A specialist British firm is developing a new business aviation centre at Cork Airport — a move which will boost lucrative executive and private jet and helicopter business.
Weston Aviation has signed a long-term contract with Cork Airport which will see it take over a hangar formerly leased by computer storage giant, EMC, for its own private jet — opening the facility up to the market.
It will be the first time executive aircraft will be able to avail of a hangar service at the airport.
The facility will be operational from September, with recruitment of a small team of up to five sales, ground handling and administration staff expected to get under way soon, with further recruitment planned for next year.
Weston’s managing director, Nick Weston, said he was excited about the expansion.
“We chose Cork Airport as our first international base for a number of reasons — key was the number of global businesses based in the region as well as the growing local economy,” he said.
“We believe there is real scope to significantly develop our client base in Ireland from Cork. Many of the companies based here may be new to the private aircraft charter services we provide so will not be fully aware of the benefits we can bring to a business such as flexibility and cost efficiency.”
Mr Weston said they were drawn to Cork Airport because of its size and structure, which is similar to that of its other airport partners. He stressed that executive aircraft hire is not the preserve of the rich and famous.
“We fly to almost 1,000 airports or airfields across Europe which are not serviced by scheduled flights. We can arrange a private charter, provide an executive lounge and hangar facility and get both leisure and business customers where they need to go very quickly and cost effectively.”
Clive Power, Cork Airport’s head of finance and commercial, said they were delighted to welcome Weston to Cork.
“It is a positive sign for the local economy that a company such as Weston Aviation sees the potential in the region,” he said.
“It is also an endorsement of our first-class facilities at the airport, which includes one of the most modern terminal buildings in Europe.”
Local Fianna Fáil Cllr Tom O’Driscoll also welcomed the airport’s latest positive announcement.
“This is very good in terms of connectivity for Cork Airport, particularly for existing businesses and potential investors,” he said.
Weston Aviation was established in 1995 to provide specialist cargo logistics, private jet and helicopter chartering, hangarage, concierge and aviation support services. It has four UK bases — Newquay Cornwall Airport, Durham Tees Valley Airport, Humberside International Airport, and Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield.