Dubai Air Show

Comlux to open Paris FBO and Saudi charter venture

 - November 14, 2009, 12:22 AM

Business aviation group Comlux is to expand its services into the FBO sector by establishing a new facility at Paris Le Bourget Airport. The new base, being developed in partnership with Landmark Aviation, is due to open in March 2011.

Here at the Dubai Airshow, Switzerland-based Comlux is to sign an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s MAZ Aviation Consulting (Mazav) to jointly offer VIP charter flights in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Europe. At the end of 2010, Comlux is due to take delivery of a new Airbus A320 Prestige, which it intends to base in the Middle East, at which time it will open an office in the United Arab Emirates.

It may subsequently position another Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) in this region, along with one or two Bombardier Global Expresses.

The company’s Fly Comlux aircraft charter/management division already operates four ACJs and 11 Bombardier Challengers and Global Expresses, as well as a Hawker and a Dassault Falcon. Next year it is set to add the A320, as well as an A318 Elite, another pair of Global Expresses and a Challenger 605. Comlux president Richard Gaona told AIN he is looking to purchase another widebody business jet and three more long-range aircraft on behalf of management clients.

Here on the Dubai show static display, Comlux is exhibiting an ACJ with a cabin interior made by its completions division. The aircraft features a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom at the front of the cabin, with a lounge and dining area in the center and 12 first-class seats in the rear section.

The two-floor FBO at Le Bourget will feature a 1,722-sq-ft hangar and an adjoining ramp with enough space to park very large VIP aircraft up to the size of a widebody A340-600. In addition to offering standard ground handling and fuel services, Comlux is applying to European authorities to get JAR 145 approval to perform line maintenance. U.S.- based FBO chain Landmark Aviation already has a facility at Le Bourget.

Gaona said Comlux opted to get into the FBO business at Le Bourget because it is Europe’s busiest business aviation airport and is very popular with Middle Eastern travelers. Next, the company is examining options to open other FBOs in Kazakhstan–where it already has a charter/management operation–and elsewhere in Asia. Mazav may join it as a partner in these ventures.

“There is now a strong business aviation customer base in the Middle East, partly thanks to the Middle East Business Aviation Association which has established a business aviation culture,” said Gaona. “But to penetrate the Middle East market you need to have the right partners in the right places.”