New executive aviation company taking off

The new operation, which will announce its name soon, aims to make private aviation services available to a wider audience than is currently the case.

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By  David Ingham Published  April 11, 2006

A new executive aviation company it set to take off from Sharjah in October of this year. The new operation, which will announce its name in the next month or so, aims to make private aviation services available to a wider audience than is currently the case. “Private aviation services have tended to be for royals and top VIPs,” explained Ibrahim AlHamer, managing director of Motive Business Consulting and Solutions, a consultancy that helped draw up the venture’s business plan. “You seldom find services for businesspeople and senior professionals. This will be our target market. We will make air travel easier for them.” Precise details remain to be revealed, but AlHamer, who is a professional pilot, says the company has identified three categories of customer within the target market. Packages and services will be devised that appeal to each of these different types of customer. He declined to say whether or not fractional ownership will be one of the packages on offer. Construction of the new company’s facility in Sharjah will start soon and the first plane acquisitions have already been announced. A deal worth a reported US $35 million has been signed with Raytheon for the acquisition of two Beechcraft Premier IA light jets and one Hawker 4000 midsize business jet. The company says it is the first in the GCC region to purchase the two types of aircraft. The Beechcraft Premier IA seats six passengers plus one polit, can fly at over 500 miles per hour and has a maximum range of around 1400 nautical miles. The Hawker 4000 is a larger model capable of flying longer distances. It seats 8 passengers and 2 pilots, flies at a maximum speed of up to 541 miles per hour and has a range of up to 3,400 nautical miles. “Our jets were carefully selected to meet the specific needs of the region’s businessmen and senior executives,” said Hazem Janahi, the representative of the investment consortium behind the new venture. “There is no compromise on safety, comfort and quality of service; these aircraft are ideally suited to meet the specific needs of those who have a sense of value for time.” The company will initially focus on serving the GCC from its base in Sharjah, with the Levant region to follow later. Becoming a Raytheon Authorised Service Centre for the region is also part of the new venture’s plans. “This is a great opportunity for Raytheon Aircraft in the emerging Middle Eastern market,” said Randy Groom, president and general manager of Beechcraft. “We’re excited about the growth potential in this part of the world and our Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft are well suited to fulfil the mission requirements of the area.” Sharjah was chosen as the base for the new operation because of its location, competitive costs and, according to AlHamer, enthusiasm for the project. The chairman of Sharjah Civil Aviation Department, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, was reported to be particularly enthusiastic about the project and keen to bring it to Sharjah. Further details about the operation, including its name and its investors, will be revealed in the next few weeks. AlHamer has promised a “novel” marketing campaign to promote the new venture.

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