NBAA Convention News

Hadid Develops Americas Businesses

 - October 16, 2019, 3:00 PM
Cade Schalla, Hadid’s U.S. business development manager

Dubai-based trip support specialist and FBO operator Hadid International Services has opened a new office in Florida and is exploring opportunities in Canada to extend its reach in the Americas.

“Hadid is on track to achieve its target, in terms of new client acquisition, in 2019. It’s encouraging that we are seeing more diversification in our clientele across the U.S. and North America,” Cade Schalla, Hadid’s U.S. business development manager, told AIN.

Hadid opened a Florida office at Fort Lauderdale Airport, seen as a major business and commercial aviation hub, earlier this year. “It was important for us to localize our services and connect more closely with our customers,” he said. “At the moment, we are looking at increasing headcount by hiring new talent in operational and sales functions. We are preparing… for anticipated growth in 2020.

“While I still work out of Houston, I have been collaborating closely with the team in Florida to further explore opportunities in South America. Attending LABACE…in August gave me insight into ways Hadid could further expand in the South and Central Americas.”

Canada is another focus in the Americas. Hadid is pursuing business aviation opportunities in the Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa areas, in FBO management, fuel, and trip support.

“We are optimistic that the Canadian bizav market is again ready for growth,” he said. “Working closely with the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA), we see a lot of opportunities for developing business and strengthening our position there. We see opportunities in the Calgary area. Toronto is probably the main hub for bizav in Canada, with Part 135 operators offering charter and private flights. There are also a number of Part 91 operations.”

Asked if he had seen evidence of management consolidation in his territories, he said: “That’s a good question. It is clear some owners are trending that way. I do see evidence of private-flight departments moving toward longer-range aircraft. This makes me believe, for shorter trips, they might look for partners to work with. Consolidation has its benefits in terms of aggregation of resources. Whilst it can be a difficult process, companies are looking at consolidation in the quest for economies of scale.” 

Beyond the Americas

In recent years operations into Africa have been a major topic for the company. Africa "is such a large continent, with diverse languages, cultures, business-communication norms, and regulations. There are so many different factors to take into consideration, and the aviation community always wants to know how to operate in Africa to the best level.”

Hadid has enjoyed a strong presence across Africa for decades. “We have an in-depth understanding of the requirements, opportunities, and challenges,” he said. “We also have a strong network of locally-based supervisors—with more to come—in Africa. Recently, we added new supervisor locations in Burkina Faso and Namibia.”

In noting a new scheduled Newark-Cape Town route from a U.S. airline, to run initially from December 2019 through March 2020, he said U.S. presence in Africa was set to grow. “United Airlines is resuming operations to South Africa in December, having discontinued them years ago. I am seeing more investment in FBOs in Africa and an overall improvement in facilities.”

Hadid has also opened a new office at Paris Le Bourget Airport. “This is one of the busiest general aviation airports in Europe,” Schalla said. “We also opened an office in Shanghai earlier this year which is in response to growing demand in China. We are definitely seeing some positive growth in emerging markets. We have additional supervisory teams at multiple locations globally and I am positive about our international business outlook...”

Schalla said Hadid’s Middle East-honed business model would help it continue to make inroads in several markets. “We are able to provide an advantage based on our experience, expertise, and quality, as well as competitive rates. Whilst so many businesses don’t make it to their fourth year, Hadid has been around for nearly 40.”