National Air Services orders five biz jets

The Saudi charter company increases its fleet by signing two major deals at this year's EBACE in Geneva.

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By  Laura Barnes Published  May 25, 2005

Saudi Arabia’s VIP charter specialist, National Air Services (NAS), has signed two separate deals for business jets at this year’s EBACE. The Saudi aviation company has now increased its fleet by purchasing two Airbus Corporate Jetliners (ACJ), followed by a further deal for three Gulfstream G350’s Wanting to increase its fleet due to a growth in demand, NAS signed the deal with Airbus adding that a third aircraft is on the table. “We have already exceeded our market plan for the two ACJs so we are almost certain we will need another one,” said Mohammed Al Zeer, president & CEO, NAS. The ACJs will be offered as a complement to NAS’s other executive charter jets, providing existing customers with access to a much larger aircraft. “We will provide guaranteed access to customers whose aircraft we manage,” added Al Zeer. The purchase of the ACJs comes after NAS recognised a greater need for these type of jets in order to offer a luxury corporate shuttle service, so passengers can avoid having to use crowded airports after they have travelled to their destination on a VIP aircraft. “We plan to launch services in June and the aircraft will be configured with 44 seats, flying an average three hour stage length. We chose this aircraft as it is ideal for the job because it has a wider fuselage than the BBJ, for instance, so it really gives a feeling of spaciousness inside,” added Al Zeer. The newly acquired ACJs are expected to operate scheduled services between Jeddah and Riyadh during the week and then at weekends provide services for the burgeoning Middle East holiday market to five star hotels across the region. The other deal signed at the show was a letter of intent with Gulfstream for three 3800 nmi-range G350 large cabin business jets. The 14 seater jets are scheduled for delivery in 2007; the deal was financed by Arab Banking Corp and guaranteed by the US Export Import Bank. “We have a long standing relationship with Gulfstream and this purchase is the latest in a series of transactions between our two organisations and I have no doubt that we will be securing further Gulfstream aircraft in the very near future for our NetJets Middle East fleet,” said Al Zeer. NAS’s fractional ownership operation has also been boosted this year with more customers signing up for the service. “This year we have signed more customers in the first quarter than in the whole of 2004, around 80 customers. This is because there is a boom in the market as more people want to travel in style to top hotel resorts,” concluded Al Zeer.

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