Air charter and private jet market remains resilient: Royal Jet

Guest Writer

The air charter and private jet market has remained “resilient” during the economic downturn, bolstered by growth in demand for large aircraft such as the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), the President and CEO of UAE-based Royal Jet, Shane O’Hare, has stated.In an exclusive interview with TDME, O’Hare said that Royal Jet, with a current fleet of five BBJs and a sixth to be delivered this year, making it the world’s single largest BBJ operator, had therefore thrived during the recession as it had been “well-positioned” to meet this growing demand.He said prospects for 2010 were “promising”, adding: “Our core charter business is doing well with large VIP aircraft such as the BBJ continuing to enjoy huge demand, and our diversified business activities that are still within the aviation sector have had positive results.”O’Hare said Royal Jet had maintained “solid growth” in 2009 with the airline’s cost-saving initiatives and its diversification strategy paying dividends.”Our core charter business has performed well and reached our revenue targets,” he said.”Although there has been significant downward pressure in the super-midsize category, which could imply that some operators are pricing their flights below cost in order to maintain bookings, charter pricing held up in the BBJ sector and the larger aircraft have maintained strong demand.” O’Hare said Royal Jet’s business from Presidential Flight passengers and heads of state from around the world, plus “a number of other significant bookings”, had placed the airline’s core business in a “strong and healthy position”. “It has also been encouraging that we have secured a number of new customers during the year,” he said.”Our customers trust us to manage their sub charters, which is exemplified by our extremely strict audit process for selecting other operators, and extends as far afield as South America and the south pacific islands.”O’Hare also stressed that Royal Jet planned to double the size of its fleet to more than 20 aircraft by 2014. “We are in a good position not only to acquire additional aircraft, but also to enter into aircraft management deals whereby we manage aircraft owned by others (including corporate owners) and maximise the return on investment for those owners,” he explained.”This arrangement gives us extra flexibility in our charter business and provides a win-win situation for both Royal Jet and aircraft owners.”

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