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HomeAviationLondon Oxford Airport bucks trend with 12% business aviation traffic growth this year
The airport is now handling an average 20 business aircraft movements a day

London Oxford Airport bucks trend with 12% business aviation traffic growth this year

London Oxford Airport increased its visiting, non-resident jet movements, year on year by 31.6% and saw its overall business aviation movements increase 12% during the period April 2009 to March 2010. Jet fuel sales at its business aviation facility oxfordjet during the period were up 47%. The airport is now handling an average 20 business aircraft movements a day. “This will equate to approximately 6,000 business aviation movements a year, assuming continuation of the current rate – an achievement we are very pleased with,” commented Managing Director, Steve Jones.

Furthermore, starting the year 2010 on a high, despite the challenging weather conditions, the first quarter brought a 25% rise in business aviation traffic, compared with the first quarter of 2009.  Oxford Airport remained open every day during the two weeks of snow and ice in early January, unlike several peer airports in the UK.

Oxford Airport, with its enhanced fire and rescue capability – now at Cat 6 – has seen a steady increase in the use of larger and newer business aviation types including Gulfstream G550 and Falcon 7X aircraft operated by Netjets. Resident operator Icejet has two Dornier 328 jets based at the airport and in the month of December it achieved a record 20 flying days out of 24. UK-based LEA has a Legacy 600 and Cessna Citation Mustang now positioned at Oxford, while Hangar 8, the airport’s largest operator, is now supporting nine Hawker aircraft, making it the second largest operator of the type in Europe. It recently accepted the first Hawker 4000 in the UK and also has two Falcon 2000s. Challengers and Globals now supported by Oxford-based engineering business EBAS are also regular visitors.

The only decline in activity for a specific sector was in the number of light piston-twin air taxi movements, down about 15%, year on year.  However, evidence suggests that some users may well have chartered light jets or business turboprops instead of traditional light piston-engined twins.

First Embraer Legacy 650 and Phenom 300 in the UK destined for Oxford
The year 2010 will see two firsts for the Airport – Embraer’s new transatlantic range Legacy 650 is set to debut in the UK with a new home at London Oxford Airport, together with two Phenom 300 light jets for FlairJet, which commenced revenue operations in December with an initial two Phenom 100s. It is planning to add the first Phenom 300 to its fleet under management from July.

To accommodate increased customer demand, a further 4,440m2 three-bay hangar will be built this year, providing much-needed additional space. This year will also see a £750,000 investment in the upgrading of all airfield communications equipment as a precursor to establishing enhanced radar coverage at Oxford Airport. The airport is working with leading IT communications supplier ARINC on this initiative.

ARINC is planning to deploy a datalink ground station at Oxford. “Our datalink network coverage across Europe is based partly on identifying airports that have customers that need or will need these services. With our successes in business aviation we already have a base of operators using this airport daily for their operations. Oxford Airport’s plans for further expansion, capabilities upgrades and its increasing business jet and commercial airline traffic were factors we identified with to make Oxford a prime candidate for us to invest in,” commented Andy Hubbard, Senior Director, Aviation Solutions, ARINC EMEA.

New on-site car hire from Enterprise

Oxford Airport is the first business aviation airport in the UK to boast on-site car hire.  From 2 May, Enterprise Rent-a-Car will provide car hire services between 06:30 and 22:30, seven days a week from offices conveniently located adjacent to the airport terminal.  Prices start from just £14.99 a day (including insurance) with free drop off/pick up at home or office, one-way or return hire.  Vehicles offered in the Enterprise fleet include all car sizes from Ford Ka to Mercedes S-Class, with 4x4s, MPVs and minibuses also available.

Baboo and Channel Island Travel confirm flights for 2010 Season
Swiss regional carrier Baboo has confirmed the airline will resume its weekly Saturday flights to Geneva in December for the winter 2010 ski season following the success of its 74-seat Bombardier Q400 flights to the Swiss city, which ended last month. Oxford Airport will also see the welcome return of weekly services to Jersey from May, operated by CityJet VLM Fokker 50s for Channel Island Travel. Onward connections to Guernsey are also being promoted. The Jersey flights are operating an extended season, from May to September this year, in response to last year’s high load factors and early strong forward bookings for 2010. The Oxford Airport flights were the best selling of the company’s 22 UK airports now serving Jersey.

“We are very proud of our achievements at London Oxford Airport since the formal opening of oxfordjet in July 2008,” said Steve Jones. “Our oxfordjet FBO has continued to grow steadily despite the global economic downturn and bucked all trends with jet aircraft movements by visiting jets climbing significantly. This reflects the continued expansion of brand and product awareness of oxfordjet as a leading gateway for the Thames Valley and West London region. We confidently expect to see more resident aircraft activity, with our home-based fleet of business aircraft continuing to grow.”

London Oxford Airport at EBACE – plus real ale
Steve Jones, together with Head of Marketing & Development, James Dillon-Godfray, Head of Customer Services, David Surley and Customer Services Representative, Laura Conaty, will be participating at Europe’s premier business aviation show EBACE (Stand No 1359) during 3-6 May in Geneva to highlight the full benefits of its award-winning business aviation airport. They will also be serving the hugely popular Oxfordshire real ales again on the stand from 4pm every day.

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