Dubai-based regional charter operator Eastern Skyjets (C115) is targeting growth in the Gulf and Indian sub-continent, and believes its flexible fleet and ability to handle difficult missions gives it several key advantages.

The airline has held its AOC for two years and has recently become the only UAE air carrier to be UN-approved. “This helps us because the standards required to meet the approval are exceptionally high,” says director Tahir Khan. Services operated include civil services into hostile environments such as Afghanistan, and medevac missions.

Eastern Skyjets currently operates three DC-9’s (two -51s and a -31) and a Jetstream 41, and it will soon be receiving three BAE Systems ATPs. “We’ve our AOC for two years now, and we are paying attention to the regional market,” Khan says. “We are able to offer airlines routes that are either running at a loss or only at break-even. With our smaller and much more economical aircraft we can run those at a profit.”

Eastern Skyjets operates mainly in the GCC and Indian sub-continent and offers ad hoc and scheduled charters and can feeder services. Khan sees the real growth opportunities as airlines phase out Russian-built aircraft in the region. He says there are more than 50 CIS/Russian types operating locally, and as these are phased out it creates demand for more economical, more technologically advanced and safer aircraft.

“We are also looking at using ATPs for cargo missions. The aircraft are now in really high demand because of the rising fuel prices and we feel this is certainly a niche market for us,” says Khan.

Source: Flight Daily News