Seawings Launches Airport-to-Downtown Seaplane Shuttle for Dubai

 - April 3, 2014, 12:45 AM
Ahmad Badreddine, station manager for Jetex Flight Support, left, and Stuart Wheeler, CEO of Seawings, seal a deal under which the companies will provide a premier seaplane shuttle service from Dubai's Al Maktoum International to the Park Hyatt Hotel some 35 miles away in the city center, Seawings also offers sightseeing trips over waterfront locations such as Dubai's Atlantis hotel, below.

Seawings has launched an amphibious seaplane shuttle service to connect Dubai’s remote new Al Maktoum International Airport with the Park Hyatt Hotel in the city center. The new operation has been launched in partnership with flight support provider Jetex, which operates an FBO at the airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Al Maktoum is part of the Dubai World Central complex and is situated just over 35 miles from downtown Dubai. In off-peak traffic the drive takes 50 minutes; it can take far longer during peak times. According to Seawings, the door-to-door travel time from the Jetex FBO to the Park Hyatt Hotel will be 20 minutes. The operation’s nine-seat Cessna 208 Caravan amphibian will take off from one of the runways at Al Maktoum and land on the Dubai Creek in front of the hotel.

Having secured initial approval from local authorities to operate from the creek, Seawings expects to add service to other waterfront locations. It has been offering sightseeing flights out of Dubai for some time, with a couple of dozen UAE destinations on its itinerary.

With a minimum of four passengers booked, a flight will cost $245 per seat. Customers can opt to take a more scenic 40-minute flight between the two points for $410 per person.

“Seawings is proud to collaborate with Jetex to provide a premier service,” said Seawings CEO Stuart Wheeler. “Passengers will benefit from this one-of-a-kind service offering a comfortable travel experience combined with incredible views of the UAE. Seawings seaplanes can take off and land on water or runways and thus offer easy connectivity to various locations around Dubai and the UAE.”

The company said that seaplanes offer a more complete experience than helicopters to passengers making the trip from Dubai’s second airport to the city center. “We have seaplanes that can drop clients right at the doorstep of hotels and resorts, with a thrilling water takeoff and landing experience, unlike a helicopter,” an official told AIN.

Established in 2007, Seawings is confident–despite earlier failures to set up such services in Dubai–that the flights will prove popular. “The market and people’s views have changed. Since we have started, we have seen growth in passenger numbers year-on-year, and the trend is continuing.”