News — 23.02.22

Belgian pilot and entrepreneur, André Ganshof van der Meersch, introduced the concept of modern private aviation to Europe back in 1964, setting the foundations of how the Luxaviation Group operates today.

Today, Luxaviation is renowned for its impeccable business manners, service excellence and for operating one of the largest fleets of private jets in the world. Since the company’s founding in 2008, the Luxembourg-based jet management company has been at the forefront of business aviation, continually innovating while tailoring luxury travel experiences for a global clientele. However, Luxaviation’s best practices are nothing new, in fact, they can be traced back to Belgian visionary, André Ganshof van der Meersch, who also happened to be a passionate pilot.


A true adventurer, Ganshof van der Meersch travelled the globe, documenting his experiences, both good and bad. However, it was his time in the United States that gave him the idea that would eventually become his business. He noticed that VIPs and large corporations were flying privately to give them direct access to a greater range of airfields and airports than flying commercially. This flexibility also allowed US private aviation users to pursue their personal interests, flying to airfields a short drive from vineyards, or swiftly visiting art exhibitions in neighbouring States. Ganshof van der Meersch was so impressed by the flexibility of the early business aircraft, such as the Cessna 421, that the Belgian made the decision to bring luxury lifestyle aviation to Europe.


Professional crew: Luxaviation’s global FBO network is dedicated to delivering first-class facilities for passengers and crew from corporations, private companies, Heads of State and Royalty alike with its own equipment and professionally trained staff.


Ganshof van der Meersch founded Abelag in 1964, a division of Luxaviation that is still in business today, operating ad hoc charter, air taxi, cargo and medical flights, as well as helicopter VIP flights and air ambulance services. Back in the 60’s, Ganshof van der Meersch’s passion not only brought the concept of modern private aviation to Europe, but his vision also helped create safer working and flying practices, such as imposing a two-pilot rule, with a captain holding an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL).

Soon, Abelag’s endeavour to provide the best quality service caught the attention of government officials, Heads of State and Royalty, leading to a number of landmark occasions. Abelag’s milestones are numerous, however, registering Europe’s first-ever business jet (a Gates Learjet 24D) in Belgium in 1970 along with forming EBAA (European Business Aviation Association) with nine other operators in 1977 are major achievements.


An evolution of knowledge: Ganshof van der Meersch’s early ventures in private air travel eventually led to Luxaviation’s broad portfolio of luxury experiences.


Four years after Luxaviation was founded, the private aircraft operator announced that it had acquired Abelag, thus taking Ganshof van der Meersch’s insight global. The Belgian’s approach to private air travel laid the foundations of how the Luxaviation Group operates today and his legacy will continue to drive the company forward.