe, bolsters the Group’s Pilatus fleet to 50. Captain Jet is its charter business, set up four years ago by JetFly’s CEO Cedric Lescop’s wife, Celine.
JetFly’s HQ is in Luxembourg, complemented by operations bases in Paris Le Bourget and Geneva. In the UK home is Denham Aerodrome, near Heathrow and Bournemouth Airport, on the south coast, where JetFly handles its own maintenance.
JetFly clients enjoy access to smaller, unlicensed airfields, paved and grass strips – Denham, Goodwood and Fairoaks in the UK; Gstaad-Saanen; Courchevel 1850 high up in the Alps; St Tropez-La Môle and Dornoch in the Scottish Highlands.
What is your role?
I’m Director UK, responsible for all marketing and sales activity; securing new members in the UK and exploring luxury and lifestyle partnerships with complementary brands (current ones include property management experts Bold & Reeve. Skibo Castle and private members’ club No 5 Hertford Street). Since Brexit I’ve been active with Captain Jet, sourcing charter requests beyond the PC-24’s range. I’m also working with UK operators for intra-UK flights.
Operationally the UK business is supported by our wholly-owned MRO, Bournemouth Aviation Services, managed by Technical Director Dave Munday, highly respected by Pilatus Aircraft and his industry peers. With Dave’s team, there are 10 of us in the UK.
What are the business’ highlights? Ten years ago we moved into new ownership with entrepreneur and Managing Director of Carlyle Capital Group, Parisian Jean Pierre R Millet. On expressing an interest to invest in a forward-thinking bizav operator, Cedric Lescrop suggested he get involved in JetFly.
The investment has enabled us to grow the fleet, conservatively – just two to three aircraft per year – and invest in training, IT and internal systems to be more efficient. We have grown organically with the acquisition of Fly7 in Switzerland and Fly7 Finland (Hendell Aviation) since merged – for aircraft management and PC-12 charter. (We have clients who fly maybe 200 hours themselves and offer the aircraft up for charter for a further 200 hours pa.)
How did you show resilience in the pandemic?
In the first lockdown in April, we desperately wanted to help and so did our co-owners. We sent out an email asking if they would be willing to donate an hour or two to help move PPE, front-line medical professionals and equipment. Within 24 hours we had 200 pre-paid hours pledged.
We teamed with France’s Aviation Sans Frontières France to operate medical support flights in Europe aboard the PC-12s. Seating on some of the aircraft had to be removed, save for two at the back to maximize the carriage of medical supplies.
Much of the flying was around France, Corsica and its Islands. In the UK, a PR contact connected us with NHS Heroes and we were able to help with the supply of face visors for UK hospitals.
Why have you joined BBGA?
We are very pleased to join BBGA and be part of a wider community in UK business aviation. We want the industry and people in it to know about us and what we do. The UK is important for us and our co-owners who mainly centre around West London. They like to fly from small well-located airfields like Denham and Fairoaks.
We appreciate the strong relationship BBGA enjoys with the UK CAA and DfT. This is valuable as we work to get our distinctive fractional ownership model recognised and understood by regulators. Head of Licensing at the UK CAA David Kendrick (via BBGA) has been generous with his time advising us as we work on a solution for the UK. Our USP is short runways, serving airports that other aircraft cannot. There is some overlap with NetJets Europe and we have a few UK clients that enjoy NetJets’ membership too. It’s all about getting more people into business aviation isn’t it? – it doesn’t matter if it’s a PC-12 or Airbus ACJ.
For more information you can visit the Jetfly website visit https://jetfly.com/