Germany’s very successful FAI rent-a-jet has gone from strength to strength over its 28-year history under the guidance of its inspirational Founder and Chairman Siegfried Axtmann. The Nuremberg-based company is the second largest business jet charter operator in Germany and specializes in air ambulance work. It has posted record results for 2014 with revenues up 10% to EUR73.5 million) and profit before tax up 30% to EUR8.1 million.

Axtmann says the 1Q figures for 2015 are very encouraging and could exceed those of 2014 by year’s end.

“Increased business is coming from Air Ambulance and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) business, the rest is driven by work coming from Africa and especially Nigeria where businessmen there really appreciate access to this business tool,” said Axtmann.

The current fleet consists of 21 aircraft including three Global Expresses, four Challenger 604s, seven Learjet 60/60XRs, four Learjet 55s, a Learjet 40XR and a Learjet 35A that jointly logged 12,700 hours in the air last year. The increased utilization – up 10% on 2013 – was generated by a 13% rise in demand for the air ambulance fleet, driven to some extent by the health crisis in West Africa, and a 40% rise in its service provision to the world’s largest NGO, with which it has been working for more than 11 years.

This year the company, which owns 16 of its 21 aircraft, plans to replace the aged Learjet 35A and most Learjet 55s with LJ60s. Of the current 21-ship fleet, 10 are on long-term management contracts, while FAI’s Flight Ambulance International fleet consists of four Learjets and three Challenger 604s.

The company’s MRO, FAI Technik, is currently converting the world’s first Quick Change air ambulance Global Express. “It can be used for VVIP patients and government officials for intercontinental transport. We are just testing the market, but I don’t know if we will get one booking or 10 a year. There is no other similarly configured aircraft on the market worldwide,” says Axtmann.