Jota Aviation accepts Avro RJ85 Purchase from Falko Regional Aircraft is second Regional Jet for expanding company

Monday 11th January 2016

  • Jota Aviation
  • Jota & Falko Delivery

The Jota Group is celebrating a winning year with its motor racing and aviation activities with the arrival of a new jet aircraft.  It has purchased a BAE Systems' Avro RJ85 regional jet from Falko, an ex SN Brussels Airlines aircraft, to add to Jota Aviation's current BAe 146-200 and King Air turboprop fleet.  The aircraft was delivered on Friday, 8th January.  Now plans are underway to employ an additional 12 to 15 flight crew, pilots and cabin attendants, ahead of service start.  The arrival bolsters Jota Aviation's workforce to 50.

 The aircraft, G-CHFE, will be re-registered G-JOTR and reconfigured into a 95-seat layout on completion of a C check with Avalon Aero at Cranfield.  It should be ready to start commercial operations from the end of March, having been fitted with enhanced avionics, including TCAS 7.1 and PRNav which will allow it to operate at Amsterdam Schiphol and other important hub airports.  With its enhanced engine performance and extended range of 1,400 nm, the Avro RJ will enable Jota to offer the charter and ACMI market an aircraft with up to four hours' flying time.  This covers all of the Mediterranean, Greek Islands, Morocco and other North African destinations. It is also approved for London City Airport operations.

"We are very pleased to have agreed terms with Falko on this aircraft.  We have built up a good working relationship with them over the past 18 months, with the acquisition of this RJ85 being the headline transaction. There are a number of synergies between the two companies which both parties are keen to nurture and develop.  It is low time in terms of airframe cycles and it is the right time for us to expand our charter and ACMI operations," said Jota Aviation Managing Director Andy Green.  "With over 12 months' experience under our belt flying the BAe 146 and having built up a strong customer base, including British Airways and Ireland's CityJet, we are confident about accepting a second jet." 

"With the new Avro we will be targeting the charter broker fraternity for group charters, conference and incentive work, plus, and importantly, Europe's regional airlines for sub contract and ACMI work," added Mike Sessions, Commercial Manager.

Jota Group CEO Simon Dolan said.  "This is a milestone day for Jota Aviation and I am personally very proud.  The team has taken the business from very humble beginnings six years ago to a significant and reputable charter operator.  It is testament to the relentlesspush for first class customer service that has been our DNA since Day 1.  As one of only 21 A licensed UK passenger airlines in the UK, Jota can rightfully sit amongst the largest and most respected operators in this country.    There is a lot of consolidation in the air charter business, but we are sticking to our niche in a sector we have come to know well.  Being independent and nimble means we can respond quickly to opportunities," he added.

"We are making an investment to 'future proof' our latest aircraft with modern avionics," Andy Green noted, adding the intention for the future is for Jota Aviation to establish its own Part 145 maintenance at its base at London Southend on the BAe/Avro family.

The Avro RJ85 complements Jota's BAe 146-200 and a fleet of five Beechcraft King Air turboprops.  Jota is the largest operator of the smaller King Air 90 family in Europe, one of which is a dedicated cargo aircraft with a large double cargo door, able to carry in excess of 1,000 kgs. It also operates the larger King Air 200, seating eight passengers.

These aircraft are deployed on cargo and passenger flights from London Southend Airport and are also available for crew movements and urgent AOG spares.

About Jota Aviation

Jota Aviation is part of the independent Jota Group, which also comprises Jota Sport, Jota Design and Jota Historic.  Set up over six years ago to cater for the travel and cargo demands of the motorsports industry, Jota Aviation has grown to be a leading specialist air charter operator serving the UK and Europe with passenger and cargo flights focused on Beechcraft King Airs, and moving into BAe 146 jet operations in October 2014. The company is run by Andy Green, Managing Director and CAA post holder, who set up the company for the directors of Jota Sport in 2009.  Jota Aviation was granted a type B operating licence in September 2010, initially flying light piston aircraft and then progressing to Beechcraft King Airs.

Jota Sport

The racing division of the JOTA Group currently competes in the European Le Mans Series plus selected rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship including the Le Mans 24 Hours - a race JOTA Sport first contested in 2005 and has claimed a top-six overall placing in. Including runners up in the European Le Mans series and winning the coveted Le Mans 24 hour race in LMP2 in 2014 and second placed in 2015. Jota Sport has also competed successfully in the American Le Mans Series, British GT Championship, Le Mans Series, Le Mans Endurance Series and FIA Sportscar Championship since its formation in 2000 as well as the Spa and Nürburgring 24 Hour races.

Jota Historic focuses on restoring and running historic race cars at Blue-Ribbon events such as the Le Mans Classic and Goodwood. Built on a foundation of supreme attention to detail, dedication and expertise, Jota Historic offers a turnkey operation from restoration, race car setup, race weekend support and performance driver coaching.

Jota Design specialises in the design, development and manufacture of road, race and rally projects. The knowledge and experience gained through motorsport competition is directly translated into all the projects that Jota Design is tasked with, from major OEM projects for the likes of Mazda through to individual vehicle performance enhancement.

The Jota Group is majority owned by British businessman and entrepreneur Simon Dolan, who is involved in several financial industries.  A Le Mans racing driver he set up racing team Jota Sport in 2008.

About Falko

Falko was formed in July 2011 when funds managed by Fortress Investment Group completed the purchase of BAE Systems Asset Management and its associated aircraft portfolio. Falko now manages a portfolio of over 70 regional jets and turboprops manufactured by BAE Systems, Bombardier, Embraer and  Boeing on lease to operators worldwide.

Falko has a clear growth strategy and intends to continue to expand the business and grow its portfolio of aircraft and services with particular focus on the regional aircraft market. With offices in Europe, Asia, South America and Australasia, Falko is well positioned to deliver a range of solutions across the globe.

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