European private jet charter specialist, AirX Charter (AXY, Malta), is set to enter the US market after it acquired stakes in each of ViaAir (VC, Orlando Int'l), a Part 121 operator, and Elite Business Aircraft (Orlando Int'l), a Part 135 operator. The latter will be renamed AirX America (Orlando Int'l).
Announcing the transaction, the chairman of AirX Charter, John Matthews, said that over the next fifteen months, he plans to grow AirX America's fleet to around ten aircraft. Cessna Citation 750 Xs will be used on coast-to-coast flights, Gulfstream IVSPs will ply the transatlantic market, and Bombardier Challenger 850s will service the five-hour radius from its hubs in New York and Los Angeles.
ViaAir's existing fleet of five ERJ-145s will also be increased by an unspecified number. The carrier will continue to operate US government Essential Air Service (EAS) contracts.
"These contracts already cover our break even requirement whilst AirX/Via offers hub and spoke transfers at costs no other carrier can match," Matthews added.
Management is made up of several ex-Chapman Freeborn executives including Darren Banham who has been appointed AirX America president.
As previously reported, AirX Charter is in the process of adding a maiden VIP-configured widebody aircraft, A340-300 9H-BIG (cn 374). The aircraft will then be mirrored onto ViaAir's AOC.
Aside from AirX Charter and AirX America, other members of the group include: AirX Charter (Germany) (Egelsbach); AirX Executive Jets (Salzburg); and Elytra Charter (EYC, Egelsbach).
Photo:Marco Moutinho - London