Euro Link (EUL, Munich) is buying another Cessna Citation XLS to grow its fleet, although as a family-owned business it will remain cautious about its growth ambitions.

"Aircraft prices are very high now, so this acquisition took a little time, but we are trying to expand our business," sales and operations chief Michaele Renner told ch-aviation in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the EBACE conference in Geneva.

The type is "a good size" for Euro Link's operations, Renner added, and the carrier wants to stick to the current type due to the high cost associated with a potential conversion, including pilot training.

Euro Link is an international German air carrier based in Munich, which it sees as the "hub of the south" in Germany. "This strategically important base for our [current] aircraft, one Citation XLS and two Citation Bravos, gives us a decisive advantage throughout central Europe," she said.

The carrier's Bravos were both manufactured in 2002, while the XLS is younger, having been delivered by Textron Aviation in 2005. The Bravos undergo cabin refurbishment every two years, which means that from a customer perspective "they are not getting old". For practical reasons, factors such as the quality of catering and interior, maintenance, and pilot training are far more important. Nonetheless, Renner admitted that for charter brokers, the year of manufacture is a very important issue.

"The Bravos are pretty good in terms of luggage capacity. They have good range, even with a higher number of passengers. You can have a maximum of nine passengers: one of ours is configured for eight plus one, the other for seven plus one. They're very comfortable, despite a bit lower cabin than the XLS. But I think a new XLS is the best way to offer a modern fleet," she explained.

The operator has no plans to expand into smaller or larger business jets. "We are happy in the segment of the market where we operate at the moment," she said.

Market environment

The additional aircraft will allow Euro Link to modestly increase its scale and so improve its competitiveness for large contracts.

Euro Link saw a significant surge in corporate demand in the post pandemic recovery phase when business travellers were allowed to travel but airlines struggled to rebuild their networks. Some of these new customers have now stuck to business aviation, even though the market has since normalised overall.

Despite German bureaucracy, which Renner branded as painstaking, often impractical, and detached from the reality of general aviation, Euro Link is not planning to relocate its AOC or aircraft registration to another country. Its brand has been associated with Germany for the last 18 years and Renner stressed that as a family-owned business the company is strongly attached to its Munich location.