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Abu Dhabi-Based Royal Jet To Double Fleet By 2020

Abu Dhabi-Based Royal Jet To Double Fleet By 2020

The private jet operator aims to operate a fleet of 20 aircraft by 2020.

Royal Jet aims to double its fleet to 20 aircraft by 2020.

The target was revealed on the opening day of the Middle East Business Aviation conference, as the private charter company outlined an aggressive fleet expansion.

A second Bombardier Global 5000 business jet will enter service in January, which will be followed by a second Bombardier Learjet 60 XR business jet within the first four months of 2015. Two more Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) will also join its fleet.

These orders follow deliveries of a Learjet 60 XR and Bombardier Global 5000 in October and November respectively, swelling its current fleet to 11 aircraft.

Capt. Patrick Gordon, acting president & CEO for Royal Jet, said despite its commitment to Boeing and Bombardier, Airbus and Gulfstream were also being considered as part of its $700 million replacement and expansion programme, although he said that decision won’t be made “probably for another year”.

“We have changed the direction of the company a little bit,” said Gordon. “You have to set a higher hurdle and strive for that. Our target is 20 planes and we think we can do it. The majority will be in the larger class.”

The Bombardier Learjet 60 XR business jet can carry up to six passengers and comes with wifi and two LCD monitors, while the Global 5000 can hold 12 and sleep seven.

The new BBJ is modeled on the B737-700 and can carry up to 50 guests, offers a 10-hour range and is specifically designed for corporate and VIP use. Future purchases of the BBJ MAX are “under consideration”.

Options include a private master bedroom and en-suite bathroom, a private stateroom, luxurious open lounge and a variety of seating and dining configurations.

Gordon said he was also keen to tap into the resurgent corporate market as part of its new strategy. “When you break down executives’ hourly costs, when they have to fly up and back the next day, that’s something that we can apply with Learjets on small regional runs, and we look very competitive.”

He added Royal Jet will continue to operate from Abu Dhabi International Airport and unlikely move to Al Bateen as “fiscally and operationally, it doesn’t make a lot of sense”.

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