Middle Eastern charter and scheduled service operator Rotana Jet plans to more than double its fleet by 2016. At the Air Expo show at Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport, where Rotana Jet is based, the company said that over the next two years it will add at least seven aircraft to the five it currently operates. However, most of the expansion for now is focused on the scheduled part of its operation.
“By 2016 we will have more than 12 aircraft in our fleet,” said Dr. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, chairman of Rotana Jet and a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family. “[Today] we have two charter [jets] and three scheduled aircraft.”
In the private charter market, the company operates a 50-seat Airbus ACJ319 and a 14-seat Gulfstream G450. On the commercial side, it flies a 192-seat A319, as well as a pair of 50-seat Embraer ERJ145s. It expects to take delivery of another ERJ145 this month.
Rotana Jet currently serves six scheduled destinations within the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as Muscat and Salalah in Oman and also Bahrain. According to Sheikh Ahmed, Rotana Jet’s plans to add scheduled routes to Alexandria and Luxor in Egypt, as well as to the Lebanese capital Beirut and Amman in Jordan, have been approved by the UAE Department of Transport. The scheduled airline is also understood to be planning to launch services from Colombo, Sri Lanka, next month.
As the company operates solely from Al Bateen Executive Airport, both charter and scheduled passengers have the option to fly from the heart of Abu Dhabi to their regional destinations. Sheikh Ahmed formed Rotana Jet in 2011 after serving until 2009 as founding chairman of Abu Dhabi flag carrier Etihad Airways. He was CEO of Gulf Air from 1996 to 2000 and, as a commercial pilot, held type ratings in the A340 and the 767.