London Oxford Airport retained its position in the top five UK business aviation airports during 2018 with some 5,500 business aviation movements logged and a 20% increase in passengers in the last year.
There was a slight growth, 2% up in bigger business jets, compared with 2018, whilst light jets and mid-range types remained stable.
Turboprops, in particular Pilatus PC-12 activity, expanded significantly – 34% over last year, mainly flying privately.
The airport also started to see regular Pilatus PC-24 movements, from fractional ownership company JetFly.
Leisure charters increased, in part due to the increasingly popularity of the neighbouring Cotswolds for weekend city dwellers, including weddings and events at Soho Farmhouse in Great Tew, 14 miles away.
The airport has benefitted from the arrival of new tenants and more based aircraft, including two Bombardier Globals looked after by Excellence Aviation, now under Inflite The Jet Centre ownership.
Existing businesses also expanded their operations. Group purchasing organisation AVIAA acquired a similar business in the UK, Convolus, and complemented its UK Oxford office with a new base in Germany.
“The number of independent MRO companies offering base and line maintenance with us has never been broader,” says James Dillon-Godfray, London Oxford Airport’s Head of Business Development.
Volare Aviation recently added Gulfstream and Leonardo AW series to the number of models it supports. New Cessna Citation and Dassault Falcon MRO Jet Maintenance International (JMI) selected London Oxford Airport as its base this month, taking space in the airport’s new 18,000 sq ft hangar, which was completed early this year.
GlobeAir of Austria, the largest Cessna Citation Mustang charter operator, has established a Part 145 base and line maintenance business at Oxford to support its fleet in house. Patrick Marchant, former head of maintenance at Blink Air and EuroJet, leads the activity.
Globe Air has increased its Mustang fleet to 20, taking an additional four from WiJet of France. With nearly a third of its charters flying in or out of the UK now, including its prolific contribution as a Victor and Privatefly operator, Globe Air is able to offer competitive charter prices on its flights.
Light GA traffic up
After a slump in ab initio pilot training the last few years, London Oxford Airport welcomed two new pilot training companies, Leading Edge Aviation and Go Fly Oxford in 2018, complementing Airways Aviation and CAE. Both are expanding their activity levels.
Up & Away, the aircraft detailing and aircraft interior/exterior cleaning business, has formally established its HQ at Oxford, while retaining activity at 15 other UK airports.
hullo Aircrew, the online platform which connects freelance aircrew and operators, has this month secured investment from Jet Aviation, a General Dynamics company, to help it further develop their platform and products. Since EBACE 2018 hullo has secured an additional 2,000 members.
In January 2019 London Oxford Airport agreed a five-year contact with World Fuel Services as its on-site fuel provider, following a competitive pitch. The company will start work with the airport this summer to design a new fuel farm for Jet and Avgas provision.
London Oxford Airport’s helicopter activity is maintained at 2018 levels, supporting some 6,000 movements. The airport continues to offer the lowest priced London region helicopter shuttles to and from London Heliport at Battersea (taking just 22 minutes) – at £1,995.
The airport has initiated a dialogue with the local authority to explore offering limited slots after midnight and before 06:00 hrs.
“We are hopeful of a conclusion later this year,” said James Dillon-Godfray, noting Luton and Stansted are already unusable for business aviation after 23.00hrs to 05.00hrs for June to September again this summer. “We are ready to take on additional movements,” said Dillon-Godfray.
Further adding to the infrastructure, a new 101-bedroom Premier Inn adjacent to the airport is scheduled to open this autumn. It will also include a 150-cover restaurant.
Meet London Oxford Airport at EBACE on stand A67.