Royal Jet to receive two aircraft this year

Charter carriers are booming in the region, with Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet expanding throughout the UAE

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By  Laura Barnes Published  February 8, 2005

Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet is planning to continue its strong growth over the coming 12 months. The charter carrier is take on two more jets this year, and it is opening more sales offices across the region. Royal Jet currently operates two Boeing Business Jets and a pair of Gulfstream G300s, but it is scheduled to receive two more planes in 2005. In May, the company will get a Challenger 300, which it recently secured US $15 million’s worth of financing for from First Gulf Bank. Then, towards the end of the year, the company will receive a third BBJ, which will be configured with a bedroom and 26 VIP seats. The expansion of Royal Jet’s fleet reflects the wider growth of passenger charter services in the region. This is especially true in the business sector, where more and more companies are realising the timesavings that can be gained by using a business jet. “Time is becoming a key factor, as many businessmen and multinational executives based in the region now prefer to fly on business jets,” said Ammar Balkar, vice president, sales & marketing, Royal Jet. “A businessman can make up to three different meetings in three different countries in the same day with a private jet. The hassle at airports associated with travel, and the transit times between flights, makes it almost impossible to conduct these business meetings on commercial flights,” stated Balkar. Alongside this greater convenience, hiring a private aircraft allows executive to conduct confidential meetings inflight, which means they can speed their travel time productively. “Confidentiality is a key factor [driving demand],” noted Balkar. “Moreover, if eight to ten executives have to fly to a nearby destination and back again on the same day, a private jet is almost the same cost as buying them all first class seating on a commercial airline. However, by chartering, you get confidentiality as you have the aircraft to yourself,” added Balker. Royal Jet flies around the world, but its most popular destinations are Beirut, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Western European capitals. Dubai is also a key market, and to serve the emirate better, Royal Jet has teamed up with Dnata to open an office there. “We were pleased to open a new sales office in Dubai as it shows the importance of the area as a business and commercial hub. As almost 50% of our customers originate from Dubai it seemed the next logical step after we had opened an office in Saudi Arabia. We will shortly be opening an office in Kuwait as well,” added Balkar.

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