Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) has signed a strategic agreement with Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC) to build a VVIP completions and MRO facility at Dubai World Central, paving the way for establishing a full-service base at the new airport when the facilities are ready.
“Today we signed an agreement with Dubai Aviation City Corporation to [establish] a widebody hangar for VVIP completion facilities,” Capt. Mahmoud Ismael, COO of FAS, told AIN at the Abu Dhabi Air Expo show. Ismael, who met with Rashid bu Qara’a, COO of DACC this week to conclude the agreement, said, “We are the largest operator here at [Abu Dhabi] Al Bateen [Executive Airport]. We’d like to move and expand things. So as we strengthen ourselves at our home base, we’d think there is a lot of opportunity at DWC.”
Ismael gave details of a recent expansion of the FAS fleet, which now comprises 22 aircraft. He said, “We [recently] added eight aircraft: two helicopters and six fixed wing. We got a couple of Bombardier Dash-8 Q400s, which were added two weeks ago; we will take delivery of those in November. Tomorrow we are making an announcement [about] a couple more aircraft.
“In terms of delivered aircraft, we are still at four jets, and the balance helicopters, for a total of 22. [The rotary fleet is] a mix of VIP helicopters, Bell 412s and EC-130 Eurocopters.” He said fleet size would be 24 aircraft at the end of this year and 28 aircraft at the end of 2015, 10 of them fixed wing. The company’s commercial arm would comprise Bombardier jets, while VVIP jets would be Embraer aircraft, he added.
“We are about to sign a management agreement for an additional three Embraer aircraft,” he said. “We are really focusing on management for the next five years. We are expanding our fleet by adding more hangar space here in Al Bateen, and we are also going to focus on that in Dubai.”
FAS is displaying an Embraer Lineage 1000 at the show.
Ismael said the new Dubai base, when completed, would allow the company also to launch operations at Dubai World Central, which is also known as Al Maktoum International AIrport, in addition to its activities at Al Bateen. “That could happen as early as next year. Once we have our VVIP completions and MRO facility [in Dubai], there’s nothing to stop us from basing our aircraft there.”