a blank piece of paper”, says Tony Carder, AirTanker Services’ new Director of
Leasing, “we’re completely open minded
about what shape the business takes, we can be as flexible as the market requires, short term, long term
agreements, lease, sub service or charter, single class or multiple class
configurations. We may not be unique in our capacity to deliver it but at
present, it’s a unique proposition, with brand new aircraft and a product
tailored to meet the customer’s requirements”.
joined AirTanker at the beginning of October from Atlas Air, his role
heading-up the carrier’s sales and marketing function in the EMEIA region, providing
a strong grounding for his new position at the helm of AirTanker’s evolving
leasing business. This is the latest in a series of appointments in a career
spanning three-decades in the aviation industry, including commercial and
operational positions with Channel Express and Cathay Pacific Airways.
are a start-up leasing business”, continues Tony, “but we’re a start-up leasing
business with a 14 strong fleet of brand new aircraft, incredible depth of
experience, established operating infrastructure focused on safety and quality and
unparalleled financial stability.”
reached a major milestone in July this year with the arrival of the ninth
Voyager aircraft into RAF Brize Norton, completing the ‘core fleet’. The five Voyager/A330-200 aircraft, which will
be delivered into RAF Brize Norton as part of the FSTA Contract between now and
the end of 2016, make up a surge capability – there for the RAF and MOD to use
if required but available to AirTanker to lease and operate in the commercial
market or for other military opportunities.
could include the provision of additional services to the RAF and the MOD or
other nations, in either a military or civil capacity, or stripped of military
equipment, the lease of aircraft in a civil A330-200 configuration.
we sit a stones’ throw away from RAF Main Building and sharing a base with its
Air Transport Command, it is, however, apparent that neither AirTanker or its
new Director of Leasing have forgotten why the business came into existence:
“The RAF and the MOD are our primary customer and our first aim is to work with
them to get best use and consequential return, from the Voyager fleet and
provide the core customer with additional flexibility and capability. We are
also exploring other opportunities with other potential customers in both
military and civil capacities to maximise usage of the fleet as a whole.
something that was always envisaged as part of the contract and other than for
the service which it supports, the way we are set up is not hugely different to
a standard ACMI leasing operation. In the commercial world you ideally have a
large scale core customer and then a mix of other business in several market
environments. Operating and maintaining the aircraft and delivering a high
quality reliable service to the customer is the same philosophy whether it’s
the RAF or a commercial airline customer”.
the terms of the ground-breaking three-year deal, the first of these aircraft
will be leased in a civil A330 set-up from May next year to Thomas Cook
directly to AirTanker from Airbus, military equipment will be removed by
AirTanker and the cabin will be reconfigured to a Thomas Cook Airlines 323 seat
premium economy & economy class layout. The aircraft will be operated by
AirTanker under its civil Air Operator’s Certificate, in support of scheduled
routes from Glasgow, Manchester and Stansted to Las Vegas, Cancun and Orlando.
AirTanker A330-200 aircraft availability (note, this does not reflect aircraft
End of 2016
me this is one of the unique selling points in almost all ACMI leasing
agreements you get a standard or pre-set configuration. We have a standard 291
seat configuration that the aircraft is delivered to us in but what we’re
saying to the market is ‘give us your requirement and we’ll work with you to
provide the aircraft in your preferred brand and layout’, that’s irrespective
of whether its economy, business class or anything else, if the demand is there
we’ll work with the client to deliver it”, says Tony.
continues: “The cabin is where it happens, it’s the customers brand and product
and the touch-point with their customer.
It’s what makes the difference, after all an A330 is an A330, but from a
wet leasing perspective it’s giving the customer the ability to make the
aircraft cabin the same as one of their own fleet that is really appealing.
We’re going to the market with the ability to perfectly reflect the brand
identity of the individual carriers that we work with”
A330-200 standard configuration:
291 single economy class in an eight abreast 2-4-2 configuration
2 or 3 class cabin options available for scheduled operations
Standard Airbus commercial seating, featuring a 34inch pitch (leg room)
In Flight Entertainment system
and on time performance is ‘a given’. “As an ACMI operator we have to provide
value to the customer both from a product perspective but also in terms of
performance and reliability”. This is
something where Tony points out that AirTanker’s expertise in support of the
RAF adds value to its proposition in the civil market.
working with our core customer, the RAF, which by the very nature of what it
does, demands a high level of reliability and flexibility but which also means
that we operate in an environment where safety is absolutely paramount. This
translates directly into our ACMI operating philosophy and we will have the
benefit of scale of operating a fleet of fourteen aircraft.”
is an inherent part of AirTanker’s USP, extending far beyond cabin
configurations and operational service to the very core product offer. “We’re
able to work with clients in a variety of ways: long term contracts, mid-term
and short-term; and sub-service agreements when a carrier needs replacement or
additional capacity, often at short notice”, says Tony.
continues: “We’re not tied in to a specific model although ultimately we would
expect to see some form of mixed solution of longer and shorter term agreements
and charter, sub-service type operations.”
what of the timing of AirTanker’s decision to enter the civil leasing market?
Monarch announced earlier this year its decision to pull out of the long haul
and charter market from April 2015, so does this mean that there’s an
timing is in fact very good”, says Tony, “Carriers are now starting to plan
their 2016 schedules and if anything, the Monarch announcement creates
opportunities, particularly because we are introducing brand new aircraft into
A330-200 is a proven airframe, with over 500 aircraft in service with over 70
operators and the appetite for it is still very much there, you only need to
look at the order stream that is coming in for the Neo - the demand for an
efficient wide-bodied long and regional
airframe is still there. We’re offering exactly that, a brand new aircraft with
all of the efficiencies and economies of operation that go with that e.g. brand
new and market leading Trent 700 engines.
are some carriers who have substantial fleet renewal or growth policies, so there
are second hand aircraft becoming available in the ACMI market but these are
older airframes with high hours and cycles, so it’s a very different
proposition to the one that we’re able to offer. We are confident there is a
space in the market for our product and capability and we are very excited and
optimistic about the future.”
find out more please visit www.airtanker.co.uk.
Alternatively please contact Tony Carder, Director of Aircraft Leasing, t. +44 (0) 1993 873000, m.
+44 (0) 7801 531298 e. firstname.lastname@example.org