Looking for a share in UAE growth
Easy access Flight pre-clearance expansion will speed travel to US
Plus a round-up of cargo, passenger and business air charter news
FOR PROFESSIONALS IN CHARTER FLIGHT PROCUREMENT
PREVIEW ISSUE MARCH 2009 FOR PROFESSIONALS IN CHARTER FLIGHT PROCUREMENT
Publisher: Editor: Production: Advertising manager:
David Wright Rod Smith Kate Woods Chris Carr Mark Ranger
Charter Broker 134 South Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3BQ Tel: +44 1279 714505 Fax: +44 1279 714519 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.charterbroker.aero Charter Broker is published six times each year, by Stansted News Limited. Periodicals postage paid at Rahway, N.J. Postmaster: Send address changes to Stansted News Limited c/o Mercury Airfreight International Ltd., 365 Blair Road, Avenel, New Jersey 07001. Company registered in England no. 2224522. Printed by Stones. Charter Broker is sent without charge to qualifying professionals. Please visit the web site to request a copy. The opinions expressed by authors and contributors to Charter Broker are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. Articles appearing in Charter Broker may not be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the publisher. Charter Broker is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork.
hat could be easier than chartering an aircraft? Simply call your local aerodrome, speak to the nice pilot, drive over there and hop on board... Well, yes, in some cartoon parallel existence all of life is this simple. But back here in the real world things go wrong, customers are overcharged, promises are broken, and best-laid plans are dashed. Enter the expert, the facilitator, the professional – in short, the charter broker. The great bulk of commercial freight and passenger aircraft charters, and probably a clear majority of business charters, are guided by the hands of a charter broker. He or she may be a qualified employee booking transport for an employer, or on the staff of a specialist brokerage company. Either way a wealth of experience, a database of contacts and a professional approach will have been on hand. It is no surprise that charter brokers are responsible for the organisation of so much of the world’s ad-hoc air transport. They are not just one vital link in the chain, but several – marshaling the
efforts of aircraft operators, airport handlers and service providers with the ruthless efficiency of the best concierge. So here we are, launching a new magazine for these stalwart professionals, at a time when air PREVIEW MARCHbusiness 2009 freight is inISSUE meltdown, aviation an economic pariah, and commercial aviation in the cross-hairs of the environmentalists. Whatever are we thinking? Well, our remit will be to help our readers turn adversity into opportunity, providing perspective on the air charter industry and useful market intelligence. We’ll be taking the viewpoint of the professional air charter buyer directly, for what we believe is the first time in publishing history! This preview edition will give you an idea of the news and features we are already researching. The first real issue in June 2009 will be printed and mailed to charter brokers all across Europe and the Middle East, and freely available online. To reserve your copy, visit our web site today: www.charterbroker.aero
US flight pre-clearance expansion broadens broker alternatives
Oxygen 4 and IAC confident Russian luxury market will hold firm
Charter brokers welcome a drive by the United States to extend the global availability of commercial and executive flight pre-clearance in 2009
ASA-Avolus partnership announces plans to develop Asia Pacific market
Chapman Freeborn expands in Europe and the Middle East
Cargo brokers seek to maximise market share of UAE business
Comlux adds third AOC for ‘seamless’ services and registers ACJ
Airports are competing hard for business and brokers are far from downcast about business prospects.
Nord-Flyg launches modern twin turboprop cargo alternative Page 18
AirMedical expands Cheyenne fleet
For advertising rates and data visit www.charterbroker.aero Charter Broker
Oxygen 4 and IAC confident Russian luxury market will hold firm Following a record year for International Air Charter’s Dubai office, the company’s ceo Hugh Courtenay is forging ahead with plans to open another office in Kiev to serve the company’s growing numbers of Russian and Ukrainian clients. The company’s bdm Vladyslav Laskevych, previously based in the company’s Nice office, will play a key role in developing business. “Nice is very well placed for the influx of Russian visitors over the summer season. But after two years of dividing my time between Nice, Russia and the Ukraine, I am now looking forward to heading up the Kiev office in 2009 and having a permanent base there.” Laskevych says: “I have built up very good working relationships with Russian clients and have spent a lot of time in Moscow, Kiev and the other large business centres in the region. Clients are more than happy to receive a visit but are pleased that we are now investing in their market and will soon have a Russian speaking operational office that they can call on.” Oxygen 4, which has a significant presence in Russia
sector is ‘service.’ This is the key to the hearts of those who can afford it.” Green says that brokers have to go the extra mile to satisfy a client’s itinerary. “We received a request from a client to take an aircraft to 13 cities over a period of three weeks. This is not so unusual. However, the destinations included some of the world’s most challenging places, including Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Paro in Bhutan and Lhasa in Tibet. The client had previously been let down by another broker who advised them the request just wasn’t possible.” Oxygen 4, he says, arranged a service that included providing the first Gulfstream 550 to land in Paro at a total cost of just over US$0.75 million.
Moscow move where about 80 per cent of its business originates, predicts high net worth clients, including those from Russia, will continue to take luxurious winter holidays using private jets. “Most have striven for many years to earn this luxurious lifestyle and they, quite rightly, have expectations of a service level way above average,” says Mark Green, co-owner and director. “I have witnessed many changes in the country and also in the perception of Russians
Oxygen’s directors are bullish about business prospects in Russia. Pictured from left to right are: Rod Glassford, Craig Middleton (seated), Steven Jack and Mark Green. towards the rest of the world. Russian clientele, whilst their spend is high, expect arguably the very highest level of service of all the world’s super wealthy. The one common factor that unites everyone working in the luxury
Broker launches Mustang fractional ownership venture Ruchir Gupta, the man behind U.K. business jet broker FlyMustang, has launched a fractional ownership plan. He says: “FlyMustang is offering pilots the chance to own self-fly fractional shares in the Mustang. I believed this to be the first arrangement of its type in Europe. The company is forming fractional groups, based with various European Mustang AOC operators, for pilots to fly the aircraft as a crew with mentor pilots, for direct operating variable costs of as little as Euros800 per hour.” It is an extension of existing business. FlyMustang organises charter flights around Europe and fills empty legs. FlyMustang is targeting its fractional plans through various operators at their higher use clients.
Rachir Gupta: Targeting businessmen
Air Alpha has opened new office facilities in Moscow. Jesper Andersen, ceo, says: “Space had been in short supply at Dansk Industri in Moscow for some time, so the staff have been hunting larger facilities. They are very happy with the new premises which are also in the city centre and within walking distance of Red Square.” Air Alpha is now based at 6/37, SadovayaSukharevskaya Str., Moscow. Aircraft management and corporate charter, including flight planning, is the main focus of Air Alpha’s operation.
Negotiations solve Agusta problem Dubai-based Air Charter International (Arabia) was tested hard when the transport of three helicopters required coordination through three government agencies. Stuart Wheeler, ceo, says: “The project started with the difficult task of transporting two Agusta 139s and an Agusta 109 from Europe to Asia.” Eight months of negotiations led to a deal to transport all the helicopters to the destined location. “The helicopters were dismantled in Europe and shipped in an Antonov 124 to Asia where they were offloaded safely,” says Wheeler. March 2009
ASA-Avolus partnership announces plans to develop Asia Pacific market
The ASA Group, an Asian vip aviation services provider, and luxury travel group Avolus have announced a new partnership to develop Avolus’ charter business in the Asia Pacific. “Initially the two companies will cooperate on flights flying between the U.K. and Asia, but aim to develop a deeper working relationship,” says ASA group md Simon Wagstaff (pictured seated, second left). “ASA has had a solid presence in south east Asia for more than two decades and its experience in flight planning and ground handling into Asian destinations ties in well with the Avolus operations.” Alexis Grabar, Avolus md, says: “We believe ASA has the ideal regional and operational experience to complement Avolus’ offerings and we look forward to developing this relationship further.” In addition to charter services, ASA will offer vip security, concierge, overflight and landing clearances, in-flight catering, aircraft marshalling, parking, fuel, aircraft valet, hangarage, security, customs and immigration, passenger and baggage handling, limousine transfers and hotel accommodation.
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is processing information gained from a wide-ranging survey of air charter brokers. NBAA spokesman Dan Hubbard says: “The survey is designed to provide NBAA with a broad knowledge set for our NBAA air charter broker best practices document. While we’re focused on the U.S. market with this project, and some of the content is U.S.-specific, there are other elements that would be of interest to a broader broker community. We’re aiming to finalise that document in spring 2009.” The survey was developed by an NBAA working group that is addressing air charter broker issues. Questions range from the type of air charter and aircraft arranged to whether the client is supplied with a copy of the contract provided by the air carrier and the terms and conditions of contracts with the charter customer.
Factory visit solves weighty problem
ASA’s clients include heads of state, Fortune 500 bosses, government officials, aid agencies, international celebrities and high-end tourists. It has offices in the U.K, U.S., Hong Kong, Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket), Dubai, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Kazakhstan demand boosts Hamburg’s AirGroup Charter Broker AirGroup, based in Hamburg, Germany reports a strong appetite in Russia and Kazakhstan for flights to eastern and central Europe. President Patrick Nueske says that enquiries are running at dozens per week. Among the popular aircraft are Sovereigns, including the XLS, the Gulfstream 150 and the Learjet 60. AirGroup has set up contractual arrangements with charter operators to facilitate meeting the demand. “We have expanded our reach into central and eastern Europe,” Nueske says. Demand for long range aircraft , he says, is high and the market for light jets and VLJs shows signs of recovery. “AirGroup works hard to offer a comprehensive service on the ground as well as in the air,” Nueske adds. March 2009
NBAA processes broker survey information
London-based cargo charter analyst Ben Dinsdale solved a weighty problem through a fact-finding trip to a factory. Dinsdale, who works for Air Charter Service, realised there could be problems when ACS was asked to organise the transport of two 31 tonne, four metre high transformers nearly 3,000 miles from the U.K. to Iran. ACS secured an Antonov124 Ruslan but Dinsdale’s concern was to ensure that the weight was distributed and properly supported. “We organised a factory visit the week before the flight in order to advise how to spread the weight efficiently by altering the base for optimum loading onto the AN-124. Charter Broker
Quick thinking saves the day Hugo Smith had to react quickly when two executives, including the ceo of a large international metal company, missed their connecting flight in London for an urgent meeting in Düsseldorf. The London based ACS charter analyst organised a taxi to take the executives to Farnborough where a Premier 1 was waiting. “The preparation of the documents whilst the passengers were in transit to the aircraft meant that they could sign them on their way through the terminal at Farnborough, allowing them to board the aircraft with no delay,” says Smith.
ASA plans expansion in Asia Joe Wilson of ASA Group (pictured) is involved in negotiations which will lead to ASA expanding its air charter broker operations in Asia. ASA says it will not be making any announcement until “negotiations with interested parties are completed.”
Chapman Freeborn expands in Europe and the Middle East
Chapman Freeborn Airchartering has strengthened its operations in the U.K. Romania and the UAE. “The Bucharest-based team will work closely with our worldwide offices to establish a strong chartering presence in Romania and neighbouring Republic of Moldova,” says Hans Luca, head of the new venture, who previously worked as a charter broker for Chapman Freeborn in Ostend, Belgium. The company reports a good response to the expansion of its U.K. operation with the launch of a new 24-hour ACMI team, to be known as “Wings 24”. The new division is based at the company’s London Gatwick headquarters. Darren Banham, director commercial passenger charters and leasing says: “It will offer round-the-clock expertise on ACMI and last-minute sub-charter operations worldwide. Working together with the global office network of the group, the service will provide customers with the reassurance that office based staff are on hand at any time, both locally and at the head office, to deal with unexpected problems or last minute issues.”
Wings 24: Back row, Trevor Butler, Catriona Taylor, Darren Banham, Helen Matthews, Stephen Fowler and Ruth Rabet. Front, Andrew Cockerill, Paul Hooper, Andy Peirce and Lee Goodeve. Banham adds: “While we were already proud of our speed and efficiency, a duty system requires our teams to work from home out of normal working hours. In the middle of the night, precious minutes could be lost establishing contact with airlines. In contrast, a fully manned desk will allow us to simply take up known availability options, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” With current global financial pressures leading to a succession of airlines going out of business, there is now a smaller pool of carriers to choose from. A knock on from this reduction in charter capacity is that many aircraft are being flown at higher utilisation which can see maintenance issues arise with less time to fix them before the next operation, he adds.
Angolan oil and gas expansion set to boost specialist charter demand Angola, expected to soon become the biggest oil and gas producer in Africa, could provide increasing charter broker opportunities in the next few years. Sam Harris, chairman of EuroCaspian Services Ltd which has been appointed cargo sales agent for TAAG-Angola Airlines for the UK, Ireland and North America, predicts increasing demand for the prompt and efficient air transport of equipment. He says: “With oil Charter Broker
and gas production leveling off in other areas, it is Angola that’s seeing remarkable growth at this time. “As such, there’s an increased need to move equipment as quickly as possible. Air allows for the fast delivery of equipment and our cargo sales agents keep everything moving swiftly.” TAAG’s U.K. representative, Joao Rodrigues, says: “With Angola about to take over from Nigeria as
the leading oil and gas producer in Africa there is expected to be a continued and growing dependence on air freight services.” A weekly 747 already provides services out of Ostend, Belgium, for the transport of oil and gas equipment but Harris anticipates that further aircraft will be needed to meet demand well before 2009 is out. “We will be chartering aircraft as necessary in the most costeffective way possible,” he says.
EuroCaspian will work as a general sales agent with a brief to increase TAAGs’ market share. “We will implement new and innovative measures to overcome the anticipated congestion that this rapid expansion will bring,” says Harris. This might include charters from Houston in Texas to Luanda and sea-air liaison as equipment arrives in Angola. Harris, a former chairman of the Baltic Air Charter Association March 2009
Celebair: Lisa Maffia Chapman Freeborn’s new Wings 24 team assists airlines in immediately finding an instant subcharter aircraft to continue operating their flight programmes - helping to maintain punctuality and customer service levels. The Wings 24 service augments the “Wings” product, launched earlier this year to provide options for the urgent transport of spares/ equipment and engines in the event of AOG situations to airline fleets around the globe. Banham says that, by combining the two specific services, Chapman Freeborn will be able to source large or small cargo aircraft and on-board couriers to transport time-critical parts, as well as offering options on substitute aircraft to cover committed flying schedules. (BACA) says EuroCaspian’s freight monitoring capabilities offer benefits in countries such as Angola, Harris adds. “The company can facilitate transfers and the tracking and tracing of shipments with an actual representative based on the ground.” EuroCaspian, which specialises in oil and gas equipment movements, also has operations in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Its bespoke client services in the air, coupled with an ever-expanding dedicated representation on the March 2009
Both the new Wings 24 and Wings services provide a single point of contact for airlines experiencing AOG problems. The company has also made recent managerial changes at its Sharjah and Hong Kong offices. Michael Roth, who joined Chapman Freeborn in 1998, has been promoted to the role of general manager of the company’s Sharjah office, where he will head a 40-strong team of sales and operations staff. Roth previously represented the company in Stockholm, Dubai and Hong Kong. Replacing Roth in Hong Kong is Gregory Chung who joins Chapman Freeborn as general manager and will be responsible for day-to-day oversight and strategic development of the business. He was most recently employed as general manager Asia with Ocean Airlines. In separate news, the U.K. Ministry of Defence has awarded its South Atlantic airbridge contract to Chapman Freeborn and Edinburgh-based flyglobespan. The twice-weekly flights to Ascension Island and the Falklands will be operated on the Scottish airline’s Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. The airbridge from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire is run under a two-year contract with two one-year options. The B767-300 aircraft is to carry up to 184 civilian and government passengers on each flight, with the remaining payload taken with freight. Separately Chapman Freeborn arranged an Embraer Legacy for the climax of ITV2’s CelebAir, the reality TV show in which 10 celebrities took on roles from check-in clerks to air stewards in a bid to be named the airline’s star employee. Chapman Freeborn chartered the 13-seat Legacy from UK based executive charter operator, Twinjet for a flight to Milan and back. The finale of the series featured comedienne Amy Lame and singer Lisa Maffia. For early rounds of the show ITV2 joined forces with Monarch Airlines, with members of the public booking to fly with CelebAir to a host of locations. Cecile Monchatre, who works with the Chapman Freeborn U.K. vip team, says: “This project was a great deal of hard work but, in the spirit of the programme, a lot of fun. The celebrity cabin attendants did really well.”
ground, proved attractive to TAAGAngola Airlines, Harris says. The Angola LNG Project will gather associated gas (AG) in water depths of up to 1,500 metres with the involvement of companies which will include ExxonMobil and Chevron.
Joao Rodrigues and Sam Harris, along with officials from the Angolan Embassy, posed for photographs after the signing of the cargo sales agency contract
ACI (Arabia) targets rising demand for ad hoc Far East travel Dubai-based Air Charter International (Arabia) is planning to tap into rising demand for ad hoc travel to the Far East. “We are still working on refining our objectives and finalising our business plan for 2009 but there will be a major initiative to target the Far East market. We are very keen to make the most of potential demand,” says ceo Stuart Wheeler. The company has strategic offices located around the world with Kosovo convenient for Europe and Sydney among the offices that will promote the Far East initiative. “We liaise with
Stuart Wheeler: refining objectives around 2,500 operators around the world and recently we have been touching base with a large number of them with the emphasis very much on the Far East market. There is a great deal of demand for ad hoc charter and that is what we plan to cater for,” Wheeler adds. Jet-Ops FZE, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ACI (Arabia) holds the UAE AOC and also operates Cessna 208 Caravans on behalf of Dubai based Seaplane sightseeing company called Seawings. As a broker ACI (Arabia) sources aircraft for ad hoc charter ranging from executive jets to helicopters and from Medevac to cargo. Charter Broker
Russian brokers to spearhead 328’s eastward expansion Brokers report that the costcutting necessities of the global downturn are increasing the appeal of the price-competitive Dornier 328 with Russia and the Middle East among growth markets. “The economics are marvelous,” says Tim Procter, md of the Gatwick-based Air Charter Travel Ltd. “The Dornier 328 fills an important niche in the market offering a Gulfstream interior at a King Air price.” Procter points out: “The 328 cannot match the Challenger or Gulfstream for speed but it is ideal for travel around Europe and the shorter runways of airports such as London City are not a problem. Clients might have to travel a bit slower but they can make up for it by using airports not accessible to other aircraft that have the advantage of quicker processing. In ball park terms the flight might take 20 minutes or so longer but landing and clearance throughput could be 90 minutes less. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend the 328 for travel for those whose top priority is speedy intercontinental transit but it is an excellent aircraft for comfortable journeys of around three hours.” Air Charter Travel Ltd. works closely with Icejet which operates five 328s and whose business relies almost entirely on broker recommendations. Jon Ingi Jonsson, md and captain, says: “The Dornier 328 is the secret of our success. It is very efficient, reliable and cost-effective and it is
Top: Dornier 328 fills an important niche Above: Tim Procter, Air Charter Travel md
Jon Ingi Jonsson: 328 is secret to success a pity that it is a model that is not being made any more.” Icejet bases two 328s in the U.K., one in Moscow and a fourth in Riga, Latvia. The base of the fifth aircraft has not been decided but Middle East locations are among those being considered and the decision is likely to be made earlier rather than later in 2009. Jonsson says comfort, reliability and baggage capacity makes the 14-seat vip-configured
Dornier 328 ideal for music tours, leisure and business trips. He reports that the 19-seat corporate shuttle configuration is proving a popular alternative. “The Dornier 328 fills a niche in the Russian market as it is a good alternative to the current types currently available there. The 14 seat Envoy can carry a large group in comfort, and has a 750kg cargo hold with enough space for all their luggage, ski gear, music equipment or golf clubs. At a
more cost effective price than a Global Express or Challenger, the 328 is ideal for the short haul leisure market.” Jonsson reports good progress in marketing 328 charters through Russian brokers appointed to represent Icejet and he believes there is similar potential in the UAE and wider Middle East. Two 328s are fitted with long range fuel tanks, giving a 2,000 nm range, enabling such direct sectors London-Moscow and London-Palma, Mallorca. Icejet is part of the Nordic Partners Investment Group and the group also looks after the 110ft luxury yacht D’Angleterre which is being prepared for charter in the eastern Mediterranean.
Subscribe to Charter Broker at www.charterbroker.aero Charter Broker
s an air charter operator how much of your business is booked by brokers? Forty per cent? Sixty per cent, or more?
Contact Mark Ranger 01279 714509 email@example.com
The charter broker is a vital link in the business air transport process, and in some cases they account for a majority of a fleetâ€™s flight hours.
Or visit www.charterbroker.aero for more information
This magazine is for them. And this advertising space is for you. Youâ€™ll never find a better opportunity to put your services in front of buyers from all over Europe and Middle East.
Looking for a share in UAE growth
Easy access flight pre-clearance expansion will speed travel to us
Plus a round-uP of cargo, Passenger and business air charter news
US flight pre-clearance expansion broadens broker alternatives Brokers with European clients who do business regularly in the United States have responded positively to Ireland’s new advantage. Passengers will be able to complete formalities in advance and relax and even sleep without interruption on their journeys. Charter Broker details the advantages that Shannon and Dublin will be able to offer this summer.
Air charter brokers have welcomed a drive by the United States to extend the global availability of commercial and executive flight preclearance in 2009. A trailblazing agreement for Europe has been signed with Ireland’s Shannon and Dublin airports and U.S. authorities are working on extending arrangements in the Caribbean. The result will be to provide brokers and operators with pre-clearance alternatives that traditionally and practically have been very largely confined to offerings on travel routed through Canada. U.S. Department of Homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff confirms: “The concept is that, when you conclude pre-clearance for commercial and for private aircraft in Shannon or Dublin, there’s no longer any need to restrict yourself to landing in the United States at an airport that has immigration and customs facilities. So it will be, once you’ve cleared pre-clearance, as if you were leaving from a domestic airport to another domestic airport and that’s going to be a great addition in terms of flexibility.” Julie Black, vip charters, Chapman Freeborn Airchartering, points out that Shannon will gain an advantage for attracting the business of passengers that prefer uninterrupted rest on intercontinental flights.
Julie Black: rest advantage for passengers 10 Charter Broker
Black says: “We are accustomed to providing comprehensive data for the APIS and looking at Visa Waiver issues for flights to the U.S. and would obviously be able to provide this data to a U.S. customs/ immigration station in Ireland. But this agreement would make things operationally easier for some kinds of flights. For example, a heavy exec jet flying to somewhere in the middle of the U.S. would normally have to make a customs stop on the East Coast, often resulting in having to wake passengers up. Now, if we could effect U.S. immigration clearance in Ireland then passengers could go to sleep after that and have a restful flight all the way to their end destination. So it is certainly helpful for heavy jets and their passengers.” Joe Buckley, Shannon airport’s cargo & technical traffic development manager, points out that U.S. CBP (Customs, Border, Protection) pre-clearance gives Shannon the opportunity to become the first “one stop shop” airport in Europe for transAtlantic private and commercial aircraft. He explains: “Since 9/11 there has been a change in policy that has led to U.S. customs and border protection becoming one entity that covers customs, immigration and agriculture. There are Canadian airports that can provide full clearance but Shannon intends to be the first in Europe to have that facility. We believe that the advantage of arriving in the U.S. with the effective status of a domestic passenger will be very attractive to both private and public service passengers.” March 2009
Refueling at Duluth, an airport that envisages pre-clearance business opportunities Mark Green, director, Oxygen 4, says: “Oxygen 4 very much welcomes the pre-clearance facility obtained by Shannon and Dublin. It will save time especially when you usually have to go through Gander, Goose Bay, Eastern Canada.” Buckley says Shannon is facilitating a major expansion that will include enhanced pre-clearance facilities for commercial and corporate jet passengers that should be ready by June. The airport, he points out, has ample space to expand and advantages in both the delivery and price of fuel. Ships berthed in the adjacent River Shannon pump fuel along pipes to tanks enabling ‘hydrant fueling’. Chertoff signed the agreement on new aviation pre-clearance security operations with Irish Minister of Transport Noel Dempsey. The agreement broadens U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations in Shannon and Dublin, Ireland, to include full pre-clearance of commercial and private air passenger flights destined for the U.S. March 2009
Chertoff says: “This agreement will move the screening of certain commercial and private air passenger flights overseas, and as a result make the entry process into the U.S. more secure and efficient upon arrival.” He adds: “In terms of pre-clearance, the agreement is helpful from a security standpoint because it means, and this is particularly true of private aircraft, that we’ll be able to do the vetting of people who are coming in overseas before they come into our airspace. We’ll be able to check cargo and be able to check things that might be brought in on private aircraft before it comes into our airspace and that’s another building block in a series of security measures.” The original agreement, signed in 1986, on pre-inspection at Dublin and Shannon airports was limited only to the inspection of commercial flights for immigration controls. It did not apply to customs and agricultural clearances. Since that time, the U.S. government has Charter Broker 11
placed CBP officers at those airports to conduct immigration preinspection of all flights destined for the U.S. The new agreement is broader in scope, and includes customs, immigration and agricultural laws, as well as the screening of aircraft for radiological and nuclear threats. In the coming months, passengers and crew on all commercial and private aircraft destined from the U.S. from Ireland will be pre-cleared prior to departure. Commercial airline passengers who have undergone pre-clearance may also benefit from quicker domestic and international connections within the U.S., by having their checked luggage automatically transferred between flights by the air carrier without needing to claim their luggage. In addition, private aircraft flying through Ireland may use CBP pre-clearance facilities to fly to any airport within the U.S., without having to stop at a pre-designated airport of entry for clearance of customs before to continuing to their final destination. Chertoff says: “The agreement is going to be of benefit to the United States from an efficiency standpoint, from a security standpoint, and it’s going to be of benefit for passengers because it will mean that flights can then go on to their destination anywhere in the United States, having already cleared customs and immigration, which will broaden the number of airports which can receive direct flights coming from Ireland.” CBP is working with airport authorities in both Dublin and Shannon on the construction of pre-clearance facilities that meet CBP design specifications. Work has started on detailed implementation
At Shannon more passengers are expected with the planned expansion 12 Charter Broker
and on finalising standard operating procedures with additional construction being undertaken to specific workplace design requirements and standards. Facilities will include a passenger screening area, inspection area, post-clearance passenger holding lounges, and secure and segregated baggage holding area and staff offices. All are being designed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Operations from Shannon are expected to start in July 2009 and in Dublin around about April-May 2010.
More bureaucratic than Soviet Russia Juhani Missonen, director sales and marketing of Finland’s Jetflite flight operations, says improved alternatives would be welcome. The TSA-Waiver application system, he says, is very bureaucratic and can militate against the basic philosophy of business aviation. “It is even more bureaucratic and worse than in Russia during the Soviet Union time. There is the alternative of the so-called fleet waiver where you list several aircraft and destination airports which you probably use and this waiver is in force for three months, but, of course, in the case of business aviation you very seldom know your route and schedule three months in advance.” In the ordinary course of events a TSA-Waiver to the U.S. would have to be filled in for each flight. This can be done on the Internet. Each application should include details of the aircraft, crew and route and schedule and in addition destination contacts and passenger information. Destination contact information must include the person’s name, full address (street, city, state, country, zip and telephone number). The passenger information must include name, date of birth, city of both, state/province, birth country and passport country and number. And the application should be done 10 days before the planned flight. Missonen says: “Today they have beta-version in use which does not allow for possible revisions of schedule or route and that means that, if anything changes, you have to send in a new application.” But Shannon’s Joe Buckley promises: “The pre-clearance facility will be efficient, fast and user-friendly. Shannon is known for its warm Irish welcome. It is a fabulous business opportunity for Shannon and we will make it work with a smile.” Universal Aviation in Shannon is preparing for an influx of traffic this summer. Brendan O’Grady, md, Universal Aviation in Ireland says: “The feedback we’re getting is that crews are going to use this facility. Some aircraft that overfly this airport might continue to, but many more are going to stop and benefit from the pre-clearance agreement. Shannon was already an extremely popular tech stop due to the fact that it is a 24/7 airport and has some of the most competitive fuel pricing in Europe. This agreement, though, will generate additional interest and traffic, as transAtlantic operators take advantage of the time and money savings with the ability to bypass the normal airports of entry within the U.S. and proceed directly to their destination.” Buckley says: “We have a large land bank for development and Shannon has already demonstrated that it is committed to encouraging general aviation. Other airports lack the space and the desire to encourage growth in corporate aircraft activity but we have both. We already have interest from private jet operators which we expect to translate into prime new FBO facilities within the next few years.” He adds: “It will increase business levels if corporate traffic can make their tech stop here, fill up with cheap fuel and get pre-clearance for immigration, customs and agriculture for the U.S. Additionally the airport authority has firm plans to encourage the expansion of FBO facilities and there are tremendous golf courses and fishing opportunities here that will encourage leisure breaks and holidays.” Shannon Airport Authority chairman Pat Shanahan says: “This agreement brings the potential for Shannon to emerge as a major transatlantic aviation gateway. It could significantly increase the number of transAtlantic flights daily in and out of Shannon, which will March 2009
pre-clearance “ ...having facilities for the U.S. will create very real opportunities
strengthen revenue through increased landing and handling charges.” Having pre-clearance at Shannon will also reduce processing costs and connection times for airlines, says Shannon airport director Martin Moroney. “The benefits of having preclearance facilities for the U.S. will create very real opportunities for the west of Ireland in general and not least through the exposure of this region to the world’s corporate sector, many of whom we anticipate will avail of these preclearance facilities in Shannon on the way to the U.S. Pre-clearance has been a key driver for Canadian airports, which have reported growth in U.S. passenger numbers far exceeding expectations since they put clearance in place. Airports in the U.S. are already expressing interest. Michael Magni, president Monaco Air Duluth, says he would be very interested in discussing potential with Shannon. The recently issued E-APIS regulation requires advance notification an hour before departure from private aircraft of the crew and the passengers who are bound for the United States. Chertoff says: “That will synchronize our security with private aircraft to the same level that we have with commercial aircraft and that will begin to plug a major loophole that we saw in our security in terms of international travel.” The U.S., he says, is looking at is the possibility of Anchorage in Alaska as a location for people to stop and pre-clear before they come into the U.S. “It may be that over time, we do some pre-clearances at some of the fixed March 2009
base operators overseas, the ones that handle a lot of private traffic, so we can create another alternative for private aircraft to be checked before they come in.” The agreement the U.S. now has with Ireland is very similar to that which the U.S. has with Canada. For commercial air traffic, the U.S. has concluded a pre-clearance agreement with Aruba in the Caribbean as it seeks to deal with the issue of people entering the U.S. from the southern hemisphere. “We are talking to a couple of other countries in the Caribbean that could be also location for pre-clearance,” Chertoff says. Thierry Huguenin, president and founder, TSH aero, Inc which is based in Nassau, Bahamas, says: “From a Caribbean perspective, pre-clearance for general aviation and particularly for private air charter flights would certainly be very much appreciated by our clients presuming it is well organized and available seven days a week with effective opening hours.” But he adds: “Having said that, I personally believe that being able to fly directly from Saint Maarten, Port-of-Spain or Nassau to New York or any other airport of entry in the U.S. without having to clear U.S. Customs and Immigration at specific airports (such as Miami or Wilmington for instance) or without the hassle of getting a special overflight permit would be the way to start thinking out of the box for the U.S. Government and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.” CB
Passengers through Ireland can look forward to pre-clearance
Juhani Missonen: improved alternatives welcome Charter Broker 13
Comlux adds third AOC for ‘seamless’ services and registers ACJ
Comlux has gained a Maltese AOC which enables it to fly freely between all EU member states. “This third AOC complements Comlux’s existing Swiss and Kazakh AOCs,” says Richard Gaona, president and ceo. “Malta has a fast developing expertise in aircraft maintenance and other services such as banking and legal support.” New daughter company Comlux Malta Limited has registered an Airbus ACJ and is registering other vvip-configured aircraft for charter operations. The Comlux Aviation fleet currently consists of Airbus and Bombardier aircraft. Richard Gaona, president and ceo says: “We are now able to operate from any EU airport offering our customers seamless convenience and comfort. Our passengers will all benefit from the convenience with which Comlux can now arrange a fast and complex travel schedule including EU and non-EU travel destinations”.
Comlux Aviation has ordered an additional A320 Prestige taking its ACJ orders to nine aircraft. From left to right, in the front row, Habib El Fekih, president Airbus Middle East and Richard Gaona, president & ceo of Comlux.
VistaJet International adds Learjet 60XR based in Subang VistaJet International has added a brand new Learjet 60XR to its Asia Pacific fleet stationed at the SkyPark FBO Malaysia at the SkyPark Subang Terminal. Chief commercial officer Eric Weisskopf points out that the 60XR can carry six passengers and “represents one of the quickest modes of business jet travel for short haul destinations.” He adds: “It also represents one of the most economical and efficient business jets for today’s competitive environment.” Vistajet International has other business jets stationed in Subang including a Challenger 605 and a Challenger 850. On May 20 2008, VistaJet announced that it had placed a firm order for 35 Bombardier business jets, including an option for an additional 25 aircraft. 14 Charter Broker
ACG’s niche role appeals to brokers German air charter brokers have welcomed the prospect of more competition on routing and prices in the cargo sector with the imminent launch of a new niche long haul wide-body freighter airline. Air Cargo Germany (ACG), intends to start operations within weeks deploying two leased B747-400SFs from its base at Hahn, Germany. The aircraft, formerly belonging to Taiwan’s China Airlines, have been converted from passenger to freighter configuration. Michael Bock, ACG ceo, says the final paperwork is being completed in tandem with finishing touches on the aircraft and, subject to formalities, the launch could take place in February. “We have had a good response from freight forwarders and air charter brokers,” Bock adds. ACG plans to first offer its B747-400SF capacity to brokers for charter services and then launch scheduled services to Asia. ACG will consider further expansion in the medium-term depending on business levels and market conditions. Expansion of services to additional markets such as India and Latin America could mean adding further aircraft to the ACG fleet. The company will employ a split business model consisting of both scheduled and charter flights. “Presently we are in final negotiations with some charter brokers for marketing our capacity,” said Thomas Homering, md. Homering and Bock point out that ACG is a niche player compared with Lufthansa Cargo. “However, quite a number of agents have strongly emphasised that they would prefer to have a choice between two different German capacity providers to carry their airfreight,” says Bock. ACG, he says, will be a small, lean player with a favourable cost structure. Its base in Hahn will enable it to take advantage of lower charges for infrastructure and handling of shipments compared to Frankfurt. March 2009
Nord-Flyg launches modern twin turboprop cargo alternative The Swedish cargo carrier Nord-Flyg expects increasing enquiries from brokers after bringing the first of a planned fleet of new generation Dash 8Q400PF environmentally friendly twin turboprop fleet into service. Ulf Darenius, md, says: “The company is the first to operate this aircraft in a way which is capable of carrying up to 40 EU pallets in its 85 cbm interior.” The ex SAS aircraft had the cargo conversion installed and interior modified into E-class by Cascade Aerospace in Vancouver Canada so it could begin operations this year. “A Letter of Intent (LoI) has been signed for the acquisition of more aircraft, Darenius says. “The Dash 8 aircraft is in quantity production in Toronto and is recognised by the world’s leading airlines as the one of the most efficient and most advanced turboprops available. Nord-Flyg is convinced that this new generation turboprop will be welcomed by the industry with its ability to perform at jet speeds on regional routes in the segment of 9,500 kg.” The Q400PF will service a mix of charter and scheduled cargo demand. “It is the only aircraft which is available now to modernise the present turboprop cargo fleets in Europe whose average age
of well over 20 years and at the same time meet the future environmental demands from the officials and the inhabitants around the airfields in Europe,” Darenius adds. Nord-Flyg’s future Dash 8-Q400PF fleet will open up an entirely new segment of freighter operations in a “competitive, efficient, most environmental friendly and operationally reliable product,” he says. “The Q400PF is truly a green machine. It respects the environment by setting new class standards for environmental protection.” Compared to existing aircraft, he says, the Q400PF offers community noise levels well below FAR36 and ICAO Annex16 Chapter 4; reduced noise exposure for ramp personnel; and reduced engine emissions, 40% below Part 34 requirements for smoke mumber and reduced engine emissions, 40% below ICAO Annex16 requirements for gaseous emission. Specifications: Payload 9,500 kg. Bulk loading capacity, 85 cbm or 40 EU pallets, W 80cm x L 120 cm x H 145 cm (optional containerised with 14 ULD). Max single size through standard cargo door is W 120 cm x L 200 cm. x H 146 cm. Long range cruise: payload 8,400 kg, range, 1,120 nm (2,075 km).
FlyingGroup builds Mustang fleet Belgium’s FlyingGroup is bringing four Mustangs into service to expand choice for private and business passengers and aviation services for co-owners and owners. The company says the Mustang’s two cockpit seats and four passenger seats and cruising speed of 630 km/h at an altitude of over 10,000 m will attract new business.
FAI ready for delivery of Falcon 900 German air ambulance operator FAI rent-a-jet is expecting delivery of a factory new Falcon 900 DX EASy which will be offered to the high-end charter market. It has already acquired a fifth Learjet 55 boosting its Learjet fleet to ten. Four are operating in Africa under longterm NGO-charter contracts and one is managed for its private owner but the others are operating out of FAI´s home base Nürnberg as dedicated air ambulances. FAI has become part of Marfin Investment Group (MIG) from Greece. MIG had acquired a 49.9% stake in FAI from the Axtmann-Family´s holding company.
BAAJet offers A318 Elite comfort
Execujet expands fleet, bases and services in Mexico ExecuJet, which manages 150 business jets worldwide through eight AOCs, has expanded its Mexico-based services to offer a full portfolio for aircraft management and charter services in Latin America and the Caribbean. Gerrit Basson, md ExecuJet Aviation Group says: “We have secured two new aircraft under an exclusive charter March 2009
management agreement and the Global Express and Falcon 900B are available for short and long term assignments. These aircraft join three PC12s that ExecuJet Mexico have already available for charter in the region. Additionally four PC12s have joined the fleet to complement a 7X, Challenger 300 and a Falcon 2000 under
management by ExecuJet.” The expansion means that ExecuJet will have management operations at two Mexican airports – Del Norte and Mariano Escobedo International. The Mexican base will continue under the management of md Adrian Zambrano (fifth from right) whose team is pictured.
BAAJet Management Ltd of Hong Kong has put into service the first managed A318 Elite in Asia. The aircraft is based at nearby Shenzen, in the People’s Republic of China. “This A318 Elite offer customers something that they cannot get with other high-end business jets – much greater comfort, space and ease of movement around the cabin,” says BAA md Ricky Leung. He adds: “And with seating for 18 passengers in our A318 Elite, we can also carry larger business groups and families.” Charter Broker 15
Stuttgarter adds a Legacy Stuttgarter Flugdienst GmbH (SFD) has brought a Legacy 600 into service adding a Moscow dimension to its managed fleet. The company traditionally serves the needs of corporations in the Stuttgart area that are focused on developing and servicing business abroad. But the Legacy 600 has an eastern European owner. “It is based in Moscow and configured to carry up to 13 passengers in style,” says director of operations, Martin Venker. “The Russians like comfort and space and the Legacy 600 is just what they prefer to charter. There are two sections which means passengers can relax while others are working.”
Twinjet appoints Middle East rep Twinjet Aviation has appointed its first representative in the Middle East. Neil Turnbull will represent the operator and its sister firm The Charter Company throughout the Middle East and will be based in the UAE. Twinjet has operated a Challenger 604 since February 2008. Turnbull was previously owner of Flight Management, an air charter broker which was recently acquired by The Charter Company.
AirMedical expands Cheyenne fleet Brokers are taking on board the small-freight price advantages of the Piper Cheyenne, according to Rupert Dent, ceo of the Oxford, U.K., based AirMedical which has built up a fleet of four of the aircraft with the latest being added in December. “Both the Cheyenne II and Cheyenne III are a more economical aircraft than the King Air and their roomy interior and ease of loading stands us in good stead,” Dent says. “Ad hoc charter business originating from the auto industry has declined with the recession but the Cheyenne has an enduring appeal for commissions for AOG movements or sectors such as the offshore oil industry where the shipment of long unwieldy metal items are a not uncommon requirement.” AirMedical, which focuses on air ambulance and passenger and cargo charter, conducts all its freight business through brokers.
New system targeted at brokers A new ‘all in one’ online trip booking system is being marketed to brokers, FBO and vip handling agents and corporate jet operators. Tim Gill, md, says Skynet enables the user to order in real time nonaviation third party supplier services such as hotels, car transfers and catering through an automated system that accepts modifications. Skynet is free to jet operators and is being marketed on a 30 day no obligation free trial to FBO and vip handling agents. Operator, FBO and broker testing partners have reported favourably, he says.
APG-GA promises more ad hoc charter The appointment of APG Global Associates as commercial representative in 14 countries and the Arab Gulf region countries by Genevaheadquartered airline Baboo (BBO) will increase the scope for ad hoc charter. UK director of APG-GA, Richard Burgess (pictured) confirms that the company is now the point of contact for brokers in the 15 – France, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria,
16 Charter Broker
Canada, Spain, the United States, Jordan, Lebanon, Czech Republic, Romania, the Arab Gulf, United Kingdom,
Russia and Turkey. BBO, which inaugurated its first flight on 2 November 2003, currently operates Embraer 190s and Dash Q 400s in its fleet. “It has predominantly focused on scheduled but there will certainly be more scope for brokers especially in sectors such as sports charter, including skiing, now that this new arrangement is in place,” says Burgess. Some 80 APG-GA associates and service partners operate in 112 countries and have commercial relationships with over 240 airlines.
Royal Jet offers onboard chef service Royal Jet, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has further upgraded its food and service levels after employing brand and service consultancy Performa Global. The brief, says ceo Shane O’Hare, was to “take a long hard look at all service areas of the company and develop recommendations to take them to the next level.” He adds: “All cabin crew, sales teams and those working at Royal Jet’s FBO have been through special retraining. We have recruited highly qualified chefs with a pedigree from some of the world’s top hotels and restaurants. They recently completed a comprehensive review process of the on-board cuisine, resulting in new menus after months of brainstorming, experimenting with recipes, testing, tasting and finally training the catering staff as to the intricacies of each dish. Royal Jet can arrange for one of its highly trained and experienced chefs to travel with the guests for the duration of their trip.” March 2009
Trucking cost reduction adds to Africawest Cargo’s appeal Cost reductions could see increased broker interest in Africawest Cargo’s bi-weekly direct service using 747s between Brussels and Lomé, capital of Togo, according to Swift Airlines’ European Cargo Services (ECS). ECS and its subsidiaries represent the carrier as GSSA throughout Europe. Stephen Baldewyns of ECS explains there is a cost advantage in the switch of Africawest’s freight operation from Amsterdam to Brussels. “We are convinced that the geographic location of Brussels and its role as the capital of Europe make it an excellent choice for any freight operator. The choice of Brussels
allows us to reduce the cost of trucking freight. More than 100 cargo agents and other logistics partners at Brucargo was another decisive factor.” Currently flight operations are based on repetitive wet leases with Southern Air Transport (SAT) which is supplying the aircraft from its European base in Liege. “These are positioned every Thursday and Sunday into Brussels and operated on roundtrip basis,” Baldewyns adds. Africawest Cargo serves 16 worldwide destinations per week, accounting for about 1,200 flights a year from its Togo main hub. It has been operating for more than
10 years from various airports in Europe. Baldewyns says: “Brokers are welcome on these flights although the majority of bookings come from ‘normal’ forwarders with emphasis on West African routings/networks. “The fact is that the arrival of Africawest is a great addition to Brussels airport’s portfolio of African destinations.” Philippe Fierens, cargo airline marketing manager at Brussels airport explains: “Direct flights to Lomé are also important for the interline activities of other carriers, since Brussels serves as Africawest’s European hub and Lomé is their African gateway.”
LEA offers new transatlantic option London Executive Aviation has added non-stop transatlantic range to its capabilities with the addition of a Dassault Falcon 900EX to its fast growing fleet. It has entered service based at London Luton. The company says the jet has a range of 5,175 miles, easily enabling it to fly nonstop from London to destinations such as Chicago, New Delhi and Barbados. “Its beautifully appointed maple wood interior offers ample space for up to 14 passengers, with the cabin divided into three zones and featuring two generous divans. Its galley includes oven and microwave. Separate seat and toilet facilities for crew ensure that passengers can enjoy their flight uninterrupted.”
DC Aviation selects 45XR to fill ‘Learjet gap’
Turkey’s Bonair takes delivery of milestone XLS Turkey’s Bonair has taken delivery of the 1,000th Cessna jet to become operational in Europe. The Citation XLS was presented at Cessna’s manufacturing facility in Wichita, Kansas to Bonair president Ates Hanibu. He says: “The Citation XLS will help meet the rising demand for business aviation in Turkey. The Citation Bravo and Cessna Caravan have both performed well for us, and we are delighted to now offer the additional cabin space and range of the XLS.” Globally, Cessna has to date delivered more than 5,400 Citations. March 2009
Celebrating the 1,000th delivery are (left to right) Ates Hanibu, president of Bonair; Cessna’s Jack Pelton, Roger Whyte, Trevor Esling and Peter Griffith.
Germany’s DC Aviation has added a Learjet 45XR to boost its private jet fleet to 32 aircraft. The Stuttgart company, which has given priority to expanding its Gulfstream operations has four Learjet 40s and two Learjet 60s in operation. “With its improved performance the Learjet 45XR fills the gap between the Learjet 40 and the Learjet 60,” says sales director Jonas Kraft. “With a maximum cruising range of 1,833 nm, it is a dynamic business jet that can carry up to eight passengers non-stop from Moscow to Milan in just 3:10 hours or three passengers from London Luton to Istanbul in 3:20 hours.
Swiss PrivateAviation goes for CJ3s and XLS+ Swiss PrivateAviation is taking delivery of two CJ3s and two XLS+ in March. “There might be other aircraft but only these are certain,” the company says. Charter Broker 17
Cargo brokers seek to maximise market share of UAE business Wide-ranging local and international knowledge is required to match the requirements of individual clients to the best sea-road-air option in the UAE. Airports are competing hard for business and brokers are far from downcast about business prospects.
Abu Dhabi airport: character 18 Charter Broker
The UAE and surrounding Arab Gulf region is one of the most durable hubs for cargo broker business according to major players. The area is not immune from the global economic downturn but many operators rate business prospects for 2009 as better than in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Analysts based in London and Cairo suggest that the UAE is benefiting from demand that can be serviced by both the older cargo workhorses that ply routes including those covering Iraq and Afghanistan and the newer aircraft that traditionally focus on through trade between the Asia and the West. Volumes of business were high in 2008 and prospects in 2009 will benefit from substantial government investment in infrastructure. With airport alternatives ranging from the up-and-coming Fujairah and Ras-al-Khaimah to the established Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the developing promise of Al-Maktoum in Jebel Ali, cargo operators are among those spoilt for choice. That means, says Eliska Hill, the Dubai-based general manager of Chapman Freeborn aviation services which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the UAE, that wide-ranging local and international knowledge is required to match cargo customers’ case-by-case requirements to the best individual sea-road-air option. Staff expansion and reorganisation at Chapman Freeborn reflects the demand for fast and reliable transit through a diverse global hub which connects North America, Asia, Europe and Africa as well as the wider Middle East region. Its Sharjah office deals with commercial traffic while the Dubai office, set up four years ago, handles cargo and passenger/vip charters. “We have upped the staffing level to a dozen people in Dubai and this includes nine brokers which indicates the high level of demand,” says Hill. Five of these brokers are specialists in cargo. The longer-established Sharjah operation has around 60 Chapman Freeborn staff. The east coast emirate of Fujairah has a deep sea port and airport and a hunger for business that has brought a reputation for prompt and efficient processing of cargo. The northern emirate of Ras-al-Khaimah boasts the same attractions and growing business opportunities are inspiring Ajman to see if it can offer another viable alternative. Sharjah has traditionally serviced charter cargo business and is keen to protect and grow its market share. Muhammad Sami, md in the UAE for Skyplan, says the company is looking to expand business with brokers in the region. “We see good business prospects for our support services which include flight planning,” he says. Skyplan, based in Calgary, Canada, launched recently in the UAE and based in the Sharjah free zone. “Brokers in North America do a good deal of business with us and we are keen to increase our contacts in the Middle East,” Sami adds. March 2009
DWC Aviation City’s opening ceremony
Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have announced huge expansion plans based on all aspects of aviation including private and commercial freight and charter. Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) was created in March 2006 to spearhead the redevelopment of the emirate’s aviation infrastructure. Wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, the company is based near to its principal asset – Abu Dhabi International airport. But ADAC also operates Al Ain international airport and the capital’s executive jet airport at Al Bateen. In December 2008, it also commenced the management and operation of a new dedicated air terminal on Sir Bani Yas Island. The focus on developing air transport has made the UAE a pivotal hub important to the global broker community. Each airport, says Hill, has advantages that must be weighed up and evaluated in the context of the fast road connections and the competitive and complementary port facilities. “Chapman Freeborn now offers a truck pick-up service that means, for instance, cargo from Europe can be taken from the Jebel Ali free zone to, say, Sharjah, and speeded through for transit to Asian markets with customs clearance included.” Combined turnover from the Chapman Freeborn Dubai and Sharjah offices rose to more than US$65 million in 2007. March 2009
The broker deploys aircraft ranging from small turboprops to giant AN-124s and arranged some 3,500 cargo charters in 2007. “We are sending high value mobile phone cargo into Africa on charter aircraft,” says Hill. “There is a also a high demand for charter goods that have to be moved urgently including large items needed in remote locations such as transformers weighing up to 90 tonnes.” There is widespread demand from the automotive and oil and gas sectors. Chapman Freeborn also works alongside governments and NGOs in the speedy transit of relief goods and arranges passenger evacuation flights. “The company is trying to work towards fuelefficiency and environmentally-friendly charter services but, although we continue to make good progress, there are some destinations, such as those in Africa, where we are compelled to use older aircraft. This is because they are often the only aircraft that can land at airports that might lack even basic refueling and cargo offloading facilities.” The Chapman Freeborn Group coordinated disaster relief flights for cholera-stricken Zimbabwe, including the 62 tons of relief cargo from UAE to Harare, and Burma from Dubai. Hill says: “We make all the arrangements to pick up the cargo from the storage warehouse. We are cost-conscious and it is second nature to us, if, for example, an Charter Broker 19
aircraft is flying to Rangoon from Europe, to look for opportunities to pick up a load from, say, Kuala Lumpur on the way back.” The company knows that any airdrop aircraft, such as an Ilyushin 76 flying across Indian airspace must land in India, and UAE personnel liaise with Chapman Freeborn’s permanent office in Delhi to speed up procedures. The Arab Gulf’s dynamic growth as a cargo hub with sea-air-road connecting links means that international knowledge and connections can be as valuable as local expertise. Gunasekaran Shekar, commercial manager of Fedaero, says he expects transshipment of cargo in the UAE to dip in the first three months of 2009 due to the global economic recession but then to gather momentum again. But Shekar expects the company’s three Antonovs to be at least as busy as last year on missions to countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen. Fedaero, set up six years ago, does business with other air charter brokers in Europe who need local and regional knowledge and wish to sub-contract at competitive prices. “The UAE is a strong trans-shipment hub and, if there is a slight drop in overall business, I don’t expect it to last more than a few months,” says Shekar. “However, our company is well placed and we expect business to Afghanistan in particular to increase.”
Executive charter potential There is also potential for broker business on private passenger charter with several airports in the UAE focusing on providing an increasing range of modern facilities. “We concentrate on executive charter rather than cargo, but do offer a cargo service where requested,” says Alison Wressell, marketing manager of International Air Charter. She adds: “We moved to new larger offices within Dubai Airport’s freezone to accommodate the increase in staff in our Middle East operation. The Dubai office has grown organically with the business over the years, and now we have a good team of av iation consultants and business development managers who are constantly increasing the business. “We are well established, having had an office there for over seven years. The global slow down is starting to affect the Middle East, however there is a certain echelon of society who see private charter as a necessity and will not consider changing to scheduled at all.” International Air Charter (IAC) mainly focuses on flights out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi as this is where its clients are based or do business. 20 Charter Broker
In the first six months of 2008 the sales generated by the company’s Dubai office were up US$3 million year on year Wressell reports. “It is difficult to say how much extra business we anticipate doing in the UAE.” Hugh Courtenay, md, says that IAC is consolidating after a long run of expansion. “As well as the UAE we do a lot of work in other Arab Gulf states including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Much of the demand is for flights from the Middle East to Russia and to Europe. Other popular destinations include Cairo and Beirut.” The UAE is an important business hub for IAC and Courtenay spends five or six months of his working year in Dubai. Ox ygen 4 Av iation is among independently-owned air charter brokers expanding its services in the Arab Gulf after showcasing its services at MEBA and at the second annual Business Travel Show in Dubai. Craig Middleton, an Oxygen 4 director, says the company saw a 20 per cent growth
Hifazat Ahmad, General Manager Terrapinn Middle East
Dubai has set out “ to increase both private and commercial passenger business
Dubai airport: attractive and modern in executive jet charter market in the Middle East during its most recently reported 18 month period. “The Middle East is a relatively new and unique market for us and we’re very keen to explore the opportunities it offers,” he says. “The Middle East is a niche market, with expectations and requirements quite removed from those we cater for in Europe and the rest of the world. There is still strong demand in the region especially for wide body jets with full cabin service.” U.K. headquartered Oxygen 4, established in 2005, is especially active in Europe, primarily chartering private jets from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but Russia, the Middle East and Asia will provide growth opportunities, Middleton says. Revenues topped £18 million in its third financial year (2007-2008). Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) says: “At a regional level, government investment in the industry is facilitating growth, with state-of-the-art FBOs under construction or already well-established throughout the Gulf region – most notably in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.” ExecuJet Middle East plans a custom-built new facility at Dubai World Central Aviation City (DWC). Mike Berry, md, says it will help plans to increase maintenance support across a wider region as well as provide an additional FBO and provide facilities to significantly expand the number of managed aircraft. “The company will retain its current facility at Dubai International Airport, which includes 24,358 sq ft of March 2009
Al Bateen: red carpet treatment hangar space and houses a Bombardier and Honeywell bonded warehouse, managed by ExecuJet,” Berry adds. Dubai-based Elite Jets also plans to build a new base on 167,000 sq ft at DWC to expand its executive jet operation and set up an aircraft servicing facility for individual and corporate aircraft owners, and aircraft visiting the region. The facility will include FBO and MRO, following an agreement signed at MEBA 2008 by Ammar Balkar, president and ceo of Elite Jets, and Abdulla Al Qurashi, ceo of DWC Aviation City. “This move is part of our ambitious company expansion strategy, set to see the company grow by 35 per cent annually over the next five years across the region”, Balkar says. Much of the charter broker market is routine but Chapman Freeborn recently made arrangements that ensured passengers on a cruise ship could enjoyably miss passage through waters that have suffered from Somali pirate operations. “We arranged flights from Yemen to Dubai and a sightseeing itinerary that we think more than compensated for anything the passengers might have missed at sea,” says Chapman Freeborn’s Eliska Hill. Terrapinn, organiser of the 2nd Middle East Aviation Outlook Summit in Abu Dhabi, reports that aviation executives are upbeat about the Middle East aviation industry. Fifty per cent of the respondents to a survey of 400 top executives worldwide believe that growth will continue due to government support, followed by influential factors including geographic location (43.5%) the strength of regional economies (35.5%) and consumer’s purchasing power 37%, says gm Hifazat Ahmad. He adds: “There will be challenges ahead and the industry is already forecasting risks and opportunities in one of the most distressed global financial environments in decades.” The majority of respondents in the survey thought the biggest obstacle to Middle East aviation growth in the next 12 months was volatile fuel prices 65%, followed by operational efficiency 25.4%, government policy 23.8% and recruitment of pilots 20.6%.
Airport briefings: Al Maktoum: Dubai plans to establish the world’s biggest airport, Al Maktoum, in Jebel Ali, with operations being established and growing fast in 2009 as part of the Dubai World Central Aviation City (DWC). DWC-Al Maktoum has been designed to handle in excess of 150 million passengers and 12 million tons of cargo annually. The world’s largest maintenance and overhaul centre is also planned, a 140 square kilometre urban aviation, multi-phased development located southwest of Dubai. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman, says: “The MRO centre will be the world’s biggest in land area earmarked for development, and will be able to handle all types of aircraft. The aviation city will not only feature the MRO centre, but will also repair and test and provide aircraft system and component installation facilities.” Charter Broker 21
DWC plans 44 helipads in first phase DWC Aviation City’s heliport is targeting the rapidly rising demand for helicopter services in the UAE. Abdulla Al Qurashi, ceo of the 140 square kilometre urban aviation community being developed in the south west of Dubai, predicts that demand will grow for years to come. He adds: “The specialised helitaxi and heliport zone with over 44 helipads in the first phase has been strategically planned to meet the impending demand for helitaxi operations in Dubai as an alternative travel option for the corporate world.” Future business plans were discussed when Mohammed Ahli, director general of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and ceo of Air Traffic Services at the DWC met at the Dubai Helishow 2008 with Khalifa Al Zaffin, DWC executive chairman,
Al Qurashi, and Abdulla Abdulhoul, md of Mediac (pictured above). Al Qurashi says: “Demand for helicopters worldwide is strong with a 20-30 per cent growth forecast until 2015 by some leading
DWC Aviation City, spread over 6.7 square kilometres, is being designed as a one-stop centre hosting aviation manufacturing, MRO, support services, design and consultancy, research and development, aviation training, product and parts, light manufacturing units and high-technology industries, according to Khalifa Al Zaffin, DWC’s executive chairman. A heliport zone with seven helipads in addition to fuel, lighting and hangar facilities, are part of the plans. Abu Dhabi: A development programme aims to eventually enable the airport to handle more than 40 million passengers and 2.5 million tonnes of cargo per annum. By 2012, the airport wants to be able to cater for 20 million passengers a year, a six-fold growth compared to its original design capacity of 3.5 million. In October last year the first phase of Abu Dhabi airport’s third terminal, capable of handling five million passengers a year, was opened. Terminal 3 will enable the airport to meet the growth of national carrier Etihad Airways until the Midfield Complex, the centre piece of the redevelopment programme, comes on stream by 2012. A second, full weather runway was also opened in October. A new air traffic control complex is planned to become operational in 2009, and a new cargo terminal is due for completion in 2010. Also planned is a business and logistics park and related economic development projects. The airport master plan includes expanded cargo terminals with international business and logistics park, maintenance and catering facilities. Planners say “significant attention” will be given to eliminating congestion on the access roads. The airport is connected to the UAE capital by three main highways. It operates 24 hours a day, with one CAT III B, 4,000 metres long and 45 metres wide runway. A second runway, which was officially opened for daytime operations in October 2008, is expected to have full CAT III B capability in 2009. The new, 4,100 metre long and 60 metre wide runway is located two kilometres north and is parallel (but offset) to the existing runway, making it a fully independent runway system. This 13B/31B configuration is intended to provide extensive capacity for the coming decades, rising from the current peak utilization of 1618 air traffic movements (ATMs) an hour to around 75 ATMs an hour. Development work is progressing on the Midfield Terminal, part of the broader Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC), which will include 22 Charter Broker
manufacturers. As far as the UAE market is concerned, the demand is likely to come from various sectors including tourism, vip charter, oil and gas, real estate, and medical and rescue purposes.”
cargo and catering facilities, utilities and related infrastructure. In addition Royal Jet operates a private jet terminal. The Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Company offers cargo facilities with a capacity of 300,000 tonnes and warehousing of 40,000 sq. m. Facilities include 11xB747 freighter docks, bonded warehouse, transit zone, free port/foreign trade zone, EU border post, aircraft maintenance, mechanical handling, heated storage, air-conditioned, refrigerated and deep freeze storage, animal quarantine, fresh meat inspection, livestock handling, health officials, x-ray and fumigation equipment, dangerous and radioactive goods, very large/heavy cargo, express/courier centre. Cargo handling agent is Abu Dhabi Airport Services (ADAS). Al Bateen: Al Bateen private jet airport is billed as the first luxury airport in the Middle East dedicated solely to private jets. It was the first main airport in the UAE capital until Abu Dhabi airport was opened 32km outside of the city centre in 1982. In 1983 Al Bateen was transformed into a military air base; however, towards the end of 2008, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) was tasked with handling the airport operations and turning it into an exclusive private jet airport. It currently has a stand capacity for up to 50 private jets but is upgrading facilities and it plans to cater for 120 aircraft. Falcon Aviation and Prestige Jet are among operators based at Al Bateen. ADAC will manage the AED 200m (US$55m) investment to upgrade the airfield, which will include the acquiring of new equipment, improvements to the terminal as well as landside access and parking. New terminal facilities will include airside aircraft parking, hangars for aircraft parking and maintenance, a passenger and visitor car park and passenger processing and vip lounges. Maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities will also be upgraded. Al Bateen has a main and a vip terminal. Its runway length is 3,198 metres. BBJs and 737-800s are easily accommodated. By 2014, it is forecast there will be 900 corporate jets based in the Middle East. Peter Hoslin, ADAC head of marketing says: “Many corporate jets are in private hands but the Middle East currently offers 22 commercial business jet operators, a number which is expected to double by 2010. Abu Dhabi is clearly benefiting from this huge growth in demand.” ADAC says the number of charter flights departing out of Abu Dhabi March 2009
airport has increased by 46 per cent, per year, since 2004. “In addition the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) recently reported that it has received applications from more than two dozen new firms for licences to fly out of the UAE.” Dubai: The emirate has set out to capture and increase both private and commercial passenger business. Dubai Airports has officially launched the Executive Flights Centre (EFC) a vip terminal and executive travel facility and brought into operation Emirates Terminal 3. Located close to Dubai International’s Terminal 2, the new vip terminal includes a 5,500 sq. m twostorey main building, a 3,700 sq. m hangar, a 3,700 sq. m ramp area for aircraft parking, and a vip car park for long term parking. “The new facility makes EFC the largest dedicated business aviation terminal of its kind in the Middle East,” says Paul Griffiths, ceo of Dubai Airports. EFC terminal has its own dedicated immigration and customs sections, e-gates for fast immigration clearance; its own Dubai duty free outlet, a business/conference centre, eight luxury private lounges, and a limousine service bus avaircraft advert between and175X124:Layout the terminal. The 1
terminal’s ramp area can accommodate up to 22 small-sized private jets such as the Learjet or Hawker; or between eight to 12 medium sized jets such as the Challenger or Falcon. It can accommodate up to three large sized jets like the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), the 727 or the Airbus 319. Graeme Bradstock, head of region at Lindt and Sprungli says: “I travelled through Emirates Terminal 3 to Doha and Cape Town. It’s an enormous and impressive piece of architecture and extremely beautiful as airports go. The Emirates first class lounge is very luxurious and spacious. The Dubai duty free is absolutely fantastic. The baggage hall at arrivals is gigantic and looks remarkable as you are coming down the escalator. The staff is helpful and well informed and all the services are really quick.” Dubai has just awarded a Dhs 4.9 billion ($1.3 billion) contract to build a new concourse at its international airport. Work is due to be completed by the end of April 2011. RAK: Ras Al Khaimah is in the northern part of the Arabian Gulf and linked that can facilitate journeys to 6/2/09 Page 1 Dubai in 12:29 around 45 minutes or so.
International Air Charter (IAC) has a significant presence in the UAE. Pictured, clockwise from top left are: Vladyslav Laskevych bdm for the French and Russian markets Abdelkadir Awad and Ahmed Abubaker, aviation consultants based in Dubai Hugh Courtenay ceo
Welcome Marshall is taking Business Aviation to New Horizons… • Easy connections from ground to air and from air to ground and with Cambridge and the surrounding area • Booking of Marshall Chauffeur Drive services, Marshall executive aircraft, and helicopter transfers • Comfortable and private waiting areas with unique views of the airfield, the surrounding countryside and an elevated view into the aircraft maintenance facility • First class hospitality and catering, and exceptional business and communications facilities • Dedicated crew relaxation and quiet rooms • Comprehensive flight planning and weather centre, passenger catering, aircraft refuelling and valeting
Marshall Airport Cambridge Newmarket Road Cambridge CB5 8RX United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0) 1223 399661 www.marshallbusinessaviation.co.uk
Charter Broker 23
“Abu Dhabi aims to handle more than 40 million passengers and 2.5 tonnes of cargo annually”
Abu Dhabi airport: bright and spacious
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman Dubai World Central
24 Charter Broker
Transport companies allow an added 45 minutes to reach Jebel Ali. RAK operates cargo and passenger services to destinations covering Europe, the Middle East, north and east Africa, central Asia, the Indian sub-continent and the Far East. It opens 24-7 and has an open skies policy with no restrictions on frequencies and times of arrival and departure. New ceo Michelle Soliman says: “We offer competitive tariffs and storage facilities and the airport is not congested. It is also an emerging GA and MRO airport in the UAE which houses several major flight training academies and aircraft maintenance and repair facilities. The airport is currently going through transitional period experiencing significant growth in both passenger and cargo traffic powered by great economic and industrial boom in the region.” In April 2007 the airport began an extensive expansion program including a new passenger ter m i na l bui ldi ng, publ ic t ra nspor t infrastructure, and a new cargo terminal. RAK Airways, the fourth national carrier in the UAE launched in late 2007, has added new routes to the airport’s network. The airport says it now has scheduled and charter flights now to more than 80 destinations.
“The new arrival terminal will double the airport’s terminal capacity and the old terminal will be upgraded and dedicated to departures only, doubling its passenger departure capacity,” says Soliman. The newly completed cargo terminal of 1,855 square meters almost triples the existing space dedicated to freight. It has a 1,380 square meter manoeuvering and staging area linked to Ras Al Khaimah’s arterial road network. Soliman says the new terminal features state-of-theart handling equipment, cargo scanner, comprehensive air cargo security, loading docks, electronic weighing equipment and a professional management and operations team. “This new facility has the capacity to handle between 300,000 and 350,000 tonnes per annum.” The airport has acquired a 240,000 square metre area for general and corporate aviation to the south west of the main airport facilities. It has also recently acquired an additional 102,821 square meters to the south of the precinct and another 169,579 square meters to the north. Shell started its operation at the airport in October 2008 and supplies Avgas and JET A1 fuel. ADNOC is increasing its fuel farm from 8,470 square meters to 10,120 square meters and its storage capacity from 500,000 litres to five million litres. The airport’s master plan envisages the development of airside and landside facilities, the passenger and cargo terminal complex, urban development, land acquisition, and technical infrastructure and area. It predicts: “The airport will experience significant growth from 244,000 annual passengers in 2008 to 1.5 million passengers mid-term and to three million passengers in the long term. The forecast for air cargo is expected between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes annually. GA will see tremendous growth including the Aviation Academy training flights, and between 100 to 300 daily flights are expected.” Fujairah: The airport is just 5 km away from the emirate’s deep-water port and reports processing a steadily increasing volume of transshipment cargo which generally arrives from the east and is bound for the west. The port has grown from a newcomer in container handling to become a container transshipment centre handling more than half a million T.E.U. per year. Located outside the Straits of Hormuz it is equipped with six ships to shore gantry cranes. The airport’s cargo complex has a fully automated cargo handling system and serves as a break bulk centre taking in the input from the seaport and see it on board cargo flights. Officials say the single custom authority, clearance and forwarding operations is designed is designed to speed paperwork. A free trade zone has been established close to the port and is generating a broader base of export cargo. CB March 2009
Experienced Private Jet Charter Brokers London NW1 Dynamic and creative candidate with a demonstrable track record of success within the private jet charter division. Please note applicants outside Europe will not be acknowledged We offer the highest salaries in the industry, private medical insurance and an excellent bonus scheme. Candidates meeting the above requirements are invited to submit their details to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications not meeting the necessary requirements will not be acknowledged. Ocean Sky Aviation Ltd. Grove House 248 Marylebone Road London NW1 6JZ U.K.
Executive Aircraft Charter Brokers Freedom Air Ltd. is seeking to recruit experienced executive aircraft charter brokers to join our expanding team in our Bristol office. Suitable applicants must have a successful, proven track record in executive aircraft charter broking allied with excellent client management skills who wish to progress their careers to the next level. Fluency in English is essential and additional languages and advantage, with a preference toward Russian and Arabic. There will be regular opportunities to travel including trade fairs and exhibitions. Applicants must have the right to reside and work in the E.U. and E.U. driving licence essential. Excellent package on offer commensurate with experience; salary, commission and bonus. Freedom Air Ltd. is a profitable and successful company enjoying marked growth, with opportunities at all levels. The Freedom Air office is a dynamic and fun place to work that would suit an individual which excels at their job and enjoys “making it happen”. Interested applications should in the first instance apply in writing with a covering letter and CV to email@example.com
Freedom Air Ltd. St. Brandon’s House, 29 Great George Street, Bristol, BS1 5QT
Charter Broker Marketplace
Do you have vacancies to fill? First the first time, Charter Broker offers you a dedicated route to aviation professionals throughout Europe and the Middle East. All job adverts placed in Charter Broker will be uploaded to charterbroker.aero as soon as they arrive in our offices, and then included in the next available issue of Charter Broker magazine. Price start from only £395, they include advert design, and full colour presentation in Charter Broker magazine (print and digital editions) and on charterbroker.aero
For more information contact Mark Ranger, firstname.lastname@example.org tel: +44 (0) 1279 714509 March 2009
Charter Broker 25