Lebanese fractional ownership and charter company ImperialJet plans to more than quadruple its fleet during the next three years as part of a wider strategy to exploit flourishing demand for business aircraft in its target regions of Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Russia.
The company, which has bases in Beirut and Munich, Germany, took delivery last month of the second of a trio of Bombardier Challenger 605s. The last of the large cabin business jets is earmarked for service entry in June. Its handover will be followed with delivery in 2013 of the first of ImperialJet's five Learjet 85s. The midsize business jet is now under development with certification planned for 2013.
"We have a fleet of nine midsize and large cabin aircraft, including Learjet 60XRs, Challenger 604s and 850s. We hope to add another 850 [this year]," said ImperialJet consultant Graeme Deary. "We plan to double our fleet by the end of 2013 and reach in excess of 40 aircraft within three years," he added.
To achieve this rate of growth, ImperialJet intends to acquire existing management and service providers, including fixed-base operators (FBOs), within its target regions - "where there is a requirement for it".
Deary pointed to Saudi Arabia. "There is potential for an FBO here," he said. "This market is booming. By early next year we hope to have received our Saudi aircraft operators certificate, which will open up this market for us."
ImperialJet is stepping up its marketing drive across the key regions and recently opened offices in Jeddah and Moscow.
"It is a good time to go for it," Deary said. "The economic downturn has hit the business aircraft industry hard but there is still a large untapped market and people are looking for a consistent, high-quality level of service. This is where we fit in."