South African charter company Aeronexus Corporate (ARN, London Stansted) has been forced to sell and lease back its single 96-seater B767-300(ER), ZS-NEX (msn 24865), due to COVID-19-related difficulties. The company now leases the aircraft from Aerotron, according to a regulatory filing with the US Department of Transportation (DOT).

The July 2020 transaction was disclosed in its October 18 application to the DOT for an exemption and a foreign air carrier permit to provide a VIP charter service ferrying people, property, and mail to the US. The on-demand executive charter service would take place about five times a year, predominantly from the European Union and primarily for sports teams, heads of state, and corporations. The exemption request would enable it to provide the charters while waiting for the DOT to issue its foreign air carrier permit.

Founded in 2002 by pilots Sven Petersen and Gavin Harrison, Aeronexus - which has bases at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and London Stansted, where it maintains its aircraft - specialises in VIP charters including sports teams such as Manchester United, entertainers including The Rolling Stones, humanitarian organisations, and heads of state.

According to its application, it wants to fly from any point(s) behind South Africa, via any station(s) in South Africa, and via intermediate points to any place(s) in the US or beyond; between any point(s) in the US and South Africa; other charters on prior approval as set out in the DOT’s economic regulations; and flights under any additional charter rights that may become available to South African carriers in the future. Its application is made in accordance with the comity and reciprocity that exists between the US and South Africa.

The company has requested confidentiality on the financial data provided for 2019 and 2020 for both Aeronexus Corporate and Aeronexus International Limited, a Maltese company that conducts its administration.