Bombardier's newly consolidated Dubai-based charter operation looks for lucrative links with international carriers

Bombardier Skyjet International is eyeing partnerships with international airlines as it seeks to expand its market share and widen its brand exposure. The company, which was renamed late last month following the consolidation of the Flexjet Europe and Asia-Pacific programmes under the Skyjet banner, will begin operations in the Middle East this month from its Dubai base.

The company will offer ad hoc and block charter through a network of Bombardier operators, including Qatar Airways, Abu-Dhabi-based Royal Jet, Cirrus Aviation of Beirut and ExecuJet, which is also based in Dubai. The company plans to expand its regional fleet from 12 to 20 business jets by the end of April, says Skyjet International managing director Judith Moreton. The cost of a 25h Jet Membership block charter card ranges from $90,000 to around $300,000.

Moreton admits that establishing links with airlines could provide another lucrative business stream for the operator, which is eyeing with interest the proposed Lufthansa NetJets joint venture, scheduled for launch this month (Flight International, 25-31 January). "We are very interested in talking to airlines to see how we can promote the benefits of business aircraft transport to their passengers," says Moreton.

*Japan's Global Wings is preparing to launch VIP charter flights by the end of this month using its newly delivered Bombardier Learjet 45XR business jet.

Global Wings says it took delivery of the aircraft on 14 January, over one month behind the initial schedule. Air China, which will operate the aircraft from its base in Beijing on behalf of Osaka-based Global Wings, is now conducting test flights in an effort to add the Learjet 45 to its operating certificate. The Civil Aviation Administration of China granted Bombardier a type certificate in December for the Learjet 45, but Air China still has to put the aircraft through additional tests before revenue operations will be allowed to begin.


Source: Flight International