Dubai: ExecuJet, a private aviation firm based at Dubai airport, said it would more than double capacity of its charter flights with the arrival of new privately owned aircraft to meet rising demand.
A full-service private aviation firm including sales, maintenance and management of Bombardier aircraft, ExecuJet also operates charter flights on behalf of the owners who want to offset the costs of ownership.
Mike Berry, managing director of ExecuJet Middle East, said its charter fleet would increase from three to eight aircraft over the next eight months as the market for private travel continues to expand.
"We're just seeing continued demand for charter services - in the last year, inquiries have more than doubled," Berry told Gulf News. "We're seeing new charter brokers and new charter operators as well."
Dubai is becoming a hub for private aviation in the Middle East, which is seeing strong demand by corporate and high net worth travellers.
According to the Middle East Business Aviation Association (Mebaa), demand for business jets is rising by 10 to 12 per cent a year. Currently, the market is worth $480 million for regional operators. This is projected to double in four years, climbing to $1 billion by 1010.
The new ExecuJet aircraft available for charter include two Lear 60XR light jets, two Challenger 850 wide-bodied business jets, and one challenger 605 wide-bodied business jet, all from Bombardier.
Overall, ExecuJet manages a fleet of 14 aircraft for private owners, and has secured contracts to grow to 20 by the first quarter of 2008. Out of its managed fleet, only aircraft registered out of the UAE are permitted for charter flights.
With its headquarters in Zurich, Execujet has operated out of Dubai since 1999. In 2005 it opened its own VIP lounge at its fixed base operation facility, one of only three operating at Dubai International Airport.
The company is a distributor for Bombardier aircraft such as the Learjet in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Oman, Yemen, Bah-rain and Jordan.
As part of its management services, ExecuJet also handles full flight planning, including clearances for over flights and landings in countries as far away as China.