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Bookings Confirm The Industry Is Fighting Back, Says LEA

Aviation - 4th May 2010

EBACE, Geneva, May 4, 2010 – “One glance at our order book shows that the European business aviation industry is beginning to recover.”

Those are the words of Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of London Executive Aviation (LEA), one of Europe’s largest business jet charter operators.

“Our industry naturally got a huge boost when operations resumed after the volcanic ash cloud, when customers turned to business aviation while the airlines got back up to speed,” he says. “However, even before then, there were clear signs of returning customer demand.”

“In March 2010, we booked in 149 jobs at LEA, compared to 115 jobs booked in March 2009. That’s a very encouraging 29.6% increase across our total fleet.” LEA operates 24 aircraft, comprising seven types of business jet from the entry-level Cessna Citation Mustang to the transatlantic Dassault Falcon 900EX.

“Over the first quarter of 2010,” continues Margetson-Rushmore, “we saw a 19.7% increase in overall fleet bookings (438) compared to the same period in 2009 (366).

“It’s the larger business jets that are really attracting attention at the moment.” In the first quarter of 2010, for example, LEA booked 86 flights for the company’s fleet of Embraer Legacy 600 aircraft, which fly up to 13 passengers, compared to 40 flights in the first quarter of 2009 (up 115%). “In particular, the Legacy 600 is proving a very popular choice among rock bands. We’ve already seen an unusually high number of tour managers booking the type this year for flights in the spring and summer.

“We’re realistic, of course,” concludes Margetson-Rushmore. “The industry recovery will be gradual rather than dramatic. But at LEA we have a diverse fleet able to meet all of Europe’s executive aviation needs. And our business levels so far in 2010 prove that well-managed charter operators have survived the recession and are now coming out the other side.”