Chapman Freeborn lays out its plans at ACE

From left to right: Russi Batliwala, Chapman Freeborn chairman; Neil Dursley, group chief operating officer for Chapman Freeborn; and Eric Erbacher, group chief executive for Chapman Freeborn. Source: Chapman Freeborn

Globally active charter broker Chapman Freeborn has today [May 11] marked 50 years of successful business and outlined its vision for the future at the air cargo Europe exhibition under way this week in Munich, Germany.

Founded in 1973, the air charter specialist has – it said – developed a blueprint to improve its products by investing in people and strengthening its regional offerings.

“The air charter brokering business has, over the past decades, been predominantly people- and relationship-driven,” opined Russi Batliwala, Chapman Freeborn’s chairman.

“I believe that this has changed, and in today’s business environment, relationships alone are no longer enough to be successful.

“Customers rightly expect more added value and services beyond traditional third-party air charter brokering services.”

At Chapman Freeborn, “We have successfully diversified, and continue to diversify, our business, growing our portfolio of niche services and increasing our value to our customers,” Batliwala said.

Though he also emphasised: “Relationships will always play a major role in our business, and we continue to develop them with our many new services.”

Most recently, the charter broker has invested in expanding its product portfolio, including its On Board Courier (OBC) product, and has also grown its Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance (ACMI) leasing team.

Building on success
Looking back at those five decades in business, Chapman Freeborn attributed its 50 years of success to “rapid diversification and agile product development” implemented in response to changing consumer demand.

Today, “We are investing significantly in the expansion of our international office network and teams to strengthen our truly global business,” said chief executive Eric Erbacher.

“Our group continues to push its efforts to considerably increase our own controlled capacity in our key segments of cargo and ACMI leasing over the coming years.

“As well as this, we are intensifying our network of selected partnerships and collaboration across the logistics chain to drive added value for our customers.”

Chapman Freeborn is looking to employ the next generation of aviation experts to drive innovation in an ever-evolving industry.

It is already set to recruit more than 80 members of staff this year, with the aim of surpassing the workforce expansion it experienced in 2022.


In the cargo market, Chapman Freeborn Airchartering specialises in the charter and lease of aircraft for a wide-ranging customer base, including freight forwarders, multinational corporations, governments, humanitarian agencies and a range of industries around the globe.

As well as freight charters, it offers specialist passenger services including private jet charters for executive travel and large aircraft for crew rotations and international group travel, as well as its OBC services.

The Chapman Freeborn group forms part of the Avia Solutions Group.

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