Falcon Aviation, the Abu Dhabi-based business aviation charter, MRO, and aircraft management company, expects steady growth of its business in 2019, according to COO Raman Oberoi.
In the first quarter of the year, Falcon Aviation commenced operations from the new facilities it has established along with Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) in Kuwait. It had ordered three Leonardo AW169s on lease for KOC at the Dubai Airshow in 2017, and these are now being deployed on a five-year contract in oil-and-gas operations.
“Operations at Kuwait Oil Company premises started in January 2019, which is good as it adds to our other oil-and-gas contracts,” he told AIN.
Falcon Aviation’s new base maintenance hangar facility at Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) is capable of accommodating up to five Boeing BBJ- or Airbus ACJ-sized narrowbody jets, and the facility includes workshops, interior solutions, a wash bay, and landside office space. It also has in 13,000 sq m (140,000 sq ft) of ramp space.
“We are readying for the start [of operations],” said Nicolas Tejera, Falcon Aviation’s director of maintenance. “We are in the last stages of getting final approvals. We expect to start using this facility in the coming weeks. The facilities are intended to provide services not only to UAE customers but also to other customers in the region. This is another milestone [in] our expansion plan.“
In 2017, Falcon Aviation obtained approval from the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority to perform third-party line maintenance at DWC and is cleared for types including the Gulfstream G450/G550 and Embraer 135/145/Legacy and E-190/Lineage 1000. Falcon is an authorized service center for Embraer business jets. It is also GCAA-approved for a number of helicopter types, such as the Airbus EC130, Bell 412, and Leonardo AW189, AW169, and AW109.
Falcon Aviation recently received approval from the General Authority for Civil Aviation as an approved repair station in Saudi Arabia. “This will enable Falcon Aviation to support the MRO requirements which have been requested by our customers in Saudi Arabia for some time,” said Tejera.
Falcon Aviation expects delivery of its first Pilatus PC-24 to take place in October or November. The aircraft is intended to be part of Falcon's business-jet charter fleet.
In 2018, Falcon Aviation, from its heliport at Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm Jumeirah, flew 35,000 visitors, maintaining its position as one of the most popular helicopter sight-seeing tours worldwide. “We are looking forward to Expo 2020,” said Oberoi. “Our services in VIP FBO and business and helicopter charter are available to support this important event.”
Company officials are guardedly optimistic about the future. “Falcon Aviation has achieved reasonable growth in the past few years,” said Mahmoud Hussain, managing director, Falcon Aviation. “We expect to maintain this steady growth without affecting the high quality of service which has been an essential part of our core values.”