FBO/Handler (Brandenburg / Berlin)
Palm Aviation FZCO
FBO/Handler (Dubai International / Dubai)
FBO/Handler (Abu Dhabi International / Abu Dhabi)
Signature Flight Support
Swiss Privilege Aviation Services
UAS International Trip Support
FBO/Handler (Dubai International / Dubai)
US Alliance Flight Support
BAN's World GazetteerGermany
Europe's political leaders fear recession-inspired business cutbacks but stars from the world of music and sport and vips are among those sustaining demand for expanded FBO services.
The Aviacion General y Ejecutiva Aerea (AEREA) FBO based in Malaga, which reports strong interest in its new business centre, recently welcomed Bon Jovi through its vip access. The facility is also used by Julio Iglesias when he travels to Malaga after concerts. "AEREA offers the vip facility to all its clients not just famous musicians," says FBO manager Yolanda Avalos.
She adds: "We are also making the business centre's services widely available. It will be open to both executive and general aviation users as well as entrepreneurs and local professionals." The business centre is scheduled to open ready for the winter season and will be operated along the lines of a special event lounge with capacity for 200.
The FBO also offers two vip lounges, equipped with satellite TV and wi-fi and a helicopter shuttle service between Malaga airport and clients' final destinations. "We are experiencing high demand for the new crew lounge," Avalos adds. "A third passenger lounge is planned in the near future and, with the new crew lounge already in operation, we will be well placed to service our clients' expanding needs. Our range of services is, in fact, constantly expanding to keep up with demand from the executive aviation sector."
A new FBO has recently begun operations in Shannon Airport Ireland. US Alliance Flight Support which began full operations this summer, reports increasing business. And, in Germany, Munich's MES Handling, which came fourth in overall in EBAN's 2008 FBO survey results, has been taken over by Signature Flight Support. The former MES management team, led by Oliver Trono and Klaus Besold, will be staying with Signature's first FBO operation in Germany and its 22nd base worldwide.
David Best, md Europe, Middle East and Africa, for Signature Flight Support Europe, says: "Munich is a key and growing destination for business aircraft operations." The Avitat network expects to exceed its target to grow the number of European and Middle East members to 12 during 2009. "We are currently anticipating growth up to 14 or 15 members," says Joseph Fish, business development manager, Avitat and ExxonMobil. "I think it is fair to say that business levels amongst the members is increasing as reflected by the increased volumes for Jet A-1 amongst the Avitat members. However, Avgas fuel volume sales continue to decrease as more of the Avitat customers are increasingly using jet fuel aircraft."
In the U.K. the all-weather 24-hour privately-owned Pembrey airport is gearing up for increased demand following its runway extension. "For sporting enthusiasts, the airport offers the fastest, most direct route to the adjoining Pembrey Motor Circuit, home of Welsh motor sports, and also to the nearby Jack Nicklaus golf course," says md Capt. Winston Thomas. "It is also just only three miles from Ffos Las, the UK's first dedicated equestrian training and sport centre, now in its initial development phase."
The 600-acre, multi-million pound amenity will include a hotel, pub, restaurant and up to 250 homes and the new National Hunt racecourse already has 16 British Horse Racing Board meetings scheduled for 2009.
Pembrey's runway extension of 1,148 ft takes its total length to 3,780 ft. It also offers a passenger terminal and restaurant, extensive free parking, aircraft hangars and extensive hardstanding.
Southair Iceland has moved to a new location at Keflavik. It has opened a new GA terminal on what is known as the 'East Ramp.' The company says the facility caters for all sizes of aircraft and is accessible from both the S1 and N1 taxi-ways.
The company has recently been acquired from Atlanta Icelandic by the former manager of Southair David Johannsson, now the ceo of Southair Iceland.
But high fuel prices continue to raise issues. Swissport International, which started applying a separate fuel surcharge of up to two per cent under its current contractual agreements as from the middle of June, summed up the realities. "Despite all the internal cost efforts and significant endeavours on all levels Swissport is obliged to make this increase in response to the continued steep rises in fuel prices."
Swissport said it was following an unfortunate but general, industry trend. "Most airlines are suffering from higher fuel prices and have passed on some of these costs to their passengers in the form of fuel surcharges added to their fares. Swissport operates thousands of vehicles and energy generating facilities all over the world and these, too, have seen their fuel costs rise by up to 50 per cent over the past few months."
The precise details of the new surcharge for the company's products, services and tariffs that involve fuel/energy depending activities will be determined and implemented locally by Swissport's various stations around the world.
Meanwhile ExecuJet is opening a new representative office in Moscow as part of European and global expansion. "Two sales representatives have been appointed to head up ExecuJet's new office to support a booming market where three to four business jets are being delivered each month," says ExecuJet Europe md Peter Hartmann. "Moscow activity will centre around sales of the spn and the Aerion SBJ."
ExecuJet manages more than 110 business jets worldwide and its managed aircraft fleet has grown over the past six months to over 55 aircraft, with new arrivals being based at Copenhagen Roskilde, Berlin Schoenefeld in Germany and at ExecuJet's latest base at London City Airport where a Falcon 900 has just been registered under its new U.K. AOC.
At Berlin Schoenefeld, ExecuJet is busy expanding its FBO facility with a new vip passenger lounge and enhanced facilities ready for completion in October. "The 24 employees will be looking after up to eight managed aircraft this year," says Hartmann.
In the Middle East Palm Aviation is setting up a handling facility at Aviation City which is part of Dubai World Central. DWC, home to the largest maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre in the world, has signed a deal with Palm Aviation to set up the project's first FBO. The 80,000 square foot facility will be designed to cater to the flight support services industry in the 140 square kilometre DWC urban aviation project under construction at Jebel Ali.
Under the agreement, Palm Aviation will extend its existing global flight support operations centre to DWC Aviation City from its existing Dubai airport free zone office. "This is part of our expansion strategy which will see the company grow by 35 per cent annually over the next five years across the region," says Khalid Al Mutawa, chairman.
Abdullah Al Quraishi, ceo, DWC Aviation City says: "DWC will be home to the world's largest MRO providers, largely due to the strategic aviation services offerings to third parties setting up their regional operations within our projects. The aviation sector is expected to grow at more than 30 per cent annually for the coming five years and the impressive growth of over nine per cent for the Middle East MRO market is expected to continue over the same period."
Abu Dhabi's Royal Jet has welcomed Abu Dhabi Airports Company's (ADAC) plan to set up the Middle East's first dedicated executive airport. ADAC is to invest US $54.4 million in transforming the Al Bateen military base into an exclusive corporate jet facility.
Shane O'Hare, president and ceo, Royal Jet, says: "Al Bateen's location just 10 kilometres from the capital's diplomatic and business centres will be a compelling advantage for our strong corporate client base and we are now working with the relevant authorities to assess our operational requirements for Al Bateen." Sahlee Fajutagana says United Aviation Services (UAS), headquartered in Dubai, is enjoying rapid expansion, accelerated by the success of its new headquarters complex in the Dubai airport free zone.