BlueSky's Terry Spruce caught up with Managing Director
Stuart Mulholland and
Director of Quality Assurance, David Brothers, at their Biggin Hill facility:
Does Zenith offer third-party maintenance?
“Yes in addition to supporting our own fleet we also provide Line and Base
Maintenance for third party customers, principally on the Learjet 40/45,
Challenger 300/350, Challenger 604/5 and Citation XLS/XLS+.
We have also expanded our capacity at Biggin Hill by moving on to a four on,
four off shift pattern for the engineers. This gives us better weekend coverage
and allows us to provide better AOG support to our own fleet and external
customers whenever this may be required.
“We recently acquired another hangar at Biggin Hill and will
develop this new asset, expanding the footprint of the company at the airport.
The hangar is the ex-heritage hangar which is next to the Zenith facility.”
What are your plans
for fleet expansion?
currently looking at both larger and
smaller cabin aircraft that we can
add to the managed aircraft fleet
and hope to make a number of
additions prior to the summer
season. We've increased our flying hours considerably in the last year.
in January 2016 we flew 57 hours and in January this year we currently have
flown or committed 120 hours. Bookings are generally up about 30% so far this
year and we are therefore well on track to hit our 2017 target.”
The company is
clearly expanding, are you growing the staff?
“Almost every month, we’re employing more people, an average of one a month.
It’s an exciting time for us as every new aircraft we take on charter, we have
to employ pilots and crew. Again a new aircraft means more maintenance staff
Zenith Aviation's ramp
at London Biggin Hill
You say that the fleet is fully chartered out.
Will you look to charter extra aircraft to meet client’s demand?
“If we get to a position where we need to get extra capacity, rather than
charter extra aircraft we would prefer to buy an aircraft to meet the need.”
In the past, you've said that you'll be basing aircraft in other parts of
the UK. Is this still your plan?
“Biggin Hill will always be our home base but as the fleet size increases we
will have the opportunity to base aircraft elsewhere within the UK. The North
West is the most likely location for our first non-Biggin Hill based aircraft
with Manchester or Liverpool being the obvious choices for location.
“We are always open to opportunities and in addition we are also looking at
helicopter operations in the future.
“This industry is based on relationships and our recent success and expansion is
based on having great relationships. Something we pride ourselves on.”
“2016 was a great year for Zenith and 2017 has started even better than last
year. Also, new aircraft bring new possibilities. Exciting times.”