Wijet (Paris Le Bourget) has launched a fund raising initiative aimed at securing EUR15 million (USD16.5 million) in fresh capital needed for its ambitious growth plans.

While the French air-taxi service currently operates a fleet of six Cessna Citation Mustangs (a VLJ (Very Light Jet) that seats 4 people) it plans to add a new aircraft every three months by 2017 thus bringing its overall fleet to twelve jets.

According to founders Corentin Denoeud and Alexandre Azoulay, the added capacity will allow Wijet to expand into the regional European market where they intend to set up bases in Zurich and London.

"Today, we lack capacity, and this forces us to use charters to meet demand at the expense of our margin," Denoeud told France's Les Echos newspaper. "Small successive fund raisings [five since 2009 for a total of EUR8 million] have not allowed us to grow fast enough. With this new fundraising, that will all change. We can get a new plane every 3-4 months."

Of the EUR15 million, Wijet will use EUR8 million to purchase four or five planes with the other aircraft to be acquired through debt financing. The remaining EUR7 million will be used shore up its equity.

The fundraising initiative, which launched in June, is expected to end next month with over 120 individual investors having come on-board thus far.