About Chapman Freeborn
50 years of expertise
9m air miles
29k flights per year
Far and away, the most experienced air charter experts
We operate independently and therefore have the flexibility to select the best aircraft and operators to meet our clients’ needs. We have built mutually productive relationships with all players in the air charter industry – airlines, airports, handling agents, freight forwarders, control authorities and other related agencies. This allows us to facilitate all kinds of air charter operations, from an emergency relief airlift to a corporate roadshow, in a timely, cost-effective manner.
50 years’ experience
We have built a global network, with an established presence in most major commercial and aviation hubs. This, coupled with our volume buying power and airline relationships enables us to provide our clients with superbly competitive pricing.
Global coverage, local service
Our staff have up-to-the-minute access to the very latest information on aircraft availability and operating conditions as well as an extensive database that enables us to match aircraft to customer requirements within minutes. We can assist in fuel purchase, trip planning, permit applications and more, and can provide airport assistance and on board Flight Managers / Loadmasters if needed.
Part of the Avia Solutions Group
Chapman Freeborn is a family member of Avia Solutions Group, the world’s largest ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) provider, with a fleet of 173 aircraft.
The group also provides a range of aviation services including MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul), pilot and crew training, ground handling, as well as a variety of associated services. Supported by 11,500 highly skilled aviation professionals, the group operates in 68 countries worldwide.
For more information about Avia Solutions Group, please visit www.aviasg.com.
1973 The beginning
In 1973, Chris Chapman and Mike Freeborn established Chapman Freeborn. It began with a shared passion for aviation and a unique business opportunity to market Alaska International Air’s fleet of Hercules freighter aircraft.
At its peak Alaska International Air operated five aircraft, but with business faltering in the local oil and gas industry new revenue streams were urgently required. Chapman Freeborn successfully utilised these aircraft for ad hoc charters and longer-term contracts in Africa and later across the globe.
1970s Changing consumer demand
The Hercules and other chartered aircraft types were used to transport everything from oil and gas equipment to automotive parts.
Changes in consumerism in the 1970’s meant that empty leg flights would often be filled with fruit and vegetables destined for supermarkets.
Tastes were becoming more exotic and demand began for shipments of grapes from Cyprus, avocados from Israel, peppers from Ethiopia, and other new food industries based in countries like Kenya and Columbia that still continue today.
1982 Chapman Freeborn Germany opens
In 1982, Chapman Freeborn opened its first office outside of the UK, in Frankfurt, Germany. As the economic powerhouse of Europe, our business has thrived in Germany and we now have additional offices in Berlin, Cologne and Munich.
Our strengths can be found in supporting the requirements of global industries such as electronics, engineering and automotive construction.
1983-85 Humanitarian airlifts
Chapman Freeborn has been involved in transporting humanitarian cargo since its earliest days, and the 1980s saw demand for our charter expertise reach new levels.
Widespread famine hit Ethiopia from 1983 to 1985 placing five million people at risk of starvation. Governments including the UK, Germany, Poland, Canada, USA and the Soviet Union led the international aid effort – supplemented by a large civilian component.
We played an important role in the effort to transport food and medical supplies, managing a variety of aircraft to deliver cargo from Europe to Addis Ababa on behalf of aid agencies.
1987 Rockin’ all over the world
In 1987, Chapman Freeborn set up the charter operation to support David Bowie’s Glass Spider Tour and since then our company has developed a niche expertise managing flights for high profile music tours, movie promotions and other entertainment industry clients.
The Rolling Stones, U2 and Coldplay are just some of the household names to have worked with us over the years.
1993-98 Going global
A period of rapid expansion saw us launch new businesses around the world, including office openings in Poland, United States of America, Belgium, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.
Our growing coverage helped to give us access to local airlines, unique knowledge of local operating conditions, and the ability to serve charter clients on a global basis.
2001 Flight support around the clock
With the company’s charter activities now spanning the globe, we launched our 24-hour flight support company Paragon Global – now called Chapman Freeborn Flight Support.
Based in the UK, Chapman Freeborn Flight Support provides professional flight support services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – including flight monitoring, fuel purchasing, ground handling, diplomatic clearances and flight permits.
2004 Olympic torch relay
In 2004, Chapman Freeborn assisted the International Olympic Committee with an ambitious project to fly the Olympic flame around the world. For the first time in history, the torch relay visited all five continents represented by the Olympic rings.
On your marks… jet set… GO! Our passenger charter team arranged and operationally managed two Boeing B747 aircraft for a 46-day tour which included visits to 34 cities in 26 countries.
2004 China opens for business
Chapman Freeborn had been active in China for several years and opened its first office in Beijing in 2004. Since then, we’ve expanded our market coverage with office openings in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
2004-2005 Tsunami disaster response
We pride ourselves on our ability to react rapidly to emergency situations – including setting up time-critical flights outside of regular working hours.
When the devastating tsunami struck on Boxing Day 2004, Chapman Freeborn’s offices around the world were called into action. In the days and weeks that followed, over 250 charters were coordinated by our teams to deliver aid to countries including India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
2006 Chapman Freeborn OBC
In 2006, Chapman Freeborn launched its specialist on board courier (OBC) service offering door-to-door, hand-carry solutions for time-critical shipments.
Headquartered in Germany, with additional operations centres in Hong Kong and USA, clients are provided with access to couriers around the clock.
2009-11 Developing new charter markets
We reached another milestone in 2009, becoming the first international charter company to establish a presence in Africa, with office openings in Uganda and South Africa.
Next up was the launch of our first business in India, followed by Australia and the acquisition of Alltrans International – a highly-respected logistics company with over 12 years of experience in the local cargo market.
2014 Intradco Global
In 2014, the acquisition of a majority share in Intradco Cargo Services allowed us to expand our product portfolio further. UK-based Intradco offers over 30 years of animal transport experience, making it the number one choice for equine, livestock and conservation project shipments worldwide.
2015-16 Solar-powered flight around the world
Chapman Freeborn played a part in showcasing the aviation technology of tomorrow by providing charter support for the Solar Impulse 2 project – an ambitious attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a solar-powered aircraft.
In addition to providing our client with chartered support aircraft including an Ilyushin IL-76 and an ATR-72, our in-house flight support team was tasked with operational arrangements for the 17-stage mission.
2017 Magma Aviation
In 2017, Chapman Freeborn increased its stake in Magma Aviation to a majority shareholding to help support the company’s long-term growth plans.
UK-based Magma was launched in 2010 to commercially and operationally manage dedicated wide-body cargo aircraft, contracted on an exclusive basis from airline partners. The company currently controls a fleet of B747-400F aircraft – serving a global client base of freight forwarders, block space consolidators, and charter brokers.
Chapman Freeborn is no stranger to challenging missions, and in late 2017 our expertise was required to establish an intercontinental air bridge between Cape Town and Novolazarevskaya Airfield in Antarctica.
On behalf of our client, we sourced and managed a chartered B757-200 aircraft to transport 50 passengers, scientific equipment and supplies back and forth between South Africa and the remote ice strip for four months during the austral summer.
2019 Avia Solutions Group
In 2019, Chapman Freeborn was acquired by Avia Solutions Group – a global aviation holding company with subsidiaries engaged in aircraft maintenance, pilot training, ground handling and fuelling, aviation IT solutions and business aviation.
Joining forces with Avia Solutions Group provides us with a greater level of business scale, resources and expertise to accelerate growth and deliver our services to an even wider client base – all while preserving our unique company culture and ongoing commitment to charter market innovation.
Changing consumer demand
Chapman Freeborn Germany opens
Rockin’ all over the world
Flight support around the clock
Olympic torch relay
China opens for business
Tsunami disaster response
Chapman Freeborn OBC
Developing new charter markets
Solar-powered flight around the world
Avia Solutions Group