Jetex’s ‘Milestone Year’ Sees Revenues Soar 50%

 - May 23, 2023, 12:38 PM
Adel Mardini, founder and CEO, Jetex (left) and Jamal Al Dhaheri, managing director and CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports, sign the FBO agreement for Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi (Photo: Jetex)

Jetex’s global annual revenues rose more than 50 percent in 2022, and the company is present in 50 locations, with 37 terminals and 2,100 airports providing Jetex fuel supplies around the world, founder and CEO Adel Mardini said on the eve of EBACE 2023.

Jetex has rounded out its fleet of FBOs in the Gulf Cooperation Council by winning the mandate in April to run two FBOs at Abu Dhabi Al Bateen Executive Airport—the Royal Terminal and a VVIP facility. Abu Dhabi-based aviation officials said the company’s experience in managing FBOs would improve service at the airport.

“We will be the official FBO operator at Al Bateen Executive Airport, the region’s only airport fully dedicated to private aviation,” Mardini told AIN. “Jetex Abu Dhabi marks a milestone for our brand and confirms our commitment to the region.”

A full refit of the facilities means that he plans to launch the Abu Dhabi installations before year end. “Handover will start as soon as possible,” Mardini said.

Meanwhile, the company is on the cusp of major progress in Saudi Arabia, which has been developing rapidly as it aims to grow as a global aviation hub. Jetex plans to take over facilities in Riyadh and Jeddah and construct new ones in Al Ula and Neom. “The masterplan for the new King Salman International Airport in Riyadh includes FBO facilities and we look forward to taking the Jetex brand there,” Mardini said. “We also applied for Jeddah, Al Ula, and Neom—being in Saudi Arabia is...essential for the regional growth of the company.”

Elsewhere in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jetex already operates in Oman at Muscat, where its team provides a full range of services, and Salalah. Mardini also awaits the issuance of an FBO tender in Kuwait, which is expected next month.

Meanwhile, Jetex continues to seek progress in Asia. It has an operations center in China, where it has 12 employees. “It would be great to see a Jetex private terminal in China one day,” Mardini said. “There is definitely room for growth in Asia-Pacific, especially in Indonesia.”

He estimates that in 2021 there were 3.2 million business aviation flights globally. “In 2022, there were 4.1 million—an increase of 39 percent.”

In 2018 and 2019, Jetex saw 43,000 flights going through its network. Then they dipped in 2020 before rising to more than 71,000 last year. “For 2023, my forecast is to facilitate more than 85,000 flights globally,” Mardini said.

The Jetex Annual Review 2022 said 514 private jets were based in the Middle East and 476 in Africa. “The Middle East fleet is growing—after Covid-19, more owners want to base their aircraft here,” he said.

Last year, Jetex said it handled more than 11,000 flights at the VIP Terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport (OMDW) in Dubai, Mardini added. With a total of five players in the Dubai market recording 15,000 movements, he calculates that the other four FBOs handled 4,000 flights. “That translates into a [local] market share of 73 percent for Jetex.

“I expect the number of movements at OMDW to grow by 10 to 15 percent in 2023,” Mardini noted. “In the first quarter, we recorded a 10 percent increase, as we handled 3,700 flights.”

Jetex’s employee headcount stood at 729 employees at the end of 2022. “Today, we have more than 800 staff,” he said. “We continue to recruit to support our international expansion.”

With the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference—COP 28—taking place in Dubai at the end of the year, companies in the Middle East are looking to burnish their green credentials. As an example of its commitment to decarbonization, Jetex is working with Rolls-Royce to upgrade its car fleet in Dubai. “We are now working with Rolls-Royce to replace our fleet with electric cars, which will be noiseless and clean,” Mardini said. “Rolls-Royce aims to present its first fully electric motor car later this year.”

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) remains unavailable at Middle Eastern airports. Mardini said it was difficult to obtain commitments from customers to buy SAF. “As SAF is more than twice as expensive as conventional fuel, we need a stronger commitment to it from our customers,” he commented.

However, together with its partners, Jetex hopes to introduce SAF to the Middle East market in time for the COP 28 meeting in Dubai, when he expects around 600 movements at its Dubai facilities. However, Jetex’s partnership with Neste in Finland has borne fruit by allowing it to provide SAF to customers at Helsinki, Finland’s busiest airport. The SAF offered there by Jetex is made from waste and residue raw materials, he said, providing an immediate solution for reducing direct carbon emissions.

“At Jetex, we want to help decarbonize the aviation industry; we will continue to collaborate with industry stakeholders to explore viable options to help scale up SAF more broadly,” Mardini said. “As demand grows, so will supply.”