GI Aviation’s pledge to bring a more affordable private air charter service to the Gulf Region has been realised. Today, at the MEBAA Show in Dubai, the company announced it has obtained its Air Operator’s Certificate [AOC] from the GCAA (UAE General Civil Aviation Authority), enabling the start of commercial flights with its fleet of Pilatus PC-12NG aircraft.
“We are delighted to obtain this approval from the GCAA. Our team have been working hard this past year to deliver a brand new entry level service for business aviation in this region, which has until now been dominated by larger business jets. We have received significant interest from a number of parties who are keen to fly with us. We are focused on the value proposition we offer our clients” said Her Excellency Hafsa Al Ulama, Managing Director of GI Aviation’s parent company, Global Ideas.
GI Aviation accepted its first eight-seat PC-12NG aircraft this spring. Featuring a spacious BMW DesignWorks interior, it will be the first aircraft of this type to commercially operate in the GCC region, bringing with it unique operating characteristics inherent to the PC-12NG. This includes the capability to take off and land on short runways typical of remote locations or islands as well as the ability to access paved and unpaved airstrips. The aircraft’s impressive versatility will enable GI Aviation to serve leisure, corporate or medevac charters flying on journeys of up to four hours with a range of 2,000km. GI Aviation will take delivery of its second PC-12NG aircraft in January 2017.
In obtaining the GCAA AOC, GI Aviation is pleased to endorse the work carried out by Hendell Aviation of Finland whose consultancy services were instrumental in helping obtain the AOC.
Matti Auterinen, Chairman of Hendell, congratulated GI Aviation: “We have been preparing the ground work for the first PC-12NG commercial operation in the Middle East since Q3 2015, calling on our own experience as the first commercial operator in Europe with this type of aircraft since 2013. The GCAA regulations and requirements closely followed EASA with key differences adapted for the UAE and the region. However, the overall compliance environment toward CAT SE-IMC is similar. The very professional framework established in the UAE by the authority is strict, but fair. We are very proud to have been able (for the second time) to participate in the ongoing development of what is a very exciting sector in business aviation,” Matti said.
Mohammed Al Katheeri, Acting Chief Operations Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We welcome GI Aviation to Al Bateen Executive Airport and wish them well with their new venture. By bringing affordable, flexible charter options to the market, they open up private aviation to a whole new demographic. We are pleased to be able to help GI Aviation along the road to success and look forward to working with them.”
GI Aviation has extensively researched the market and identified a need for charter services on popular city pair routes currently flown by some legacy carriers on scheduled services. “At GI Aviation, we are able to serve all the major business and capital cities within the GCC and surrounding region and will also serve popular resort destinations like Sir Bani Yas, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah,” said Marios Belidis, General Manager of GI Aviation. “We will provide an exemplary charter service to both the existing charter market and to the executive first / business class traveller looking for an entry into the charter market. We will, on certain short distance city pairs, serve as a real alternative to flying first / business class. Our focus is to ensure that we provide a time and cost effective service which is responsive to clients’ itineraries and requirements, while maintaining the highest standards of quality and safety in our operation. We are delighted to be pioneering a convenient and efficient way of flying for the region and will be taking bookings before the end of 2016.”
GI Aviation is exhibiting for the first time at MEBAA 2016 on Stand 692
About the PC-12NG:
The PC-12NG is a versatile, high-speed single engine turboprop with a cruising speed of 280 knots (520 km/h) and a pressurized cabin of up to 25,000ft. The aircraft, configured with 6 to 8 seats, is ideal for business or leisure trips and is fitted with a generous cargo door that has a height of 4ft 4in and width of 4ft 5in. The aircraft boasts short field take off capability and land-anywhere characteristics. It is one of the most popular turbine-powered business aircraft on the market today with more than 1,400 aircraft sold around the world. The aircraft is the most operationally efficient in its class with its appealing operating costs, ability for quick turnarounds, and versatile cabin configuration.