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East Anglia Future 50

The hangar for billionaire's private jets is saved from the brink

PUBLISHED: 10:37 11 February 2019

Aerial view of Stansted Picture: STANSTED AIRPORT

Aerial view of Stansted Picture: STANSTED AIRPORT

Stansted Airport

The future of a private jet hangar which claims to be one of the largest of its kind in the world seemed to be sealed when liquidators were appointed last month. But the company has managed to rise from the ashes.

Diamond Hangar Limited operates the £20m ‘Diamond Hangar’, Europe’s largest independent commercial-aircraft maintenance centre, at Stansted Airport.

Its website claims that it is “London’s one-stop shop for anything that a private jet needs”, and one its directors is a Nigerian billionaire oil tycoon, Prince Al Eze, a Nigerian oil tycoon, who is considered the eighth richest person in Africa with a net worth of more than $5.8bn.

MORE: Mystery surrounds the collapsed company that houses billionaires’ private jets at Stansted

The Diamond Hangar is a self-contained aircraft servicing facility spread over 18 acres, housing what it claims is one of the largest hangar spaces in the world, which accommodates aircraft from business jets to large wide-body commercial airliners. When designed and built in 1989, the Diamond Hangar was required to accommodate two 747s or up to nine 737s, all housed under a 107m clear-span parabolic space-frame roof.

There are no roof supports to intrude into the diamond-shaped floor plan, giving the structure its name.

According to Diamond Hangar’s last accounts in April 2017, more than £8m was owed to creditors.

The company also had outstanding commitments of more than £50m for future minimum lease payments under non-cancellable operating leases, and had investment properties worth more than £20m.

A previous petition to wind the company up had been made in 2017, and was dismissed.

Paul Appleton, managing partner of David Rubin & Partners, was appointed last month to liquidate the company.

But Diamond Hangar Limited challenged the liquidation order and a court hearing took place in Birmingham last month, which has resulted in the order being overturned.

The list of creditors included Stansted Airport itself, as well as Uttlesford District Council.

A spokesperson for Stansted Airport confirmed that Diamond Hangar will carry on being based at Stansted and is no longer being wound up, but declined to comment on the circumstances.

A member of staff at the Diamond Hangar said that as far as she is aware, the company is continuing “business as usual” from Stansted.

The Diamond Hangar has ten tenants ranging from a bespoke fixed-based operator, aircraft spares and personnel training to its own in house engineering company, Executive & Business Aviation Support Limited (EBAS) which specialises in Bombardier and Challenger Maintenance.

Two petitions to wind up EBAS were lodged by HM Revenue & Customs last year, and both were dismissed.

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