A breath of fresh air


Belgium-based FlyingGroup is reviving the golden age of travel with its fleet of private jets and bespoke passenger services

For so many people, flying has lost its charm. Increased security demands, evermore-complicated form-filling and ever-longer lines have added layers of stress and anxiety to check-in and arrival, while flights themselves are far from luxurious. But passengers of FlyingGroup, a private airline company founded in Belgium, enjoy a very different experience thanks to its fleet of 45 beautifully maintained aircraft and 150 dedicated professional staff, providing short hops around Europe as well as longer trips to Asia, the Middle East and the US.

“We are obsessed with providing the best flying experience and happily go the extra mile,” says Bernard Van Milders, FlyingGroup’s founder and CEO. “At first, our focus was on smaller and mid-size cabins rather than long-range, but now we do larger jets for transcontinental flights. After 2001, there was increased interest in private aircraft as security could take three hours and then with Covid there were similar issues as well as far fewer commercial flights. Our service allows you to cut out all the hassle from flying.”

FlyingGroup was founded in 1995 and has since provided flights as well as managed aircraft for corporate and private clients. The company offers a variety of services, all designed to turn flying into a pleasurable, even luxurious, journey. At the highest level, FlyingGroup will take complete control of managing a private jet and will arrange all the ground handling at airports, all of which involves stringent administrative and technical requirements. FlyingGroup can ensure an aircraft remains in mint condition, compliant with all regulations. The company can even help turn the jet into a source of income through third-party charters. FlyingGroup’s state-of-the-art maintenance facility handles routine inspections and comprehensive maintenance as well as one-off repairs, providing ongoing service for long-term clients. Maintenance staff are trained to work on a variety of Cessna, Dassault Falcon and Gulfstream jets.

Next comes shared private-jet ownership, which offers maximum flexibility as the client can choose from an entire fleet while benefiting from reduced insurance, fuel and maintenance fees. As a matter of course, FlyingGroup will continue to organise the management, maintenance and operation of the aircraft. Other services include a membership scheme for occasional travellers and one-off charters, whereby customers can select from a range of aircraft. Passengers have access to FlyingGroup’s beautiful, new, zero-energy headquarters at Antwerp International Airport. Opened in 2020, this has elegant and spacious passenger lounges as well as corporate meeting rooms, while FlyingGroup’s team of experts take care of the more tedious tasks that come with modern private travel, such as customs formalities, taxis and hotel bookings. If necessary, the company can arrange transfers to other airports in a hired limousines or helicopter.

FlyingGroup’s Covid-secure processes and Flying Bubble concept offered clients a valued alternative during the pandemic, with business increasing by 25 per cent as passengers realised they could not find the services they required through commercial airlines and decided not to settle for second best. “We have been there for people who were ready to start travelling again and we always found the right way for them to do it,” says Bernard. “Business aviation is an essential element in the success of economic hotspots and we are more ready than ever to welcome our passengers in the most modern and secure way.”