Empire Aviation Group, the Dubai-based business aviation charter and management company is aiming to double the size of its fleet in the next 18-25 months, managing director Steve Hartley said at a media briefing hosted by Embraer in Dubai this morning. Empire holds more than 20 aircraft in its portfolio, including five Embraer Legacy 600 aircraft.

The group is poised to receive delivery of its first Legacy 650 aircraft on 16 November. The large cabin business jet is being financed entirely through cash, by an unnamed customer. "It's only a pity the aircraft will be arriving in Brazil just as the Dubai Air Show is finishing," joked Hartley.

It will be the second Legacy 650 to be delivered to the Middle East, after Jordan-based Arab Wings' recent delivery, said Colin Steven, Embraer's vice-president marketing and sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa at the same event.

Empire said its third Dassault Falcon 7X is scheduled for 7 November with more coming in 2012.

Only 10% of Empire's revenues are generated through its charter operations, said Empire's executive director, Paras Dhamecha. The remainder is achieved through aircraft management and sales. Empire is selling two of its Legacy 600s, a Hawker 4000 and 850XP. The majority of Empire's managed fleet is owned by Middle Eastern customers and a handful of African clients.

Source: Flight International