Dubai World company Istithmar World Aviation (IWA) announced yesterday that it will invest in expanding its executive jet operations, and setting up an aircraft servicing facility in Dubai World Central Aviation City.
In this connection, IWA has signed an agreement with Dubai World Central Aviation City to establish its base of operations in the heart of the world's largest airport - Dubai World Central - to serve the needs of individual and corporate aircraft owners, aircraft visiting the region and individuals, corporations and groups wishing to charter aircraft.
In addition to what will be paid to DWC for leasing the land, IWA will be initially investing $50 million to build and equip two hangars on 170,000 square feet for the operations, and is already looking into increasing its holding to as many as five hangars over 439,000 square feet to cater to the growing demand for corporate jet and air charter services.
"The rising popularity of corporate jets and charter flights, coupled with Dubai's development as the Middle East region's strategic aerospace hub offer the ideal conditions for Dubai World to focus on corporate jet operations and services. Our aim in expanding executive jet operations and services is to fulfil the demand of this sector with the same level of quality, efficiency and responsibility that is the hallmark of Dubai World projects across the globe, " said Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World.
The company currently employs 60 people, including flight crews, and projects a increase in these numbers in anticipation of the opening of the facility.
IWA is a young company which began functioning one-and-a-half years ago as Nakheel Aviation, and subsequently rebranded as Istithmar World Aviation after it came under the Istithmar World Aviation Holdings umbrella, which is a consolidation of Dubai World's aviation investments, with companies including SpiceJet, SR Technics and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise.
"The growth of corporate aviation in the Middle East is forecast to be between 20 per cent and 50 per cent per year for the foreseeable future, with the consensus growth forecast being 40 per cent per year. In this lucrative market, Istithmar World Aviation intends to become the pre-eminent company in the region for management and operation of private and corporate jets, provision of charter flights and servicing of corporate jets from VLJs [Very Light Jets] to BBJs [Boeing Business Jets]," said Tom Ronell, CEO of Istithmar World Aviation Holdings. ( Gulf )