Luxury charter operator Royal Jet has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) appointing Dnata, part of the Emirates Group, as its general sales agent (GSA) in Dubai and the northern Emirates.

The move appears to cement Royal Jet's position as the UAE's premier business air charter company just months after it launched in Abu Dhabi.

The deal was signed by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Emirates, and Royal Jet chairman HE Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan here at the show.

The deal with Dnata is a sign that the Emirates Group is unlikely to follow suit with Qatar Airways which earlier in the week signalled its intention to enter the business charter market with its acquisition of four Global Expresses from Bombardier.

It has also effectively sanctioned Royal Jet as charter of choice in the UAE.

Starting with a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) in May 2003, Royal Jet has since taken delivery of two Gulfstream G300s for which it was launch customer. Chief executive Tilmann Gabriel admits his operation is currently at "maximum capacity" but says the company has ambitious growth plans.

He predicts 100% growth over the next year with a further BBJ and "one or two Gulfstreams" likely to be added in 2004.

The company plans to open offices in Dubai, Jeddah and Riyadh.

Source: Flight Daily News