HISTORY OF UNITED AVIATION
For over twenty years United Aviation Group has invested in, and grown specialist companies which provide bespoke services to the aviation industry.
It was more than 20 years ago when Jonathan Wolpe, United Aviation Group CEO and owner, approached established South African charter operators to discuss brokering flights as United Charter Services. At the time this type of service was only a fledgling business globally, and was almost unheard of in Africa.Having kick-started formalised charter brokering on the African continent, United Charter Services, as part of the United Aviation Group, is now one of the largest charter brokers in Africa, with a loyal customer base and a vast network of aircraft operators.
In 2008, United Charter Services took the bold step of purchasing an aircraft-operating business in order to provide its clients with medium-to-long-range and ultra-long-range executive business jet transportation. After an extensive search with strict criteria, Owenair, based at Cape Town International Airport, was selected. Established in 1946, the company was one of South Africa’s most mature aircraft-operating businesses and had, at the time, a number of medium and long-range jets available for charter. Jonathan Wolpe fondly refers to the purchase as “being given the privilege to be the custodian of Owenair’s long aviation history”.
Since 2008, United Charter Services has expanded the Owenair fleet which now includes an impressive range of executive business jets – ranging from a number of the popular Hawker Beechcraft t variants to the luxurious Bombardier Challenger. Owenair attracts aircraft owners who handpick the company for its professional management of their multimillion-dollar assets.
With our roots firmly in African soil, and our sights set on the horizon, United Aviation Group has consistently expanded through acquisition and innovative product development and now includes not only the charter business, specialist cargo transit and air ambulance services, but also an aircraft maintenance division, fixed base operations, hangarage, aircraftacquisitions and sales, aircraft import and export services and aviation parts and equipment provision.
With a passion for aviation, a love of people and a single-minded dedication to the customer experience, Jonathan manages United Aviation Group with a proactive and hands-on approach, ably assisted by David Howarth (Managing Director of United Charter Services, and Owenair). This duo ensures that each and every aspect of the group surpasses industry norms for excellence, and have employed a dedicated team of individuals who make up the core staff and who are without doubt, some of the best individuals in the South African aviation industry.