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Zenith Aviation is based at London Biggin Hill Airport and offers charter services from a growing fleet of business aircraft.

The company, part of Markerstudy Group - a Times 100 Best Company to Work For - operates a mixed fleet of Learjets, Citations and Challenger business jets.

In addition, Zenith provides aircraft acquisition and sales services, plus tailored management solutions.

Zenith Aviation MD, Stuart Mulholland.

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?

“We're 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. For instance, 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 too.”

Zenith Aviation's ramp at London Biggin Hill Airport.

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.”

And 2017?

“2016 was a great year for Zenith and 2017 has started even better than last year. Also, new aircraft bring new possibilities. Exciting times.”

Building 529, Churchill Way
Biggin Hill
Westerham TN16 3BN
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1959 578 400
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 9th February 2017 | Issue #403