Royal Jet ramps up operations in the Gulf
As the demand for charter aircraft increases, regional operators are opening up new offices and purchasing more aeroplanes.
With the demand for luxury aircraft in the region on the rise, Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet, is ramping up its operations with the opening of an office in Dubai and the purchase of aircraft due to arrive later this year.
Royal Jet operates two BBJ 737-700 aircraft and two Gulfstream G300 aircraft. It also expects to add a new Challenger 300 to its fleet in May having recently received financing from First Gulf Bank for US $15 million. A third BBJ will also arrive in Abu Dhabi at the end of this year, configured with a bedroom and 26 VIP seats.
Demand for charter jets has increased by 40% worldwide, since 9/11, and more people in the Gulf region are turning to private aircraft as a way of travelling between meetings. Royal Jet says this is due to a range of factors including time and privacy.
“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 time between flights, makes it almost impossible to conduct these business meetings on commercial flights,” stated Balkar.
Not only is time a key driver for the increasing demand in chartered flights, but the need for privacy is paramount for businessmen conducting in-flight meetings.
“Confidentiality is a key factor. Moreover, if you calculate the economies of scale for eight to ten executives flying to a nearby destination and back again on the same day, a private jet is almost the same cost as first class seating on a commercial airline, but you get the confidentiality by having an 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 are 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