Diversified Middle Eastern construction firm Al Jaber Group is establishing a VIP air transport division and is ordering additional aircraft to bring its initial fleet to 21 jets.

Al Jaber Aviation, which will start operating in February next year, will have a fleet of six Airbus and 15 Embraer aircraft.

These will include two 32-seat Airbus Corporate Jetliners - part of an order disclosed today - and four executive Airbus A318s.

Al Jaber Aviation is also taking four Embraer Legacy 450 and four Legacy 500 aircraft, to complement the five Embraer Lineage 1000 and two Legacy 600 jets ordered at last year's Dubai Air Show. The Lineage 1000 is based on the Embraer 190 airframe, while the Legacy 600 is based on the ERJ-135.

 Legacy 450

 © Embraer

Embraer's Legacy 450 and 500 are mid-size executive jets, seating around eight passengers. Al Jaber Aviation's order for the ACJs and the eight smaller jets has been unveiled during the Middle East Business Aviation show in Dubai.

Embraer values its part of agreement, which already features on its third-quarter order books, at $135 million at list prices. The jets will be delivered from 2013.

Al Jaber Aviation's chief executive, Mohammed Al Jaber, says the order "marks a very important step" in the development of the new flight division.

The Abu Dhabi-based company says its overall orders for 21 aircraft are collectively worth $1.2 billion. It has also previously signed a letter of intent for two Airbus A380s.

Mohammed Al Jaber says: "The breathtaking economic growth over the past decade in the Middle East has created a sizeable business aviation market. The epicentre of this market is right here in the United Arab Emirates."

Al Jaber Aviation will initially be based in Abu Dhabi but plans also to operate from Dubai. Its Legacy 600s will be the first aircraft to arrive.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news