Gloucestershire jet company flies high thanks to Air Operator Certificate

Photo shows: Directors Barry Preece and Capt Jason Bishop, Capt Pete Hamlet – Chief Pilot
The Little Jet Company

The Little Jet Group, based at Gloucestershire Airport, has been awarded an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by the Civil Aviation Authority, the UK’s aviation regulator.

The Little Jet Group, which includes The Little Jet Company and Regency Jet Ltd, is celebrating its sixth year in business this year and has recently enjoyed soaring success. It was set up by directors Jason Bishop and Barry Preece who met at school and share a love of aviation.

“We have worked hard to achieve an AOC,’ said Barry. ‘This is an exciting time for us and we are looking forward to the future.”

The company provides privately owned jets for passenger charter, cargo, medical and critical flights. Little Jet also manages aircraft.

As a result of the near total cessation of normal commercial passenger flights since the lockdown, those who can afford it are increasingly turning to private hire companies, and with The Little Jet Group saying it is the only such private jet hire company in Gloucestershire, enquiries and bookings have soared. It’s not surprising then to learn that the company now employs 20 staff and recently expanded to form The Little Jet Group.

A weekend return flight to Cannes in France from Gloucestershire or Kemble Airports will cost £11,500, the company told Business & Innovation Magazine. Divide that by the maximum number of passengers The Little Jet Company’s largest plane can carry (eight), and it works out as £1437.50 per person – probably not that much more than a first class flight from Heathrow in the peak season. And there’s no battle to get to Heathrow, no parking fees, no waiting…. just a quick trot across to the plane from the local terminal. Absolute bliss for those of us who deeply dislike the rigmarole of battling through a major airport.

‘We are extremely pleased and honoured to have been awarded an AOC which enables us to take control of our own fleet of aircraft,’ said Barry. ‘We would like to thank the CAA for their continued support since December and especially throughout the difficult times of COVID-19. Without their commitment this would not have been possible.’

Jason, who still regularly flies the jets as a captain, said: ‘We would like to thank all our staff for their hard work and dedication during this transition period. They have worked very hard during the last couple of months and we are proud to have been awarded an AOC. We look forward to working with the CAA in the future to ensure our commitment to safe operations.’

The Little Jet Company offers luxury, comfort and a personalised service. Private jets are able to provide comfortable, safe and secure flights for family holidays. Businessmen can save time travelling directly to offices and meetings, and also have the opportunity to hold meetings on board.

A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Airport said: “Gloucestershire Airport is delighted with the success of The Little Jet Company.  They have gone from strength to strength, which is indicative of their work ethic and customer focus.  We are delighted that Little Jet Company have now obtained their own AOC and can continue to offer charter flights from Gloucestershire Airport.  We are looking forward to working collaboratively with them to support the future growth of their business and wish them every success.”