Flexjet To Double European Fleet In 2022

Gulfstream G650
Credit: Nigel Prevett / Aviation Week Network

London-based Flexjet plans to nearly double its European fleet by the end of 2022 to a total of 12, spurred by a 180% jump in fight activity in the first four months of 2022. 

The private jet operator added three additional Embraer Praetor 600 super-midsize jets In May with plans to operate the Gulfstream G650 ultra-long-range jet in Europe beginning in July. Plans also includetwo additional G650s to be based in Europe by the end of 2022. 

The announcement comes ahead of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, which runs May 23-25. 

The three new Praetor 600s are part of a global $1.4 billion order to Embraer placed by Flexjet in 2019 when Flexjet became the launch customer for the aircraft. Flexjet, a division of Directional Aviation, offers fractional ownership, leasing, jet cards and other services.

Flexjet began business in the U.S. in 1995. The company launched European operations in 2019. 

To prepare for the fleet increase, Flexjet has invested in infrastructure and its European crew, including the addition of 33 more pilots, over the past six months. In April, it opened a new Tactical Control Centre and office at the Farnborough Airport to serve as its “operational heart” of its European business. The center replaces a former location in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. The company also operates a European Operational Centre in Malta and a sales center in London’s Mayfair. 

The company has also retrofitted its Embraer Legacy 500s with Ka-band Wi-Fi. 

“We are delighted to confirm these significant investments, which are fueling our continued expansion in Europe,” says Marine Eugene, Flexjet European managing director. “Demand for our services continues to be exceptionally strong, with our fleet already seeing a +180% annual uplift in activity so far this year.”

New program sales and forward books are robust. “We are well-prepared for a busy summer and second half of the year,” Eugene says. 

The company has an “ambitious” plan to build Flexjet’s business in Europe over the coming years, she says. 

“With Farnborough such a key London gateway, we are also excited by the potential to broaden our offering here, including providing seamless central London connections via our group-operated helicopter fleet,” Eugene says. 

Flexjet is one of Embraer’s most important global customers, says Michael Amalfitano, Embraer Executive Jets president and CEO. “This is a long-standing, mutually rewarding, evolving partnership for us, and we look forward to finding new ways to support Flexjet’s growth and continue to offer their customers the ultimate experience in business aviation.” 

Flexjet’s European fleet includes the Embraer Legacy 500, Praetor 600, Phenom 300, Legacy 450, Praetor 500, Bombardier Challenger 350 and the Gulfstream G450 and G650. 

Molly McMillin

Molly McMillin, a 25-year aviation journalist, is managing editor of business aviation for the Aviation Week Network and editor-in-chief of The Weekly of Business Aviation, an Aviation Week market intelligence report.