British helicopter operator Castle Air has recently bought Biggin Hill-based Sovereign Business Jets Ltd from AYR Group. Castle Air Managing Director Ross Bunyard and Sales Manager Barry Chalmers were appointed as directors of Sovereign on 23rd February. [We note that Chalmers is usually referred to as Sales Director or Commercial Director but official company records do not show him as having a Directorship. Ed].
Sovereign Business Jets website is currently withdrawn apart from a holding page confirming the purchase and that “a new website is currently under construction”. Sovereign Business Jets provides aircraft management, charter operations, and operates a single Hawker 800 jet, registered G-VIPI. This jet has been registered since May 2014 in the name of Castle Air Services Ltd, a company based in the tax haven of Gibraltar, but we believe this is a coincidence as the address equates to the service company Castle Trust Group.
Castle Air have shown an interest in business jet operations by having their CastleJets.com website, and opened their second base at Biggin Hill – where Sovereign are based – in summer 2013. The company headquarters remain at Liskeard in the south-west of England.
Sovereign Business Jets Ltd is the only company affected. AYR Group owners Serge and Anastasia Sergeef have retained ownership of three other related companies, which they have renamed as follows
- Annecy One Ltd – previously Concierge Aviation Ltd
- Annecy Two Ltd – previously Sovereign Catering Ltd
- Annecy Three Ltd – previously Sovereign Executive Jets Ltd
AYR Group also provides helicopter services on United Nations contracts through operator Air Taurus, which operates heavy-lift helicopters out of Kremenchuk, Ukraine. The AYR Group website shows Mil Mi-8 and Mi-26 helicopters, and has mention of operating in various countries including South Sudan, Liberia, Turkey and the UAE.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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