May 13 - Last weekend saw air charter broker, Chapman Freeborn officially celebrate 40 years of operations.
Starting out from humble beginnings from an office in London, arranging contracts for Alaska International Air's L-100 Hercules freighter fleet, the company has grown steadily and organically.
Today, it is a leading supplier of passenger and freight aircraft charters to major corporations, private individuals, aid agencies and governments, supporting 450 employees and over 30 offices globally.
"It is our people who have made our business what it is today - their dedication and their ability to adapt to market changes," said Chairman Chris Chapman, who co-founded the company in 1973.
He also paid tribute to the current senior management team - Carol Norman, deputy chairman, Russi Batliwala, CEO, Shahe Ouzounian, COO and Peter Joarder, CFO, who have each played an important part in guiding the company's international expansion.
Chapman Freeborn's first office outside the UK was Frankfurt, opened by Carol Norman who moved to Germany in 1981 and officially launched the company in 1982, initially to focus on the cargo sector. Germany has remained an important market for the company, now home to over 50 employees.
Chapman Freeborn has been involved in humanitarian charters for 40 years, starting with the World Food Programme's first ever charter programme from Port Sudan across Africa. Other major exercises include supporting the response to the Asian tsunami, earthquakes in Pakistan and Haiti, and famines in Africa.
"The secret to our success," adds Chris Chapman "is that after nearly 40 years we still believe in the one size does not fit all philosophy. Our brokers are renowned for their ability to be creative and innovative and our focus has always been on building long term relationships with both clients, and suppliers. As a result, anybody who joins Chapman Freeborn today has the ability to make a difference to how we do our business going forward," he concludes.