Blink Company News

Blink acquires MyJet and buys Blackbushe Airport

Beginning of consolidation in the European air taxi market

Blink, Europe’s first air taxi service, today announces the acquisition of Italian air taxi operator MyJet. The acquisition adds three Cessna Citation Mustangs to its fleet, bringing the total to nine, to 30% of the air taxi market. In addition, it provides Blink with an enhanced maintenance capability in the north of Italy to work in conjunction with its existing best‐inclass operations at Blackbushe Airport in the UK.

The acquisition of MyJet demonstrates that Blink is leading the European air taxi industry in consolidating operations across the key business aviation hubs of London, Paris, Nice, Geneva and now northern Italy, including Milan. It increases Blink’s capacity and will allow even more efficient operations of the market leading air taxi service. Initially, the MyJet aircraft will continue to operate under the existing livery before gradually being brought under the Blink brand.

Blink launched in 2008, having successfully completed a $30 million round of equity funding with European investors and has since flown over 17,000 passengers over 4.5 million miles. Blink’s fleet of Mustangs have stood up to the requirements of air taxi operations exceptionally well with fleet utilisation averaging over 600 hours per aircraft per year.

In addition, Blink has bought Blackbushe Airport. This will allow Blink to deliver security of tenure, regulation of costs and even better customer experience. Blink plans to invest in Blackbushe Airport to create some of the finest executive and private aviation facilities in the UK. The transaction also brings a sense of control and security to Blink ‐ in an industry where operators and customers are often at the mercy of high aircraft parking charges and landing fees.

Individuals in Europe can arrange a Blink flight as easily as ordering a cab to travel to the over 800 airports in the Blink destination network. The service allows passengers to travel direct to more convenient airports and other locations not currently serviced by scheduled flights. In the coming months Blink will also launch technology upgrades that will deliver the private aviation holy grail of real‐time pricing and availability.

Cameron Ogden, managing director and co‐founder commented: “The acquisition of MyJet and the purchase of Blackbushe Airport are further validation of what we set out to achieve with Blink in 2008. This is a demonstration that the European air taxi industry has come of age and that the much talked about period of consolidation has started. In MyJet we have a wholly complementary business that shares our passion for true air taxi operations, a best in class maintenance operation and the reliability of management and corporate organisation.

Blackbushe Airport has been Blink’s home for the last four years and has allowed us to offer an exceptional private aviation experience without the unnecessary costs of some airports. In buying the airport we have secured the opportunity to consolidate our operations and the room to expand.

Both moves continue to support our position as Europe’s first air taxi service and our aim to deliver an exceptional private aviation product at a lower cost than has been possible to date.”

Fabrizio Bertacchi, MyJet/STC Aviation founder, added: “Becoming a part of Blink’s strong team is testament to the power of consolidation. By selecting a brand of such high calibre, we are confident that we have found a partnership of mutual reward.”

Cameron Ogden is at EBACE and available for interview. Further images are available on request.

Contact:

Tom Nutt/Jennifer Ball
The Communication Group plc
T: 020 7630 1411
tnutt@thecommunicationgroup.co.uk
jball@thecommunicationgroup.co.uk

De-Icing Insurance Is Back!

Back by popular demand, De-Icing Insurance is now available for Blink Flights this winter season.  Available with any flight booked on Blink’s fleet of Cessna Citation Mustang aircraft, it brings guaranteed peace of mind by removing liability for any de-icing costs during your trip.


Insurance is priced at £165 GBP (€200 EUR) per sector. The customer may choose which sectors of their trip they would like to take the de-icing insurance on.

Please contact Blink Flight Services to purchase or learn more about our De-Icing Insurance.

Phone: +44 (0)20 7199 1400 or +41 (0)22 592 75 77

Email: blink@flyblink.com

Access to Central London just got easier…

50% off London City Landing Fees in June

At Blink we realise time is money.  Unfortunately up to now, access to London City Airport and the doorstep of London’s Business District has attracted quite a steep price premium.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with London City Airport Jet Centre to offer Blink passengers a 50% discount on landing and handling fees for any flight taking place in June.

This results in a saving of over £1,000 at peak times, and £600 at off-peak times compared to our normal London City fares.

So what are you waiting for? Book your flight into London City and get straight to business.

Notes:

  • This offer amounts to 50% off Landing and Handling fees, a saving of £1,000 over a peak movement, and £600 on an off-peak movement
  • This offer is only valid for flights taking place from 1st June to 30th June 2013 inclusive
  • 50% discount applies to only the landing & handling fees, and not to the entire flight cost
  • Offer is subject to availability of aircraft and crew at the time of booking
Please contact Blink Flight Services to book or learn more about this special offer.

Online: Complete this form

Phone: +44 (0)20 7199 1400 or +41 (0)22 592 75 77

Email: blink@flyblink.com

Blink straight into St Tropez & Lugano

St Tropez, nestled in the beautiful Cote d’Azur has long been the summer home to the jet set, with the rich and famous flocking here for sun, sand and sailing.

For those relying on commercial flights or travelling on larger Private Jets, nearby Nice, Cannes and Toulon Hyeres have been the closest airports to St Tropez and long car journeys have had to be taken to get to the jewel of the Cote d’Azur.

For VLJs such as Blink’s fleet of Cessna Citation Mustang however there is another option, St Tropez La Mole (LFTZ/LTT).

Blink is proud to announce that we are now ready to launch operations into St Tropez La Mole.  Whilst the airfield is quite restrictive with wind and temperature, our crew have completed rigorous training with the French DGAC, and are now qualified to operate into La Mole.

Helicopter Insurance now available!

There will be times when wind or temperature conditions prevent us being able to land safely in St Tropez La Mole.  During these times our aircraft will have to diver to Cannes Mandelieu (LFMD/CEQ) airport, and the journey will have to be continured by road from there.

We’ve teamed up with a local helicopter company to offer the Blink Helicopter Insurance.  For €400 Euros per flight, you can cover the possibility of diversion and have a Helicopter whisk you from Cannes to Helistation de Grimaud in St Tropez right away.

Blink renews Lugano crew training for Summer 2013

In addition to St Tropez La Mole, we have also renewed the training of our captains into Lugano (LSZA/LUG), Switzerland.

We first operated to Lugano back in 2010.  You can read our blog post and see photos of our trip on our news feed.

Lugano is quickly becoming the destination of choice for summer vacationing, and so in recognition of this we have renewed our pilot specialist training for this airfield to better serve Blink passengers in summer 2013.

Please contact Blink Flight Services to book or learn more about any of our summer Destinations.

Online: Complete this form

Phone: +44 (0)20 7199 1400 or +41 (0)22 592 75 77

Email: blink@flyblink.com

Blink offers new De-Icing Insurance

From today, Blink is proud to announce our new De-Icing Insurance.  Available with any flight booked on Blink’s fleet of Cessna Citation Mustang aircraft, it brings guaranteed peace of mind by removing liability for any de-icing costs during your trip.

Insurance starts at £120 (€150 EUR) for the first sector and £70 (€85 EUR) for each additional sector. >Find out more

Please contact Blink Flight Services to purchase or learn more about our De-Icing Insurance.

Phone: +44 (0)20 7199 1400 or +41 (0)22 592 75 77

Email: blink@flyblink.com

Blink opens new headquarters at Blackbushe Airport

We’ve recently moved into our new offices at Blackbushe Airport.  Blackbushe is conveniently located about 45 minutes from central London. It is easily reachable by either train or car.

Just a few miles from Farnborough, Blackbushe offers extended weekend opening hours, and is a cost effective alternate to other London Airports.

Small and discrete, at Blackbushe you can be in the air just minutes after arriving at the airport.

Why not come down and see for yourself?  Our Flight Services team will be more than happy to show you around our new home.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Like Blink on Facebook and win a free trip!

To celebrate Blink’s 1,000th fan on Facebook, we’re offering one lucky fan the opportunity to Blink for free!

Blink’s Facebook page

Join our active community of users and enthusiasts on Facebook. Share your favourite Blink memory and browse all our photos and videos of the Blink jets in their travels throughout Europe.  Our Facebook page is also a great way to learn about our lastest fare sales, special offers, and Last Minute Deals.

Free Last Minute Deal

Everyday, we offer last minute flights for as little as £250.  These “Last Minute Deals” or “LMDs” provide an exceptional way to fly on a private jet for less than the price of a commercial business class ticket.  We post our LMDs on our website (www.flyblink.com), our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/flyblink), and our Twitter page (@flyblink).

For one lucky winner, they will have the choice of any of our LMDs for free.  To enter, simply Like Blink on Facebook. The first 1,000 fans will be entered into a draw to win an LMD of their choice.


Terms and conditions:
> Only the first 1,000 fans will be entered to the draw, of which one winner will be picked at random.
> The draw will be made once the Blink Facebook page (www.facebook.com/flyblink) reaches 1,000 fans.
> The winner will be notified by message to their Facebook account and their name anounced on the Blink Facebook page.
> The prize consists of one flight onboard a Blink Jet from a selection of LMDs.  A maximum of 4 passengers can travel, depending on the route.
> The flight must be taken by 31 December 2010.
> The flight is a one-way journey.  All taxes, insurances, transfers, spending money and other expenses, unless specifically stated, are the sole responsibility of the prize-winner.
> Each person is permitted one entry.  The lead passenger’s name must match that of the winning Facebook account holder.
> If a schedule change occurs that requires a time change of the Last Minute Flight, then the winner will be given the opportunity to reschedule the flight or select a different LMD.  If a schedule change occurs that cancels the Last Minute Flight, then the offer will be withdrawn and the winner shall have the opportunity to select a different LMD.
Please click here to view the full terms and conditions.

The benefits of booking online at www.flyblink.com

Book online for our lowest prices guaranteed

In July, Blink launched online pricing and booking online at www.flyblink.com where you will find Blink’s lowest Taxi fares – guaranteed. You can price any combination of trips throughout Blink’s destination network.

What are you waiting for?

In our first month of online booking, 20% of all our trips were booked online.  These clients recognised the ease, transparency, and value of booking online.

Benefits of booking online

  • Lowest taxi fares – guaranteed
  • Get an instant quote for any trip
  • Search for the closest airport to your destination with our airport locator

Fly for as little as £250

Visit www.flyblink.com/lmd to view all our Last Minute Deals which enable you to fly for as little as £250. Book these exclusively online.

Let me know what you think of Blink’s online pricing and booking tool. We are always looking for ways to improve it.

Interview with Blink’s Director of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot

Building Team Blink

In January 2008, the first employee of Blink started work. The first task was to build the team of staff that would manage the fleet of 30 aircraft Blink had ordered. Two and a half years later Blink has 7 aircraft in the fleet, and 40 employees. Captain Dougie Gass, Blink’s Chief Pilot and Director of Flight Operations, reflects on his wealth of experience from his career at British Airways, and how he set about building the team at Blink.

You were the first Blink employee. What was it like joining Blink on day 1?

On the day I joined Blink in January 2008, the Blink office was in Bishopsgate, and it was, I recall, on the small side of small! My feelings and thoughts however, were anything but small. It was the most exciting day, and the thoughts of the coming months, and the building of the team that would become the backbone of Blink Flight Operations, made me think on a grand scale. There was so much to do, and the days were full of vision. It made me think how simple and straightforward my recent times at BA had been, and how exciting the following months would be by comparison. I was right, it was exciting, it was a challenge, and it still is.

What does the Director of Flight Operations do?

Very broadly, he ensures safe, stable and efficient aircraft operations within the Flight Ops department. Also, that all operations comply with the requirements of the regulatory body. This includes the coordinating of all Blink flight operations; ensuring that all Blink aircraft are operated according to their manuals, and using the correct SOP’s; pilot recruitment, categorising new airports and determining their suitability for Blink operations. He has ultimate responsibility for all manuals. In all, he is responsible for, and oversees the Blink flight operations.

You’ve described the Blink Jet – the Cessna Citation Mustang – as making the 747-400 look steam driven. What do you mean?

The 747-400 is a fantastic aircraft, and BA took delivery of the first few in 1989; in fact it was one of Blink’s Captains that flew one of the first ones back from Seattle. That was over 20 years ago. The Mustang, being a new model aircraft, has taken full advantage of the many advances in technology. It is fitted with the latest Garmin G1000 glass cockpit, which manages the instrument and engine displays, the autopilot and the flight guidance systems. It also has fabulous navigation displays, with great visual displays which enhance situational awareness, and is the core of the cockpit that does make the 400 look ‘steam driven’.

What has been the most challenging part of transitioning from British Airways’ most senior 747 training captain to the Director of Flight Operations at Blink?

Flying such a long career within BA is something of which I remain very proud and have great memories of. I believe that over that long career, I learned much about people, their standards and behaviour, and their direct effect and contribution to flight safety. It was a great challenge to bring those same ‘best practices’ and introduce them into Blink’s operation, but it has been a pleasure doing it. Thinking back, within BA, I now realise how much support I had, both in the training environment, and with line flying, it was nice being spoiled! During the start up of Blink, I had to learn many new skills, including IT, admin and adjusting to the office environment, all of which presented their own challenges. The most important and significant challenge has been to build the team that works well together, and that will ensure the success of Blink.

When you recruit pilots, what talents and skills do you seek? What makes a Blink pilot?

I enjoy the recruitment process. I have learned over my career that the pilots who enjoy the greatest success, among other things, are the best team players. People who are aware of, and consider; other people’s needs, as well as their own. Someone who can stay ‘ahead of the game.’ So, what do I look for when recruiting new pilots? Excellent qualifications are an obvious pre requisite, together with the necessary flying skills; but I also try to select the very best people, who are team players, and ones with the best people skills. After all, Blink pilots are, not only pilots, but also front line, on the day managers, promoters of sales, who are hugely involved in customer care, and ambassadors for Blink. We need all rounders, we need the very best.

What has been more your significant accomplishment at Blink?

Being part of the team that worked towards, and were granted Blink’s AOC in 2009 was certainly a great achievement; and one of which all who were involved are very proud. I personally consider one of the very significant accomplishments to be every time I sit on the flight deck of a Mustang and I take part in an operation that I consider to be of ‘world standard’. I am very proud of our aircraft operation and the first class use of Blink Standard Operating Procedures, by all of our aircrew.

How do you relax?

I am keen on many forms of sport. Golf is one of my favourites, and having taken a short sabbatical from it, as Blink was formed and grew, I again enjoy time at my club Wentworth, as I try to get my game back in some kind of order. I support my local Rugby club, Bracknell, as well as my beloved Manchester United, who I love to watch whenever able. Other forms of relaxation for me include gardening and cooking at my home in Ascot.

What excites you most about flying?

Having started my flying career in 1970, it is difficult for me to think of flying, after 39 years at the controls, as exciting; but the fact is, I do. I am fortunate, in that I now take the opportunity to fly our Mustangs more often than when we were establishing Blink. The flying part is still the best part of the job for any pilot, and it is no different for me. Unlike in the airlines, we fly to and visit many new airfields, all with their own challenges, and in our case, with some fabulous new views, such as Samedan and Lugano. Yes, and I am very grateful for the fact, it is still exciting.

Blink Agenda – Summer/Autumn 2010

Take a peek at the latest issue of the Blink quarterly agenda featuring our pick of the most interesting and glamorous events taking place across our European destination network. We will show how to Blink there and from time to time offer special promotions including limousines, hotel services and villa accommodation.

A stylish A5-size takeaway, the Blink Agenda should be a useful desktop reference for those with little time and a big sense of adventure.