DC Aviation grows the ACJ way and sees return to good times
Stuttgart-based operator DC Aviation is here exhibiting a new Airbus ACJ that is available for charter after having been delivered last Friday. This year the company is to take delivery of three ACJs, thus bringing its fleet to four of the type. DC Aviation CEO Steffen Fries said here at EBACE that he is confident 2010 will be as good for his company as the pre-downturn 2008 was.
The aircraft on display features a unique the bedroom layout showing two separate single-person beds instead of the typical king-size bed. It is positioned in the center of the cabin, with an adjacent bathroom equipped with a shower. The forward cabin is comprised of two lounges, while 20 business-class seats fill the aft cabin.
“If we fly privately for the owner, we can carry up to 33 passengers but in commercial operations only 19,” Fries said. He described a typical charter flight carrying a soccer team with the club’s owners and top executives. Pricing starts at €12,500 ($16,250) per hour.
Some seats and divans can be converted into as many as five extra beds. The cabin also features a wireless Internet network and five cordless satellite telephones.
DC Aviation took delivery of another VVIP ACJ six weeks ago; a third is slated to arrive late this month. All three will be offered for charter under management contracts. The company has provided advice to the owners with regard to defining the specifications and inspected the aircraft during manufacture before accepting them.
Fries said he expects DC Aviation to log 12,000 flight hours this year, approximately the same numbers as in 2008. Last year, its fleet of 30 business jets flew only 9,500 hours. The first quarter of this year it flew 10 percent more flights than the same period in 2009.
DC Aviation is in discussions with Dubai World Central airport about building a temporary hangar there. It is considered temporary because Dubai’s plans on airports are not firm yet, Fries explained. The hangar is expected to open in the fourth quarter of this year and would provide room for parking, line maintenance and FBO services.