At least half of all Jet Aviation's business aviation passengers who fly into Dubai will "very soon" be opting for Al Maktoum airport instead of the city's existing hub.

The Swiss company (stand 590) is making the prediction as it unveils its first fixed-base operation at the new airport - home to this year's MEBA and also known as Dubai World Central or DWC. Jet Aviation has the contract to provide handling to VIP traffic attending the show.

The company is renting two lounges and a reception area at Al Maktoum's new VIP terminal and offering services including taxiing, lavatory drainage, refuelling, catering, check-in, and customs and flight plan support for crews.

Jet Aviation has been one of two FBOs at Dubai International for the past seven years - its neighbour is fellow Swiss business aviation services provider ExecuJet.

The facility, which opened in 2005, includes a 4,200m2 (45,200ft2) hangar, as well as a two-storey terminal and workshop. It handles around 700 aircraft movements a month.

Jet Aviation plans to run parallel facilities at the two airports for "the foreseeable future" but will replace its existing facility at Al Maktoum with a larger FBO within two years. By that time it expects most of its traffic to have migrated to the new airport, says Michael Rucker, vice-president and general manager at Jet Aviation Dubai.

"We have done an analysis to see where people coming into Dubai International want to go and 65% end up on this part of town," he says. Many popular VIP destinations such as the iconic Burj hotel, the Palm and many of the business developments on the Sheikh Zayed Road are easier to get to from Al Maktoum than from Dubai International, he says.

Jet Aviation also operates FBOs in Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, and recently added VIP handling services in Medina. In the UAE, the company also provides line maintenance services to owners and operators flying into Al Bateen executive airport in Abu Dhabi.

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VIPs arriving at Jet Aviation's new FBO at Al Maktoum airport will soon be able to roll to their final destination in style thanks to a deal with the UK's most prestigious car marque.

Jet Aviation is offering to chauffeur its clients in a new Rolls-Royce long-wheelbase Ghost, which comes complete with subtle Jet Aviation logo on the door.

AGMC Dubai is leasing the 1.2m dirham ($327,000) car to Jet Aviation.

"Many of these people will never visit a car showroom, so it is excellent marketing," says Michael Rucker, vice-president and general manager at Jet Aviation Dubai, who says he spent 18 months convincing Rolls-Royce that the partnership made sense.

Rucker is pictured left with Jet Aviation hostesses Krisztina Elias and Isabella Budryn, and Philippe Gerard, FBO director.

Source: Flight Daily News