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DECEMBER 4, 2001

Jumbo deal for European Aviation

EUROPEAN MINARDI F1 chief, Paul Stoddart, has once again bucked apparent commercial trends by announcing that his European Aviation company has purchased five Boeing 747-200 aircraft from British Airways and will shortly begin operating them commercially.

This signals the beginning of a new chapter for European Aviation Air Charter (EAAC), as it marks the first time the successful, Bournemouth-based company has been involved in flying wide-body aircraft.

Aside from the newly acquired Boeing 747s being used for the mainstream charter activities that form the core of EAAC's business, at least one European Aviation 747 will fly to each of the long haul rounds of the 2002 FIA Formula One World Championship. This will provide transport for European Minardi staff, as well for personnel from other Grand Prix teams interested in flight timings specifically geared to the demanding schedule of a Formula One weekend.

Stoddart, who will field Alex Yoong in one of his Asiatech-engined Minardis in next year's championship, previously dealt with British Airways when he purchased their stock of BAC-11 jetliners which establish European Aviation's reputation as a charter operator.