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Icejet Growing In Iceland
Dornier aircraft provide the ideal transport for charter company

Need to charter a business jet in Iceland? An Icejet luxury Dornier 328Jet Envoy should fit the bill. Managing Director and shareholder Jón Ingi Jónsson has been a part of introducing three executive Dorniers to the Icelandic charter market in the space of two years. Two others have also been added- making the company the largest operator of this executive jet aircraft type- as well as Iceland’s only business jet aviation charter company.

World Aircraft Sales Magazine was fortunate enough to fit in a visit to Icejet’s home-base in stunning and hospitable Reykjavík just before Christmas- just as news was breaking that Icejet and Artic Partners company acquired South Air’s FBO at Reykjavik in October 2007. Its name will be changed to Ice FBO and it will offer ground services to all aircraft sizes whether destined for Reykjavík or transiting the Atlantic.

There should be plenty of work to keep the new venture busy – for example NetJets did around 400 landings here last year and plans to increase the number to around 500 this year. There are also a few private heavy jets based in Reykjavík - “We hope to see more of them on our apron-” said Jónsson.

Two adjacent maintenance hangars are also part of the deal- they will be managed by Icejet and be known as Hangar One. The facility has EASA 145 approval. The company’s licenses cover Dornier 328Jets- 328 turboprops- and King Airs- with future expansion plans to include Challenger and Falcon jets.

Jónsson- who doubles as Director of Flight Operations and as a first officer- is justifiably proud of the company- as it is the first to gain an Icelandic AOC for its executive jet operations. Icejet’s largest shareholder is an investment group called Nordic Partners- which owns the famous Danish Hotel Dangleterre- Hotel Front and Hotel King Fredrick- all located in Copenhagen.

Busy schedule
Although its home base is Reykjavík- with 85% of business coming from corporate clients based in Iceland- Jónsson says Icejet is looking at basing one or two aircraft in the London area. He knows the home market will support two of his 14 seat Envoys (he has four) and the 19 seat corporate shuttle. Other plans could include the sale of two of the aircraft- possibly an Envoy and the corporate shuttle both of which Icejet would hope to manage.

The Dorniers have a busy schedule on regular runs to Scandinavia- London- Dublin and the Baltic area. When World Aircraft Sales Magazine visited- the newly delivered fifth 328Jet- (S/N 3161 TF-NPB) a 14 seat Envoy from 328 Support in Germany- was sporting a new elegant gold paint scheme.

Icejet has become a regular visitor to London’s FBOs - and to London City Airport in particular - since one of its aircraft was approved for its 5.5 degree steep approach regime. “This makes us the only 328 jet operator in the world approved for London City-” observed Jónsson.

He also told of a call he got recently at 5.40pm to fly a passenger to London. “We took off at 7.00pm- even the food was catered for. You can imagine how impressed the client was. This could only be achieved by excellent teamwork-” he said.

The company’s aim is to primarily service the Icelandic market- “We don’t want to grow too fast - we’re proud of what we do- we have a dedicated staff and offer great flexibility-” said Jónsson- who is soon to qualify as a Captain as well.

Jónsson has been highly enthusiastic about the 328Jet for years. The aircraft’s wide body potential was a governing factor when Icejet’s business plan was being formed. It was never doubted that the Dornier had the ability to deliver- even though the aircraft type has been out of production since 2004.

In the cabin- Envoy aircraft have eight lush swiveling chairs in double club arrangement- plus six regular leather seats- walnut veneered folding tables- cabinets- wardrobe- stowage compartments- and a galley. Two 15 inch LCD monitors- a DVD media system and an ‘air show’ for passenger entertainment complete the luxury. The corporate shuttle- meantime- has 19 comfortable leather seats with a collapsible table stowed in the armrest in addition to the foldout table on the backrest.

Ideal aircraft
“The aircraft are ideal for our operation-” Jónsson reiterated. “Very reliable- economical- and able to fly many sectors in a day.” In addition- the aircraft have the aforementioned wide cabin with a full standing height of 1.89 meters which is ideal. They are designed for really easy ground handling and efficient servicing. A 20-minute ground turnaround can be seen quite often in normal Icejet operations.

Passenger entrance/exit is through the integral forward door- while fuel- catering- baggage and sanitary services are performed aft of the wing. The roomy cargo compartment has a large door on the left side of the fuselage with a 1.20 meter sill height- which is low enough to allow loading without a conveyor belt. Luggage capacity is 750kg.

Leisure market bookings have proved very successful- and a six week promotional tour last year ferrying international operatic pop vocal group Il Divo (four tenors who achieved fame after being brought together by UK TV personality Simon Cowell) around Europe was a great success.

Icejet is the second AOC that Jónsson has been involved with – his first was Citystar which operates a fleet of four Dornier 328 turboprops on scheduled services between Scotland and Norway. Citystar was founded in 2003 and started operations in March 2005.

Jónsson reveals he has always been inspired by aviation as he grew up near the American airbase at Keflavik Airport- now Iceland’s International Airport (the Americans left last year)- and he began his career as a check-in clerk with Icelandair.

“After I got my license the Icelandic carriers were not hiring any pilots [following the recession that followed 9/11]- there were simply no jobs out there! So- there was nothing else to do - I founded an airline with a few of my friends-” he explained with a proud smile.

More information from www.icejet.is


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