Abu Dhabi's Prestige Jet, which has signed a letter of intent for five Gulfstream G650s, plans to operate the world's first Lineage 1000 aircraft. Faris Deeb, md says the G650 will add a new dimension to the company's operations but that he regarded the ultra-long range Lineage 1000 as a real coup.
"The developments demonstrate our unyielding commitment to building one of the foremost private air charter companies in the region comprising a young fleet with some of the most advanced aircraft available in the world that meet virtually all passenger needs," Deeb says.
"The G650 is a one-of-a-kind, high-tech, state-of-the-art airborne office that features an unmatched combination of characteristics: the largest and quietest cabin, the longest range and fastest speed and the most technologically advanced aircraft systems. It will allow us to carry between 15 and 18 passengers, non-stop to destinations such North America or Australia."
The Lineage 1000 is smaller than the BBJ and ACJ but bigger than those currently rated as mid-size aircraft. Deeb says: "It will provide Prestige Jet with a competitive advantage in terms of flexibility in the number of passengers that can be carried and the charter rates."
Prestige Jet plans that its fleet will grow to ten aircraft by the end of 2008 and to 26 by 2013 at a cost of around US$1.5 billion. Deeb also says that Prestige Jet is investing in a multi-million dollar investment programme for facilities and services. "In April we opened a new dedicated passenger lounge within Al Bateen City Airport," he says. And Prestige Technique, the recently formed maintenance division of Prestige Jet, signed an agreement with Duncan Aviation of the U.S. for the provision of a wide range of maintenance services including airframe and engines.
"While we might be embarking on an unparalleled growth programme, at the heart of our plans is the safety and reliability of each and every one of our growing and diverse range of aircraft," said Deeb. "This association with Duncan Aviation means we can draw on over 50 years of experience and the highest reputation in the industry." Prestige Jet, formed in early 2007, also announced that it was seeking to acquire a facility at Al Ain international airport to establish a dedicated maintenance hangar. Deeb says that, in the first quarter of 2008, utilisation of its then fleet of four dedicated aircraft was on average running at 30 per cent above target.