Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) on Tuesday slashed aeronautical charges by 35 per cent on average across the whole range and in some cases up to 70 per cent for executive jets utilsing Al Bateen Executive Airport.
The change came in to effect on December 1, 2010.
Adac, a dedicated business jet airport, slashed landing fees by 35 per cent and parking fees by 17 per cent for all aircraft in order to compete effectively and attract more business from neighbouring airports for Al Bateen, said Stephen Jones, General Manager, Al Bateen Executive Airport.
The airport is currently home to four operators Al Jaber Aviation, XO Jet, Prestige Jet and Falcon Aviation Services with a combined fleet of around 30 business jets and helicopters.
Jones revealed that talks are underway with four operators from the Middle East, Europe and America to bring them to Al Bateen which, according to him, is one of the most economical airports for business jet operators following cut in charges.
“I’m discussing with four or five new operators who are interested in Al Bateen because you can get and get out of the Al Bateen Airport in just five minutes as there won’t long queues like Dubai International Airport or Abu Dhabi International Airport. Some operators are placed at Middle East airports and others UK and American firms. Currently there are five operators and I can see there is need for three or four FBOs (fixed-based operators),” he said.
Jones was speaking at the at the Middle East Business Aviation Show (MEBA 2010) at Airport Expo, Dubai. Adac has already invested almost $50 million in turning the 50 year-old military airport into an executive passenger terminal.
“When you launch an airport in a competitive market, you encourage operators to come in and give them a reason why they need to come back otherwise they would stay wherever they are. We are going to do it several ways by modernising our facility and offering service quality as good as our competitors – if not better. When you have done those things – they still won’t come. Then the next thing is - which makes business sense – to slash business cost. Al Bateen is working on all of those issues,” he added.
Jones claimed that he has an experienced team and plans to recruit additional 120 to 130 veteran F&E managers. Al Bateen has about 30 core staff which will increase to 40 and the rest of the people will be shared with international airport.
Commenting on growth, Jones said: “Based on conservative estimates, we are expecting 20 per cent increase; it will be organic growth by getting business from our competitors. We are not up against soft competitors, but against good players. I’m realistic.”
Recently, Al Bateen Executive Airport runway was upgraded its following the installation of the Instrumental Landing System (ILS) Category 1 which ensures an improved runway usage on par with leading international airports.