Wings for hire - Issue 166 - Magazine | Monocle
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Unpredictable weather makes travelling between Denmark’s remote islands by sea difficult. But local airliner Copenhagen Air Taxi has been providing Danes with a solution for decades. Regularly operating a fleet of two Britten-Norman b-2 Islanders that can carry up to nine passengers on each journey, the family-run business seamlessly connects Copenhagen with the popular holiday destinations of Anholt and Laesø, normally a multi-hour train and ferry ride away. “When you fly with us, you can show up 15 minutes before departure and get to the islands in less than an hour,” says the airline’s ceo Jimmy Arly Larsen from his office at Roskilde Airport, which is a short drive from the capital. “It’s that simple.” 

A love for aviation runs deep in his family’s blood. Larsen’s photographer grandfather rented a small aircraft to take aerial shots of Copenhagen and started chartering flights in 1961. Not long after, friends and acquaintances wanted to follow in his footsteps. “They came to him to learn how to fly,” Larsen tells monocle

Today, as well as operating its fleet, the airline runs one of the country’s most prestigious flight schools. Larsen and his team believe that their emphasis on high-quality and in-person education is what sets them apart from other institutions. “Many courses today take in lots of applicants, which makes it harder to have one-to-one sessions,” he says. At Copenhagen Air Taxi, training is always hands on and classes are small; the airline even gives new pilots a chance to join the team right after graduation. “No other school in Europe currently offers this,” adds Larsen. 

This model – and the constant flow of new talent it provides – has enabled Copenhagen Air Taxi to keep expanding both at home and abroad. After recording a surge in demand for domestic travel during the first years of the pandemic, the company introduced commercial Boeing 737s to its fleet, which operate charter flights to Greece – a first for the business. “Things are going well,” says Larsen. “All there’s left to do now is spread the word.” 

me_20230602_0083.jpg

 Jimmy Arly Larsen

CEO of Copenhagen Air Taxi

Larsen, who joined the family business 24 years ago, recently took over his father’s role. A trained pilot himself, he is now in charge of everything from leading the airline’s business strategy to flying scheduled services – both to nearby Danish islands and overseas. “That’s the beauty of joining a small business like ours,” he says. “You get to do everything.” 

 01. Eric Lon Huber

Deputy for our technical manager

“Maintains our fleet.”

02. Jesper Terp

Director flight OPS

“He’s is in charge of our commercial flights. Jesper is also captain and examiner on the Boeing 737.”

03. Rune Tau Christensen

Logistics Manager

“He takes care of buying spare parts for our fleet.”

04. Dorte Nicolaisen

Operations manager

“She oversees daily operations and scheduling.”

05. Jeanni Kimmer Nilsson

Chief flight instructor

“Larsen’s sister. Part of the third generation of Copenhagen Air Taxi. Jeanni works as a pilot and instructor and flies 737s.”

o6. Christian Winberg Mortensen

Student pilot

“Started in May 2022 and will qualify as a commercial pilot in May 2024.”

07. Jeppe Schack Vikkelsø

Student pilot

“He joined the school last August and will qualify as a commercial pilot next year.”

08. Cassandra Petersen

Pilot

“She also flies our scheduled flights to Anholt and Laesø.” 

09. Lise Chedu Hansen

Pilot and flight instructor

“She flies to the islands of Anholt and Laesø and is also a first officer on our Boeing 737.”

10. Dorthe Lyngholm Larsen

CFO

“Apart from overseeing finances, she’s also Jimmy’s wife.”

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