FAI Aviation Group marks 30 years
FAI Aviation Group marks 30 years Builds on a successful year and wider breadth of expertise FAI Aviation Group, Germany’s leading global provider of mission-critical aviation services, offering fixed-wing air ambulance, special missions, charter and aircraft management, as well as full MRO services will return to EBACE next month (Avinode Stand #B71) as it celebrates 30 years of business jet operations. Founded in 1987 as a private repatriation club flying helicopters, FAI moved into business jet flying two years later.
Over the past three decades, Nuremberg-based FAI has grown its fixed wing fleet from a single Citation 500 and two rescue helicopters (Eurocopter AS 350 and Airbus BK 117) to become Germany’s largest business jet operator with 25 jets and over 13,500 hours logged in 2018. FAI’s air ambulance business has grown too and today FAI is a global market leader in air ambulance patient transport by jet aircraft, having logged more than 200,000 total hours of ambulance missions inside 30 years.
Siegfried Axtmann, FAI Aviation Group Founder and Chairman, comments: “Reaching 30 years is a great achievement for our company and I am very proud of how far we have come. The company’s growth and success is testament to our commitment to safety, service and continued investment. It also highlights the importance of our tremendous team of people, now 200-strong, who have made our business what it is today. I look forward to continuing to grow our business to meet the needs of our customers.”
Endorsing FAI’s success Jeffrey Emmenis, Founding Partner of Switzerland-based Vertis Aviation, adds: “We value responsiveness, dependability and knowledge. As an operator that strives to deliver the same high quality of standards consistently as we do, FAI is one of our go-to operators. Siegfried and his team have been consistently supportive of our business and remain the consummate professionals. We salute them on their 30-year anniversary and look forward to working with them in decades to come.”
Irena Deville, Managing Director EMEA of AVIAA added: “In its 30 years of operation, FAI has grown into and firmly established itself as an operator that always strives to do better operationally, commercially and financially. It is no surprise they saw AVIAA’s potential early on and we are extremely proud to be working with the forward thinking, energetic FAI team.”
FAI over the decades
FAI has grown significantly since its inception in 1989 through the acquisition of a small repatriation business, focusing on the air ambulance market. That same year, FAI purchased a Cessna Citation 500 which was followed by the purchase of two Falcon 20´s two years later. Going from strength to strength in 2004 the company expanded into special mission services in hostile areas for the world´s largest NGO.
In 2011 with revenues in excess of €50m for the first time, the company inaugurated its new headquarters at Albrecht Dürer Airport in Nuremberg. The company expanded again in 2012 with the launch of its dedicated MRO division, FAI Technik. In 2014 it opened its second maintenance hangar 7 which was followed in 2017 with the inauguration of its latest 4,500sqm hangar 8. The three hangars together represent the largest general aviation hangar complex in Germany, capable of accommodating up to four BBJ´s or ACJ´s simultaneously.
International presence in Dubai and Miami, USA
Over the years FAI Aviation group has grown organically – and today the company has revenues in excess of €80m. It has offices in Dubai and Miami, FL and is a market leader in fixed wing air ambulance operations. Last year, the company was further strengthened by a significant minority stake investment by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the sovereign wealth fund of the Ki ngdom of Bahrain, further opening up the Middle East market. Recent new collaborations have also followed with FAI working with the world leading group purchasing organisation Convolus (now AVIAA) and inflight broadband provider, Gogo. Additionally, in January 2018, FAI became an Authorized Collins Aerospace Distributor for avionics and cabin electronics equipment.
FAI Technik continues to see growing demand. Last month, FAI´s started work on its sixth inhouse Global Express cabin refurbishment which marked one of the most extensive refurbishment projects for the type. Named ‘Project Pearl’, the Bombardier BD700 will include 60, 120- and 240-month inspections and feature Collins Aerospace’s latest VenueTM cabin management system and high definition entertainment system.
FAI’s fleet continues to grow and the company welcomed its seventh Bombardier Global Express in February strengthening the company’s position as one of Europe’s largest Bombardier fleet operators, which brings significant operational and cost benefits. In addition to its seven Bombardier Global Express’, the fleet comprises: five Bombardier Challenger 604s, one Challenger 850, 11 Learjet 60, plus one Premier 1A and one King Air 350.
About FAI Aviation Group
FAI Aviation Group operates Germany´s largest Bombardier business jet fleet. FAI´s group fleet of 27 jets and one turboprop comprises six Global Express, one Challenger 850, six Challenger 604s, 12 Learjet 60s, together with two Premier 1A light jet and one King Air 350 turboprop.
FAI runs a 14,000 m² carbon-neutral fixed-base operation at its Nuremberg, Germany headquarters, employing a full-time staff of 220 people, including 60 mechanics and engineers at its in-house maintenance centre, plus some 50 part-time physicians.
FAI´s Group revenues in 2019 were close to € 100 m combined to a fleet utilization of more than 14.000 hours of airtime.
FAI was proud to receive the Diamond Safety of Flight Award from the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) in May 2018, marking the highest safety recognition awarded by EBAA to member companies operating business aircraft for 50 years or 100,000 hours without accident. In autumn 2018 FAI Aviation Group scooped “Germany´s Best Airline” accolade in the 2018 Focus Money Awards.
In October 2019 FAI’s Air Ambulance Division was one of three finalists for the 2019 ITIJ industry award – Air Ambulance Company of the Year. During the Dubai Airshow in November 2019 FAI was honoured with an Aviation Annual Achievement Award, in recognition of its 30 years of air ambulance and special mission flying and a 10-year anniversary award from MEBAA, reflecting the fact that 20% of FAI’s flying activity is now in the Middle East.
FAI is an official partner of McLaren F1 Racing.