Board Members and Management
Honorary Legal Advisor
Advisory Board Member
Kevin Ducksbury has 30 years’ experience in the charter industry. His career started with Monarch Airlines, based at Luton, which saw him work in a variety of roles from Crew Controller, Commercial Planner to Ad-hoc Sales Executive in the company’s commercial division.
After 11 years at Monarch in a variety of roles Kevin made the jump into aircraft charter broking as a commercial aircraft junior charter broker for the then Air London (now Air Partner).
There he again moved into a number broking roles before entering into the management side of the business, which saw him promoted to the company’s Operating Board as Director of Middle East & Asia based in Dubai.
After leaving Air Partner returning to the UK in 2012, Kevin set up his own aviation consultancy and management services company, Emerge Aviation, working with a wide range of companies involved in the aircraft charter industry, from private jet operators in the Middle East to exclusive private jet catering companies in the UK, where he has provided strategic growth and managerial support as well as commercial, operational and training know-how.
Today Kevin works for the Leasing and Charter Broker “Air Charter International” as Regional Leasing Director within the Commercial Aircraft leasing market placing commercial aircraft with operators on ACMI wet leases.
In March 2020 Kevin was elected as Chairman of The Air Charter Association.
Glenn has over 17 years of experience in aircraft charter, leasing and management. His career in aviation started when he joined ACC Aviation in 2004 and he was instrumental in helping the company grow and become one of the top 5 global aircraft brokerages.
He has worked on a wide variety of leasing and air charter projects all around the world. Initially becoming a successful ACMI leasing broker he then lead the diversification of ACC Aviation into the adhoc and corporate charter markets.
Glenn built a wealth of knowledge across all areas of the aviation business, from his hands-on commercial brokering experience to being part of the management team who carried out an equity backed MBO of the company in 2014.
Prior to his aviation career, Glenn gained a BA Honours degree from the University of London in History and Geography and held roles in a major utilities provider and a retail company.
He is a family man, with a love for the outdoors, spending some of his free time as a commissioned officer, putting the Army cadets through their paces.
Glenn, having joined The Air Charter Association in 2008, has been a supporter of the important role the association has in the future of the industry and was elected to the Board in 2017. He has chaired the Training and Events Committee, played a key role in creating of the Broker Qualification course and was elected as Deputy Chair in August 2020.
Julie Black has been in the aviation industry for more than 20 years, starting her aviation career as a graduate in the marketing department of London City Airport in the late ‘90s. After four years there, working with the local business community and airlines to identify, establish and launch new routes, she moved to Biggin Hill Airport.
At Biggin Hill, Julie was responsible for managing the airport’s own Executive Handling business, as well as marketing and PR, alongside working with the RAF to establish the Northolt Jet Centre as a sister business.
Her career took a new direction in 2003 when Julie joined Chapman Freeborn, where in time she took the reins of the UK VIP / Executive team, overseeing a diverse range of charter projects, including head of state flights and global music tours. Julie’s latest role is as Head of the UK based Executive Charter team at Hunt & Palmer, overseeing a busy team of brokers with a credible corporate client base on worldwide charter projects.
Julie joined the The Air Charter Association Council in 2015. She is also a busy mother of twin daughters who enjoys reading, music, creative writing and writing for trade publications and loves the travel opportunities that a job in aviation brings! In 2019 Julie was delighted to be elected as Deputy Chair for the Association in its 70th year.
Derek Thomson is the Commercial Director and Accountable Manager for Air Charter Scotland Europe. He has more than 25 years’ aviation experience, working in rotary and fixed wing aircraft operations and sales, as well as FBO airport handling and operations.
During his time at Air Charter Scotland Derek has been involved in the transition from piston twin aircraft and turboprops, to today’s all jet fleet, ranging from the Citation M2 through to the Falcon 7X. With a now fully worldwide operation, Derek recently took over the role of Accountable Manager for the company’s new European AOC.
He has always had a passion for aviation and took his first solo flight in a helicopter at the age of 19, before going on to obtain his fixed wing Private Pilot’s Licence.
Emily Williams has spent almost 20 years in the private aviation industry. After graduating from Cambridge University she began her career in advertising at Ogilvy & Mather. It was a natural progression on to Sales and Emily’s aviation career began at NetJets Europe a few years later, shortly after the merger with Marquis Jet Europe. She spent ten happy years there, leading the UK team and latterly as the Board Sales Director for the European business. With a strong focus on delivering the customer’s needs and wants, balanced with the rigorous Berkshire Hathaway ten year planning process, it was an excellent grounding for starting a business.
In 2015 Emily joined forces with her former NetJets colleague, Nicolas Imrie, and they founded IW Aviation. IWA provides totally independent private aviation advice and works with a range of customers from private individuals to global PLCs. The IWA team provides full analysis of their client’s aviation needs and then go on to manage a portfolio solution of day to day flying ranging from ad hoc charter, through to fractional contracts with all the major providers and on to whole aircraft ownership.
When not glued to her computer, Emily is a keen amateur horse rider and manages a menagerie of horses, a husband and two young girls.
Jonathan C. Russell
Honorary Legal Advisor
Jonathan C. Russell is a Senior Associate in the
Corporate Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.
Honorary Legal Advisor to The Air Charter Association
Mr. Russell is a UK qualified transaction lawyer specializing in the sale, purchase, financing, ownership and operation of corporate and
private aircraft. Mr. Russell also has experience advising on the sale, purchase, financing, of super-yachts.
Mr. Russell’s clients include some of the best-known financiers in the aviation sector, in addition to high net worth individuals and large
corporations. He is often engaged by clients at the commencement of the acquisition process, where he adds value by utilizing his extensive
network of contacts within the business aviation community to ensure his clients receive bespoke, pragmatic and commercially minded
Ranked by Chambers HNW 2018 as an associate to watch (Globalwide, Private Aircraft), Mr. Russell is also featured in the Spear’s 500
directory, considered the essential guide to the top private advisers for high net worth individuals. The guide, dubbed the “Forbes of Europe”, describes Mr. Russell as being “client-focused… good humoured and personable”.
Tel +44 (0) 20 7084 9253
Mob +44 (0) 7747 752 403
A member of the then Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) since 1997 and elected to the council in February 2009, Steve Downing brings to the association over 25 years’ experience in the aviation industry together with extensive experience of working with clients across a variety of industries, including oil and gas, mining, construction and manufacturing, as well as humanitarian relief agencies. He is accomplished at setting and executing growth strategies, leading and motivating teams and working at a senior level with clients and internal stakeholders.
Steve was responsible for the commercial & strategic development of the Engineering and Logistics division at Volga Dnepr UK Ltd from March 2010 until May 2018. Prior to joining the company, Steve held a number of senior management positions within the F.H. Bertling Group. Most recently, Steve was Director of Group Air Charters & General Manager of BOSS Cargo, roles which saw him take responsibility for operations and strategic business development in the international air charter, freight forwarding and project logistics sectors.
Captain Nigel Harris
Born in the United Kingdom in 1946 and married with one daughter, Nigel has lived on Montserrat for more than 25 years.
Following a successful period in Sales and Marketing Management with multinational companies, Nigel obtained his Airline Pilots Licence in 1979 and then went on to become the General Manager of Royal Jordanian Airlines based in Amman, Jordan.
In 1983 Nigel formed the London Flight Centre Group, initially owning four flying schools, and an air taxi company. As the business developed, the company grew into a Regional Airline, operating turbo prop aircraft as a franchisee for Regional Airlines, a part of Air France.
Nigel has logged some 20,000+ hours of flying experience, is a UK flight examiner, and has nearly forty years experience of managing, owning and operating Regional Airlines throughout the World. Nigel sits on many prestigious committees, and has been twice Chairman of The Air Charter Association. Nigel is a Liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots, Master Pilot, and has the Freedom of the City of London. He sits on Government advisory committees on Aviation.
During 1989 Nigel and his wife Shelley formed Montserrat Airways [trading as FlyMontserrat} with two Islander aircraft, operating scheduled services and charter flights throughout the Caribbean. The company today has three Islanders and still operates from Montserrat with scheduled and charter flights, as well as providing a vital air ambulance service for the Islands.
FlyMontserrat operates under the gold standard United Kingdom Regulator with a UK Air Operators Certificate. It is well resourced and wishes to expand further into the Region with more niche scheduled routes. The company is actively looking for new business opportunities.
Nigel has an established Air Charter Broker business, specialising in the Caribbean.
Ilaria Iacobini has an international aviation experience, having started her career 15 years ago in Rome, Italy and is currently living in the UK.
Previously Deputy Station Manager for Universal Aviation at Rome Ciampino, her current role is as Ground Handling Sales Manager EMEA for Universal Aviation, the ground handling division for Universal Weather and Aviation headquartered in Houston, Texas. This position includes expanding the ground handling business with new and existing clients.
Ilaria particularly enjoys working not just with Universal’s European FBOs but with the wider network in APAC and Latin America. This gives her the opportunity to expand her knowledge of different regulations and environments and also gives her the chance to use different languages, which she still studies to remain proficient.
Ilaria is a strong believer in team work and has a passion for learning, with both sales and operational focus.
When not travelling back home to Rome or cooking Italian food, Ilaria enjoys spinning, zumba and salsa dancing.
Chris is co-owner of Dominvs Aviation, a London based aviation asset management company which sits as part of the Dominvs Group; a property business dealing in residential and commercial property, as well as hospitality, through its portfolio of hotels. Dominvs Aviation has its own aircraft portfolio for both charter and sales, alongside providing solutions for prospective owners and sellers of aircraft and helicopters in the business aviation sector.
Having started flying from an early age, Chris gained his pilot’s licence at the age of just 17 and has spent over 25 years in the aviation industry. He initially started up a flying school and air taxi business before going on to manage a successful helicopter charter company and subsequently setting up SaxonAir with the backing of a local business entrepreneur in 2007. Chris helped steer SaxonAir through 12 years of growth to establish one of the UK’s leading air charter and management operators, holding both fixed-wing and rotary AOCs, as well as establishing an FBO and dedicated offshore logistical centre for the energy industry in East Anglia.
Chris has a passion for aviation and is a strong believer in collaboration within the industry to bring the message of air charter’s value to business and the economy, not just as a perceived luxury showcase. In his spare time Chris enjoys running and sport and continues to live in his favourite place of Norfolk with a weekly commute into the London office.
Tim went straight from school in 1976, armed with three A-levels and scribbled lists of aircraft registrations, to Dan-Air selling charters to the brokers on Comets, BAC 1-11s and Boeing 727s. He was sent on training detachments around the airline including Gatwick Operations, Handling in Berlin Tegel, HS748 Ops in Aberdeen & Sumburgh and then assistant Station Manager Manchester.
He returned to Dan-Air’s head office in 1982 to head-up HS748 commercial, again selling charters but to a whole new set of brokers who had previously only chartered jets! It was highly successful in both the passenger and freight ad-hoc charter market.
Gamekeeper then became poacher as Tim moved in 1984 from the airline business to the venerable broker Instone Air Transport in the City of London, experiencing the other side of chartering. It was a great learning experience and was recruited in 1986 by Air London, now Air Partner, to be in charge of twelve (large jet) brokers. He went on to be appointed to the Board as Sales Director of the first aircharter broker in the world to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
A return to the large airliner market came about in 1993 when he was taken on by Caledonian Airways, under their parent Inspirations Holidays, to run a new venture; Air Charter Travel Ltd as its MD. By 1997 this had grown to be an independent and thriving broker at Gatwick enjoying significant success in the large airline charter market.
After some forty years in aircraft chartering from both the Operator and Broker perspective, in 2015 it was time to let the youngsters take the helm as it had been a rewarding experience to see them progress. However, never one to forget his roots, “2Excel Broadsword” accepted him to join their new activity in chartering two VIP Boeing 737s with 62 business class seats.
In his spare time Tim is an avid cyclist, often seen on the roads around Kent where he lives, although he has to confess that his bike is, in fact, electric.
Robert Walters today is the Business Development Director for London Biggin Hill Airport, responsible for growing the airport’s business in all areas. His roles are focused mainly at the user end of the business making sure the airport has the facilities and infrastructure it needs to generate new business and continue to grow in to one of the busiest and most diverse business airports in Europe. Previously Robert headed up Northolt Handling, a business set up to run a contract that Biggin Hill Airport was awarded in 2001 for 5 years. Prior to this Robert worked in the City of London, for a small Lloyds Insurance Broker specialising in Marine and Aviation Reinsurance.
Nick started his aviation career in the Air Movements branch of the Royal Air Force in 1986 and commenced a career in civil aviation in 1992. After a number of management positions with airline ground handling agents, Nick joined TNT Aviation Services in the charter sales department in 1994 where his aircraft charter experience commenced.
Wanting to create a new aviation company to provide aircraft charter services, Nick launched Weston Air International in 1995. During his aircraft charter career, Nick noticed that there were a number of UK regional airports that did not have an FBO ground handling service and then in response to this, created in 2001 the wider company Weston Aviation that grew to incorporate five new Business Aviation Centres in the UK and Ireland at Newquay Cornwall Airport, Durham Tees Valley Airport, Humberside Airport, Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Cork Airport.
During his 30 year military and civil career, Nick has gained extensive experience in aircraft charter sales and leasing, executive and VIP ground handling, airline handling and airport operations and the movement of class one dangerous goods by air and the associated diplomatic clearance processes this specialist service requires.
Nick has been a member of The Air Charter Association since 1996 and joined the Council in 2016.
Advisory Board Member
Bernhard Fragner is the CEO and founder of GlobeAir AG.
Bernhard graduated as a civil engineer in mechanical plant design from Vienna University and received an MBA in aviation management. In 1994 he obtained his PPL licence and holds an EASA Part FCL ATPL license, including instructor endorsement and a type rating examiner authorisation, clocking than 7,500 total flight hours. He is also trained in all JAR post holder management positions at JAAT in The Netherlands.
A passionate aviator himself, Bernhard is a strong believer in revolutionising short-haul travel, by applying an air taxi model, maximising aircraft utilisation and building strong IT support. With this in mind, it is not surprising that Austrian based GlobeAir, founded by Bernhard, was one of the first movers in the air taxi business, operating the world’s largest homogeneous fleet of Cessna Citation Mustangs since 2011. However, his main focus is on customer service and his personal mantra is ‘Passion into Profession’.
Bernhard has been a member of The Air Charter Association since November 2011 and joined the board of Directors of Citation Jets Pilots (CJP) in August 2014. In early 2000 Bernhard joined charity organisation Round Table Austria and was active in several board positions until 2012.
In his spare time, Bernhard enjoys mountain biking and hiking with his family in the Alps, and loves flying small planes. He currently resides in the countryside in upper Austria, with his wife Linda and their daughter.