Business aviation support group Nexus has established two new flight operations centers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. The new facilities are using the latest version of the Aims software to manage all aspects of flight dispatch and planning, aircraft and crew scheduling, and flight support.
Nexus, which is a subsidiary of the MAZ Aviation group (Static Display OD3), also has launched a new joint venture with FlightSafety International (FSI) to provide training for aircraft dispatchers in the Middle East. The training will be provided by FSI instructors at Nexus's facilities in Jeddah and Bahrain and graduates will receive the U.S. company's aircraft dispatch certificate.
According to Nexus president and CEO Abdullah Al-Sayed, companies that don't have an effective operations back office find it hard to meet the commitments that their sales people make to charter and management clients. He was formerly director of flight operations with Saudi Arabia's National Air Services and its partner NetJets Middle East, before taking on a similar role at Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet. At the latter company he set up a new style flight operations center in which all aspects of operational management and customer services were integrated, and it is this approach that he is seeking to take to another level through Nexus.
The company's twin operations centers in Bahrain and Jeddah completely mirror each other in terms of technology and infrastructure, with dual power lines and Internet connections. This provides redundancy in the event of serious disruption or technical failure at one location. The Nexus server is hosted by the highly-secure Dryden company in the U.S.
The Nexus set-up includes a global concierge team to make arrangements, such as booking hotels and ground transportation for passengers and crew on a complimentary basis. The company has just set up a satellite concierge operation in Egypt and now plans to add one in Hyderabad, India.
Team members, regardless of their previous experience, have to undergo 120 hours of specialist training before they start work. Schedulers and flight planners have to do 180 hours of training.
"We are like an aircraft management company but without the AOC [air operations certificate]," Al-Sayed explained in support of his contention that the Nexus approach to running flight operations is more comprehensive than that of flight planning and support competitors. "We provide the flight operations standards of an airline to private operators at a fraction of the cost."