George Galanopoulos, managing director of Luxaviation UK, talks to BAI about peak season operations, the influx of millennial passengers and new helicopter partnerships.
Tell BAI about your role at Luxaviation UK
I am the co-founder and managing director of Luxaviation UK, the leading business aviation charter operator in the UK. I am responsible for the performance of the company on a day-to-day basis and take pride in managing client relationships, sourcing new business opportunities and reporting to the wider Luxaviation Group for regular updates.
What is Luxaviation UK currently working on?
We are currently in the middle of our busy season. Music tours, festivals and sporting events are big business for us and the higher concentration of them in the summer months means our fleet is typically in the air around the clock.
We have actually just experienced what we expect to be our busiest weekend of the year, with 70% of our fleet being used from May 25-27 to fly clients to and from the UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev and the Monaco Grand Prix.
What are the key trends affecting the business aviation market at present?
We have noticed that our client demographic has shifted slightly, catering for a rising number of millennials in both business and leisure capacities. These younger business travelers are working in different industries – such as AI, big data and design – compared with the traditional banking and finance sectors we have typically served. With this, there has been a rise in healthier food and drink requests, including superfood salads and fresh juices, with far fewer requests for silver-service dining options.
How do you think the market will progress in the next decade?
At Luxaviation UK, we are interested to see how urban mobility solutions are going to impact the charter market. We are open to working with new technologies, especially ones that will enable us to develop our business, and these options are closer to market-entry than perhaps most people realize. Aside from that, we feel encouraged by the positive economic upturn the business aviation industry has shown in the past few years and look forward to activity returning to pre-2008 levels.
What does the next year hold for you?
We are looking forward to developing our operations as part of the Luxaviation Group, working with the group’s entities across Asia, Europe and the Middle East to develop new opportunities in the market.
We are keen to increase our partnerships with regional helicopter operators and – with an increase in demand for end-to-end services – we expect to be working closely with more service partners to deliver a seamless and connected journey for all our clients.