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Private jets | Airliners | Cargo freighters | On board courier
The latest stories from across the Chapman Freeborn group

Welcome to the latest issue

Dear friends, customers, suppliers and partners,

I am delighted to share with you some of the highlights of the last few months. The Chapman Freeborn group remains totally aviation focused and we continue to follow our strategy of investing and diversifying into complimentary businesses going forward. I hope you enjoy this newsletter and would welcome your feedback.

Thank you for your continued support.

Cargo Air Charter


Chapman Freeborn is fast approaching its 45th anniversary and we continue to lead the way in the cargo charter market.

Over the last decade we’ve received more than 20 top air cargo charter awards for service and innovation – and that trend has continued this year.

Air Cargo News named us Charter Broker of the Year 2017 – an accolade collected by our UK team on behalf of our global offices at the prestigious Cargo Airline of the Year event, held at London’s Lancaster Hotel in April.

Elsewhere, at the recent Payload Asia awards in Singapore our Asia team also picked up the award for Charter Broker of the Year for the third consecutive time.

The latest honours reflect a very busy 12 months for our global cargo teams. Our activities in the commercial sector have been wide-ranging – from outsize projects in support of the energy industry, to time-critical movements of hi-tech cargo and pharmaceuticals.

The automotive sector has also represented a growth business in several key markets, and this year we continued to demonstrate our strengths in project management with the ongoing provision of a B747-400F for Senator International’s “Atlantic Air Bridge” – ferrying time-critical auto components between Europe and the US (photographed above).

The project is now managed by Magma Aviation, who we were pleased to welcome to the Chapman Freeborn group earlier this year.

The year is also finishing on a strong note for commercial charters with the industry as a whole experiencing a very busy peak season.

  • Time-critical delivery to India

    Our teams in India and Spain helped to keep an energy industry project on track by delivering a 45-ton consignment of radiant coils from Vitoria in Spain to Mumbai, India.

    While still in production, the team was able to assess the loadability of the cargo and advise the client on the requirements for transporting the materials from the factory to the airport, and how it could be transferred to the aircraft with the help of cranes.

  • Award-winning service

    Chapman Freeborn was named Charter Broker of the Year 2017 by Air Cargo News. Shahe Ouzounian, Chief Operating Officer, collected the award on behalf of Chapman Freeborn’s worldwide offices.

    Whatever your cargo charter requirements, our specialist cargo team is at your service.

  • We take cargo to new dimensions

    Our US cargo team coordinated a three-flight AN-124 operation to transport over 200 tons of outsize energy equipment to Asia.

    Whether you require a one-off cargo charter or a series of flights in support of a project, we have over four decades of experience assisting the energy industry – including crew rotation flights worldwide.


Our proudest achievement in the last 12 months – and the best example of our capabilities in delivering solutions to complex air logistics problems – are the wide-ranging humanitarian contracts professionally managed by our teams, including the airdrop delivery of thousands of tons of aid in Africa.

We are also proud to have been involved in large-scale relief operations following this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which was one of the most destructive on record.

Our US cargo and passenger teams in particular worked around the clock throughout September and October in response to high-demand for aid flights – dealing with incoming enquiries for charter operations to Puerto Rico, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, US Virgin Islands, and other countries across the Caribbean.

Throughout the airlift operations our 24-hour flight operations team Wings 24 monitored the situation in the Caribbean – monitoring and advising clients on operational issues at airports including ramp congestion issues and fuel availability.

Group Air Charter


We pride ourselves on the diversity of our passenger clients. Large and small, regional and international, from travel management companies to event organisers, from sports teams to orchestras.

Our focus on promoting our strengths as a meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition (MICE) specialist has achieved some outstanding results in 2017.

One of our many automotive launch projects was a high-profile charter to Madrid for Hyundai Denmark as part of a European-wide sales event for the IONIQ – the first car in the world to offer separate hybrid, full electric and plug in hybrid powertrains within one body type.

The charter was routed from Odense – situated at the very heart of Denmark and within easy reach of staff and external dealers from across the country.

Our team was able to provide Hyundai with branding opportunities including flags, check-in signage and head rest covers, as well securing tarmac access for the vehicles – enabling the company to showcase its IONIQ vehicles as the passengers embarked the aircraft.

Following an airport welcome with coffee and croissants, the 85 passengers took a blue-carpet walk to the aircraft – with an open bar and upgraded catering available throughout the flight to the Spanish capital.

The outbound charter and return leg were closely-managed by our UK and Denmark teams to ensure every detail of the operation ran smoothly and on schedule.


Chapman Freeborn’s standing in the sports travel market also continues to grow. With the value of the global sports market growing year on year, charter services are an increasingly important part of the travel planning for players, teams and supporter groups.

We’ve long been renowned for our expertise in football related charters and so far the 2017/18 season has been exceptionally busy for both team travel and player movements. We flew teams and supporter groups to competitions all around the world – including the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, Bundesliga and Chinese Super League – to name just a few.

View our 2017/18 football infographic here

Recent months have also seen our US charter team further expand its share of the US sports travel market – both for NCAA college football and college basketball related flights, as well as pro sports league requirements.

Elsewhere, our global teams have managed all manner of other sports related flights – from private jets for professional golfers, to team travel for rugby, handball, volleyball and other sports.


The year has also been an excellent one for our specialist leasing team which offers a wide scope of options for customers looking for ACMI (aircraft, crew maintenance and insurance), wet lease, damp lease or dry lease solutions.

In the last 12 months we’ve leased 35 different types of aircraft and sold over 30,000 block hours. That’s enough for the B747-800 to fly around the world 747 times, or to keep a plane in the air every minute of every day for over three years.

View our leasing infographic here

Together with our global office network, the team provides airline customers with the assurance that knowledgeable office based staff are always on hand, both locally and at the head office, to deal with unforeseen issues.

Private Jet Charter


Chapman Freeborn’s VIP music team is also nearing the end of another eventful year - characterised by major worldwide tours for rock bands, European festivals, and record-high charter demand from growth sectors like EDM.

Since setting up our first operation to support David Bowie’s Glass Spider Tour in 1987, we’ve been a firmly established presence in the music business, having built an enviable portfolio of some of the most prominent names in entertainment.

Elsewhere, another one of our key focuses in 2017 has been expanding our share of the executive charter market, as well as targeting other niche sectors like sport.

With clients travelling further afield than ever before our global office network is of vital importance – as well as the work of Wings 24, our specialist flight operations division. For example, when our European clients require a multi-leg tour of their manufacturing facilities in China – we’re able to liaise with our colleagues on the ground who speak the local language, understand the culture and can oversee a complex charter project.

The last 12 months has also seen us increase our presence at key business aviation shows around the world.

EBACE and NBAA BACE both gave the business aviation community a glimpse of some of the new private jet types available on the market soon.

Highlights at EBACE included the super-midsize Cessna Citation Longitude which offers the lowest cabin altitude and quietest interior in its class. With a range of 6,482km, the jet is poised to connect city pairs such as London to Dubai, Paris to Boston or Geneva to New Delhi.

Not to be outdone, NBAA BACE in Las Vegas showcased an equally impressive display of jets – including the highly-anticipated Bombardier Global 7000, a newly designed Gulfstream G650ER, and a fully-outfitted Gulfstream G500 production aircraft.

Photographs below taken at EBACE and NBAA BACE 2017. Cessna Citation Longitude, Bombardier Global 6000, and a Bombardier Global 7000.



In the last 12 months we’ve seen a sharp increase in demand for our hand-carry services – particularly from the automotive sector.

Chapman Freeborn OBC is headquartered in Cologne but our fastest growth is for automotive part shipments to and from emerging markets like Asia – which is why we’re continuing to invest in our Hong Kong based team, as well as in more mature markets like the US.

We transport all types of cargo and one of the interesting trends of the last couple of years is the growing crossover between some of these industry sectors.

In addition to global automotive shipments also serve the high-tech sector – for example transporting smartphone prototype technology by hand-carry couriers. What we’re seeing now is that the tech market and the automotive market are increasingly interlinked – like cars that will wirelessly charge your iPhone or Google’s self-driving car project.

In terms of supporting this industry, there is sometimes a misconception that on board couriers can only be used to transport a single item, or a small number of hand-carry packages.

Our biggest OBC automotive shipment in 2017 was a contract to deliver 162 separate pieces from Frankfurt, Germany to the United States. The 1.3 ton time-critical shipment required delivery to the US manufacturing plant before an imminent public holiday.

Read the full story here.

Across the Group


This year our business in Belgium celebrated 20 years of success in the Benelux market. Our office opened in 1997 and initially served as an operational unit to support the wider group’s international charter projects.

However, the Belgium team quickly branched out and developed its own local client portfolio and became one of the leading cargo and passenger aircraft charter brokers in the region.

Chris Vandenplas says:

“We originally opened in Ostend in 1997 as this was a main charter airport at that time, with many Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8 and Ilyushin IL-76 operators having a base here. We quickly found we were covering more than just the local market though – and our services were in increasingly high-demand regionally.”

“When I look back at what we’ve accomplished so far I feel incredibly proud. It’s a wonderful achievement to reach 20 years – but we’re also excited about seeing what the next chapter will bring.”

Read the full story here.

Intradco Global


Our specialist animal transport division Intradco Global has continued to go from strength to strength in the last 12 months.

At the start of the year the team broke records with the biggest ever single movement of thoroughbred horses from Ireland to China. A B747-400F aircraft was chartered to deliver 76 horses from Shannon to Beijing – and the project was described in the media as a major leap in the development of the Chinese racing market.

Elsewhere the team has flown everything from tigers to giraffes as part of animal conservation programmes – including a complex project to return the critically endangered black rhino to the wilds of Rwanda.

The charter operation took place in May and was named Best Charter Logistics Project 2017 at the Freighters World Conference Awards, held in Chicago.

On behalf of African Parks, a conservation non-profit that manages national parks and protected areas on behalf of governments across the continent, Intradco chartered two Etihad B777F freighters to transport the 19 black rhinos from Johannesburg to the Rwandan capital, Kigali. Upon touching down in Kigali International Airport (KGL), the rhinos were carefully transferred to trucks to continue the final leg of their journey by road, under police escort.

Read the full story here

  • Outsize cargo of a different kind

    Ten rhinos travelled on the first flight, and nine on the second, along with the three vets and two attendants who accompanied them for the duration of their entire journey from Johannesburg to Akagera.

    As part of the homecoming project, Intradco worked closely with African Parks and the Akegara team to ensure all permits and clearances were in place including valid CITES documentation.

  • Rhinos return to Rwanda

    There are reported to be fewer than 5,000 black rhino in the wild worldwide, with only about 1,000 of the eastern sub-species.

    Rhinos in Africa are the victims of widespread poaching to supply overseas markets with their horns, for use in traditional medicines.

  • Industry-first equestrian charter

    When not flying endangered species, Intradco is best known for its  expertise in the equestrian market – including coordinating charters for Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Breeders’ Cup and Dubai World Cup Winners.

    Earlier this year the team oversaw the delivery of 76 thoroughbred horses from Shannon to Beijing. Now settled into their new homes, the horses are in training in the hopes that they will become top racers in the local market.

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