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Vertis Aviation expands in South Africa

Opens office at new Fireblade FBO at O.R. Tambo International, Johannesburg and adds new Bombardier Global 6000, Learjet 45 and AW139

Swiss-based Vertis Aviation, part of the independently owned aviation company 28 East Group, has opened its first aviation charter branch in South Africa at O.R. Tambo International Airport (ORT), Johannesburg, to support growing demand in the region. Located in a prime office location at the new state-of-the-art Fireblade Aviation FBO, the premises fittingly reflect the luxury brand and bespoke service Vertis delivers to its clients. Vertis becomes the first executive aviation charter business to take up residence at the FBO. The opening coincides with the addition of three new aircraft joining the Vertis portfolio, a brand new Global 6000 (ZS-TDF), a 2002 Bombardier Learjet 45 (ZS-OPR) and a 2013 AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter (ZS-EOS) which, also based at ORT, are operated by Fireblade Aviation (PTY) Ltd.

The Johannesburg office will be run by charter sales professional Steve Bennetts who will be responsible for marketing the exclusive portfolio on behalf of Vertis’ operating partners. Steve has worked in country for local operators for over three years and brings a breadth of knowledge about business aviation in the region.

Vertis’ new branch marks the fourth international location for the five-year-old company adding to offices in London, UK, Zug in Switzerland, and Dubai in the Middle East. Commenting on the new location, Jeffrey Emmenis, Partner at Vertis Aviation said: “The decision to open an office in South Africa was driven by growing demand for business aviation on the continent and is in line with our overall plan to grow the company internationally. We anticipate that our unique boutique approach, which provides tailored aviation services matching the specific needs of our clients, will be well-received here. We look forward to serving our African clients as we continue to grow our international footprint. The latest office gives us a presence on three continents and allows us to connect the world from top to bottom.” Vertis anticipates that its bespoke service with its reputation for attention to detail, combined with its luxury brand, will appeal to local clients such as heads of state, high net worth individuals and government officials who require comfort, security, reliability and long range capability.

The 2015 Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft replaces the existing 2012 Global Express that has been under management. The 15 passenger, ultra long-range business jet is available for immediate charter. The immaculately presented aircraft boasts one of the tallest, widest and longest cabins in its class and features one four place club seating area, a five place seating area as well as a three-place divan with two individual seats. This is complemented by a full state-of-the-art entertainment system with satellite telephone, internet and multi-region DVD. With an impressive range in excess of 6000nm, the Global 6000 is expected to be popular on regular business aviation routes such as from Johannesburg to London or Sao Paulo non-stop.

Complementing the Global 6000, the Learjet 45 (ZS-OPR) and the AW139 helicopter (ZS-EOS) are also available for immediate charter. The eight-seat Learjet will typically appeal to business clients visiting South Africa’s mining areas in the south of the region and the AW139 will suit clients flying to the numerous game parks. It is also anticipated that Vertis’ Learjet and AW319 will attract interlining clients who are travelling long haul on commercial airlines in First or Business Class. Passengers can make connections through the Fireblade FBO facility.

Vertis markets a total of nine long range aircraft and will attend this years EBACE in Geneva 19-21 May, booth Q090, to promote the portfolio which also includes a Boeing Business Jet, Gulfstream G650, Gulfstream G450, Bombardier Global 6000, two Airbus A319 Corporate Jets, Bombardier Global XRS aircraft, Bombardier Global Express and a Dassault Falcon 7X