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FT.LAUDERDALE: September 02, 2016. Malta-based aircraft leasing company AirX has opened a U.S. operation with a team that includes several ex-Chapman Freeborn executives plus its founder Chris Chapman and former director Carol Norman as 'Brand Ambassadors'.

Darren Banham, former head of Chapman Freeborn U.S. is now AirX America president and is joined by colleagueAirX Ambassadorss David Livingstone, Jack Burt, Peter Obre, Simon Edwards, Daniel Frisch and Jose Torres.

AirX, which provides aircraft support and jet leasing worldwide, has also purchased a stake in Beckley, West Virginia-based Via Airlines, and St. Petersburg, FL-based Elite Air, an operator of executive jets.

AirX chairman John Matthews (pictured with Norman and Chapman) commented: "We are thrilled to have both Chris and Carol join the AirX team as the organization expands to become a truly global company diversifying in each aspect of aviation."

Matthews also acknowledged the management additions to AirX saying the former Chapman Freeborn executives bring "vast experience and knowledge" covering all aspects of the industry - from specialist VIP transport to cargo charters for aid agencies and governments.

Over the next 15 months, AirX America plans to increase its fleet to 10 aircraft with Elite Air operating U.S. transcontinental and transatlantic services with a variety of Citation, Challenger and Gulfstream aircraft.

Via Air, which operates six Embraer 145s to provide U.S. essential air services including a link between Beckley and Charlotte, North Carolina, will add a VIP-configured A340 and several B737 freighters to its fleet for both ACMI and Tour Operator contracts.

Noting "the present state of the charter industry in the USA is dysfunctional and at times unreliable", Matthews added: "I may not have managed to stop this process in the coming winter, however in the long term these moves I am making will put an end to the 'winter of discontent.'"

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