VVIP charter company Royal Jet has acquired four new business jets as part of a $700 million spending commitment on new aircraft over the next decade.
The Abu-Dhabi-based operator has ordered two Bombardier Global 5000s, which will replace its Gulfstream G300s when they enter service this month and in February next year. The super-large business jets will be used for charter and medical evacuation services, alongside Royal Jet’s midsize Learjet 60/XRs
Royal Jet has also acquired two Boeing Business Jets, which will be delivered “green” next year. Negotiations are now under way with completions centres, the privately-owned company says. The firm is the world’s largest operator of BBJs, with a fleet of six aircraft.
The company announced plans last year to replace the BBJ fleet, and has been evaluating the Airbus ACJ319 and Bombardier CSeries alongside the latest BBJ family as possible platforms.
“We are still evaluating other models. No decision has been made yet,” says Patrick Gordon, who was appointed Royal Jet’s chief executive last month, following the departure of Shane O’Hare.
Gordon is keen to retain some of the BBJs for Royal Jet’s thriving charter business. “If the economy continues to grow and demand increases, I would refurbish the aircraft and keep them in the fleet. I hate to get rid of assets that could generate business,” he says.
Royal Jet launched operations a decade ago, and during that time the BBJs have undergone "soft" refurbishments every two years and major refits every five. “We have been profitable every year for the last eight years,” Gordon adds.
As its business expanded, Royal Jet started to broaden its focus. Late last year it joined forces with Air Seychelles to establish the country first fixed-base operation. The facility – Royal Jet’s only FBO outside its Abu Dhabi International airport base – is a response to the growing number of private aviation tourists from the Middle East, Europe and the CIS visiting the island nation, Gordon says.
Royal Jet is looking to expand its FBO portfolio, but Gordon will not disclose which destinations the company is evaluating. “It will be in one of the  countries that we currently fly to,” he says.
Source: Flight International