ExecuJet Aviation and Ruag have announced a new partnership to provide handling and support here at Geneva Airport. The companies will jointly operate Ruag’s existing FBO, which has just benefitted from a $3 million remodeling.
The FBO features several dedicated passenger lounges, a crew rest area, workstations and free WiFi throughout. It provides clients with customs, immigration and quarantine, VIP ground transportation and concierge services, as well as de-icing and fueling. ExecuJet will install its dedicated FBO One software in Geneva, enabling the FBO to share data with ExecuJet’s worldwide network of FBOs.
“It has long been our plan to expand our presence in Western Europe and this is a terrific opportunity for both companies,” said ExecuJet Europe managing director Cedric Migeon. “Geneva is the second busiest business aviation airport in Europe so we are expanding at the locations that matter. Also, our Geneva-based [aircraft management] fleet is growing there and this means we have more availability for charter.”
Ruag’s 3,000-sq-ft facility handles more than 6,000 movements per year, and has sufficient capacity to handle peaks of up to 80 movements per day, with a dedicated ramp that includes parking space for up to six aircraft (current plans see this increasing to 12).
ExecuJet has been running its Zurich FBO for 11 years, in addition to nine other European facilities. Nicole Gut, director of ExecuJet’s European FBOs, will oversee the transition alongside Ruag’s general manager, Bernd Heinrich, who assumes overall responsibilities for the manufacturer’s adjacent maintenance facilities.
The ExecuJet/Ruag FBO is situated on the northwest side of Geneva Airport, away from the other FBOs on site. It has extensive parking space for aircraft and arguably offers more discretion for arriving and departing passengers.
Meanwhile, ExecuJet is continuing to pursue new FBO opportunities on other continents. It intends to open a new facility in Lagos, Nigeria, with a local partner later this year. Also in the works is a plan for an FBO partnership in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“There is a clear development strategy to indentify airports that complement our network,” Mark Abbott group FBO director told AIN. “We have seen a [traffic] slowdown in Europe but Africa and the Middle East are buoyant and we also looking at opportunities in China and South America.”
ExecuJet also is considering a plan to adopt the audit system developed for FBOs by the U.S. National Air Transport Association as a way of ensuring consistent service standards across its growing network. “We don’t give our brand away lightly, so we go through a feasibility stage [with prospective FBO partners],” said Abbott. “We don’t want to be at locations with the wrong partners.”