Jet Aviation’s priority has always been to support its customers seamlessly and this year that has meant expanding its on-site capabilities, one of its top regional officials told AIN. Established in 2005, its maintenance and FBO facilities at Dubai International (OMDB) are a focal point of its Middle East operations, while in 2017 it extended its FBO and line maintenance services on a range of national civil aviation authority approvals to Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International (OMDW).
“This focus on growth and development of our customer offering in the region is something we will continue into 2023 and beyond, in our capabilities, the skillsets of our employees, and in the range of aircraft we support,” said Hardy Bütschi, Jet Aviation's v-p regional operations Middle East and Dubai general manager.
He added, “For example, this year we saw demand from our customers for larger refurbishment, structural repair projects, avionics modifications, and upgrades at our fixed-wing maintenance site in Dubai. In response to this, we extended our capabilities to offer full cabin refurbishment and heavy structural repairs.”
Jet Aviation’s FBO business in the region has also seen growth this year. “We saw an increase in ground handling volumes at all our FBOs in Saudi Arabia and are in the process of launching a line maintenance service in Riyadh with priority on Gulfstream types to further support customers in and visiting the region.”
This year has also been a strong for its rotary-wing business in the region. “We offer rotary-wing maintenance in Fujairah, as well as personalized on-site line maintenance support for entire rotary fleets of customers and rotary-blade repair as RBI Hawker in Dubai, both of which are Bell customer service facilities. 2022 saw us extending our capability for major inspections, full paint, and upgrades, and modifications.”
RBI Hawker is a joint venture of Hawker Pacific Airservices and Bell. It commenced operations in 2005 with a team of specialized rotor-blade repair professionals.
Jet Aviation provides fixed- and rotary-wing maintenance out of its Dubai hub, as well as line maintenance in Saudi Arabia, on-site fleet support throughout the Middle East and Africa, and a globally mobile AOG team. It operates FBOs at OMDB, OMDW, Riyadh, Medina, and Jeddah.
“We offer base and line maintenance at Dubai OMDB, and line maintenance at Dubai OMDW, and have recently launched line maintenance services in Saudi Arabia, including battery and wheel shops,” he said.
Data indicates that FBO business in the region is on an upswing, and Bütschi said the company will continue to support existing and new customers throughout the network in the Middle East and beyond. Jet Aviation claims to have been in the Middle East for over 40 years and will continue to invest and grow in the region as a key strategic hub in its network.
“We have a large number of long-term customers in the region across all lines of business, and our local and customer on-site presence allows us to foster and prioritize personal and long-lasting relationships—sometimes over generations,” he said. “We are committed to investing in the region to support growing customer needs, and continue to actively look to develop new locations and add new capabilities to support these customers now and in the future.”
In addition to continuing to develop its customer services, the company is also committed to partnering with the authorities to continue supporting the growth of business aviation across the region. Bütschi sees the Middle East as a fast-growing global player that aspires to be at the forefront of many key initiatives.
“One growing interest from both customers and local governments is sustainability and it is imperative that business aviation service providers support this,” he said. “We continue to explore more sustainable options for our customers, such as providing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the region via book-and-claim, and more sustainable ways of operating our sites, such as reduced energy consumption.”
Jet Aviation has a team of around 400 employees in the region. Bütschi said that in addition to expanding capabilities in the region for customers, the company is also committed to supporting the growth and development of local talent.
“Our people and their passion are what make us the company we are and what sets us apart,” he said. “As we expand our capabilities, we are also committed to building the skillset of our employees by providing training and development opportunities for those already with us, as well as supporting local talent and helping young people find their careers in aviation.”