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FIRST FOR AIR CHARTER

News Archives - 2010


Beating the Snow - December 2010

December saw huge disruptions throughout the UK from heavy snowfall. Early in the month Gatwick was the worst affected, then the second snowfall prior to Christmas saw Heathrow struggling. We were able to help out many of our clients who were stranded due to delayed scheduled flights by providing jet charters to pick them up at alternate airports and take them to their destination.

It was not only the UK who struggled, although the British press would have you believe otherwise, not so widely reported were the problems Germany suffered for a while. This affected one of our own charters with a flight crew stranded and unable to get to the airport where the private jet for our passengers was positioned. Luckily, thanks to the extra mile (literally) put in by this operator, they drove 200 miles to an alternate airport jumped on board another of their jets which transferred them to our jet so they could fly our passengers with only a one hour delay.

The Ultimate Challenge - September 2010

We are supporting paraplegic pilot David Sykes (Spokes) in his epic adventure - flying solo mircrolight from the UK to Australia. His journey begins in September from York and should take 6-8 weeks crossing some of the most inhospitable terrain. We wish him the best of luck on this courageous endeavour. Please visit his website - David Sykes - UK to Australia - Micolight Adventure for more information.

Summer 2010

We are exceptionally busy this summer with many artists out on tour utilizing all sizes of aircraft from an executive Airbus on a three month music tour to music festival helicopter hops. Our staff have been kept busy visiting the more difficult airports to oversee some of the passenger transfers to ensure all goes smoothly.

Other interesting charters include:-

  • a 260 passenger wedding party from Oslo to Marrakech for the weekend, including dancers / musicians and extra special cocktails
  • a very lucky little dog moving home from UK to Texas
  • several VIPs and performers back and forth to South Afria for the World Cup Celebrations

Volcanic Ash Activity Rescues - April 2010

We were kept busy through the airspace closure in April with many operations including moving several groups of passengers back and forth across the Atlantic in and out of Madrid; helicopter charters out of France, and a rock group onward out of Moscow. We continue to monitor the situation closely on our daily Volcanic Ash update page.

The Carbon Footprint and UK Business Aviation - March 2010

We are a member of the British Business and General Aviation Association (B.B.G.A.) who are actively addressing this issue with an initiative to make the entire UK Business and General Aviation sector carbon neutral. The following points from the B.B.G.A. directive shows that as a sector of industry UK Business and General Aviation are not major contributors to climate change as sometimes perceived in the press.
  • The UK General Aviation fleet uses a similar level of fuel annually to that used by motor traffic during one London rush hour.
  • EU-flagged shipping emits considerably more CO2 than ALL EU aviation.
  • If every car owner in the UK drove 12.5 miles less per year, that would have the same contribution as completely eliminating UK Business & General Aviation.

Aviation in total emits 1.6% of overall UK Carbon emissions. Business and General Aviation is responsible for an estimated maximum of 1% of that, ie 0.016% of the total nation’s output. In other words, about one six-thousandth of total UK emissions,


However, the disproportionate attention given to aviation in the environmental debate does not diminish the belief that aviation, like all industries, needs to ensure it meets its environmental obligations. The UK B&GA sector has a good record here; we operate a fleet with generally new aircraft that are as clean and efficient as present technology allows; the International Business Aviation Council is producing excellent operational advice to further improve performance. Economically, the UK CAA reports Business and General Aviation to have an economic worth of roughly 8% of the airlines, yet we account for only 1% of aviation emissions.

As a sector of aviation, we realise we have to go further; politically and morally we need to minimise our impact on the environment; but aviation is one of the only industries that has no alternative to using fossil fuels today. Bio fuel may provide some alleviation, but until the next Frank Whittle provides a new generation of propulsion, we have to make sure we are doing our best to ensure aviation becomes seen as "Green" as possible. It was with this in mind that the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) created the BBGA Carbon Balancing Scheme. This initiative, launched in March 2007, has a simple aim; to make the entire sector carbon neutral. Many leading companies have this goal but we believe it is unique for an entire sector to do so: the scheme has been welcomed by the former UK Aviation Minister Gillian Merron who was "..impressed by the BBGA Carbon Balancing Scheme - they're ahead of the game, and a good example .."

The issue of climate change is one for the world and all of its industries, not just the UK B&GA sector. BBGA is therefore joining forces with our colleagues across Europe to roll out the Carbon Balancing scheme to a wider operator base; indeed we hope to propose the scheme as a means of compliance with the goals of the EU Aviation Emissions Trading Scheme. Business and General Aviation creates value, it creates jobs and it does so for minimal environmental impact; the BBGA Carbon Balancing Scheme enables us to do even more; to aim for a carbon neutral sector driving a sustainable economy.


Crew charter for movement of oil rig to the Falklands - February 2010

An International Oil Company in the process of moving a Deep Sea Oil Rig from the UK to The Falkland Islands in The South Atlantic, tasked us with arranging the transportation by Air Charter of the Rig’s 60 strong crews between Edinburgh and Recife,Brazil, and return, in order to effect crew transfers to and from the Rig.


The plan was to fly the new crew of specialist personnel from Edinburgh to Recife, hold the aircraft for 14 hours at destination, effect the crew change by boat transfers and then fly the first crew back to Edinburgh.


The first concern was to calculate the date to charter the aircraft and make the changeover, since the estimated tow time of the rig to Recife was 5 weeks, subject to weather and other operational conditions.


The rig being towed by a powerful tug set off from the UK, South West Coast in early December 2009. Already delayed a few days by bad weather the massive tow rope snapped and the rig was cast adrift in the Bay of Biscay. The tug had to return to the UK for a replacement tow rope. After making steady progress in the Atlantic against strong South Westerly winds, the tug ran low on fuel and again the Rig was cast adrift. The tug then refuelled in the Canary Islands before returning to the tow. The rig finally arrived off the coast of Recife in mid January 2010, nearly 6 weeks after leaving the UK.


We were fortunate to be working very closely with a specialist charter airline, operating a long range Boeing 767 wide bodied airliner able to fly directly between Edinburgh and Recife. In the weeks and days leading up to the charter it was necessary to almost daily amend and reschedule the actual date of the flights but both ourselves and the aircraft operator were able to offer this flexibility.


In the early morning of the rigs arrival we landed the new crew at Recife, and 14 hours later we flew the first crew back to Edinburgh on the same charter aircraft.


It had taken the Rig crew nearly 6 weeks to get to Recife and only 10 hours to return home again. The Rig with its 60 strong fresh crew continued on to the Falklands - a further 4 weeks tow time.    

 

 

Newsletter - January 2010

Here is our 2010 Newsletter, just a brief insight into some of the aircraft charters that we have been involved in.


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