Luxaviation Focuses On Building AAM Ground Network

Luxaviation Paris
Credit: Luxaviation

SAN DIEGO―The FBO division of Europe’s Luxaviation Group plans to develop ground infrastructure for future advanced air mobility (AAM) vehicles as it pursues a growth strategy based on building and acquiring new facilities.

In December 2021, Luxaviation and French airport management company Edeis announced a cooperation agreement that calls for “common deployment” of AAM at 16 Edeis locations in France. The agreement complements a partnership Luxaviation formed with Germany’s Lilium in May 2021 to support “airline operations” of the 7-seat Lilium Jet electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Based outside of Paris in Ivry-sur-Seine, Edeis manages a network of smaller, regional hub airports. Plans call for those locations to “converge” with Luxaviation’s network, expanding the footprint to 148 locations, including 25 Luxaviation/ExecuJet-owned FBOs as well as Paragon Network and partner facilities.

“This network of Edeis was perfectly in line with the strategy,” said Michel Tohane, Luxaviation Group president of FBO services. “Those small airports or not far from big airports. The idea is to work on future urban air mobility.” 

“In the two coming years you will see changes and developments on our side,” added Tohane, who spoke with BCA during the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference. “It’s easy to say we have a partner, we have the jets already targeted. But if you don’t put your strategy in place on the ground you will miss the [opportunity]. I am preparing the ground.”

Tohane came to Luxaviation, a Luxembourg-based private aviation fleet management, charter and FBO group, in 2021 after founding the Sky Valet FBO brand, now a subsidiary of Côte d’Azur Airports. “The role I have with this company is continuing to look at how to increase our footprint with a clear strategy, a clear action plan,” he said.

In January 2022, the group announced the acquisition of the Air Center One terminal at Auckland International Airport in New Zealand, its first ExecuJet FBO in that country and fourth location in the Asia-Pacific region. Luxaviation is nearing completion of a new FBO facility at Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport that will feature hangar space, lounges, a spa and children’s playground among amenities. “It’s going to be like a five-star hotel but focused on travelers flying by general aviation,” Tohane said.

The group categorizes AAM/urban air mobility under the heading of “sustainability.” In that area, Luxaviation also plans to deploy sustainable aviation fuel at some locations and lessen its carbon footprint by electrifying facilities. Providing infrastructure for the Lilium Jet, which is slated for certification in 2025, will likely involve installing electric charging stations at its FBOs.

“We strongly believe in adjacencies between business aviation and early stages of Advanced Air Mobility,” Luxaviation Chief Strategy Officer Christophe Lapierre said in December, announcing the collaboration with Edeis. “Our partnership with Edeis implements this vision across regional airport networks where FBOs today, vertiports tomorrow, will play a key enabler role.” 

Bill Carey

Based in Washington, D.C., Bill covers business aviation and advanced air mobility for Aviation Week Network. A former newspaper reporter, he has also covered the airline industry, military aviation, commercial space and unmanned aircraft systems. He is the author of 'Enter The Drones, The FAA and UAVs in America,' published in 2016.