Luxaviation acquires London Executive Aviation

Luxaviation acquires London Executive Aviation

Left to right: Patrick Margetson-Rushmore (LEA), Patrick Hansen (Luxaviation), George Galanopoulos (LEA).

The Luxaviation Group expands its portfolio of European private jet operators with the acquisition of London Executive Aviation.

Luxaviation has added another European private jet operator, London Executive Aviation (LEA), to its business aviation group.

Earlier this year, Luxaviation acquired France-based Unijet – following Abelag in 2013 – to become the third largest private aircraft operator, following NetJets Europe and TAG Aviation.

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The latest acquisition of LEA sees Luxaviation grow its fleet to 90 aircraft, consisting mainly of large-cabin business jets. Luxaviation also increases its payroll to include 470 employees, as it expands its footprint across Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, France and now the UK. The group is also active in Asia where it runs an office from Singapore.

“The integration of London Executive Aviation into Luxaviation Group represents a further important step in our international growth strategy and superbly complements Luxaviation’s market-leading operations in Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg,” said Patrick Hansen, co-CEO of Luxaviation Group.

“With economic recovery beginning to take hold across Europe, this is the ideal time to create a new force in European business aviation that harnesses the expertise, reputation and combined scale of the region’s most outstanding operators.”

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LEA is one of the UK’s largest operators with a fleet of 26 aircraft, including eight Embraer Legacy 600/650 business jets, a Dassault Falcon 2000LX, Beechcraft King Air 200 turboprop and a Phenom 300, amongst others.

Following the take-over, Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive, and George Galanopoulos, managing director, will continue to lead the company and retain their shares. LEA will also preserve its corporate identity and “operational independence.”

Galanopoulos said: “There is a superb fit between LEA and our new sister companies within Luxaviation Group. We have all grown and built our reputations through outstanding service and have a shared understanding of the evolving needs of customers.

“We also face common challenges, such as the increasing regulatory burden on our industry, and by joining forces are achieving the scale needed to continue setting new service standards.”

In February, Margetson-Rushmore (featured in the amusing video above) was a guest speaker at Corporate Jet Investor’s fourth annual International Corporate Jet & Helicopter Finance conference.

Speaking on a panel looking at the light jet market, Margetson-Rushmore noted a “major positive change” in the number of interested aircraft buyers in the UK and spoke about his increasing optimism for the VLJ (very light jet) model.