Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 17 November 2019

Abu Dhabi Aviation sets its sights on Iran if sanctions are lifted

Abu Dhabi Aviation will mainly target oil companies in Iran and those in the tourism, transport and medical evacuation sectors

Abu Dhabi Aviation, the largest commercial helicopter operator in the Middle East, said it will target contracts in Iran if sanctions are removed as it posted a 36.5 per cent jump in second-quarter net profit.

That sent the stock surging 11 per cent yesterday.

The company reported net profit of Dh67.39 million compared with Dh49.3m a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter was Dh518m compared with Dh382.2m a year earlier.

Abu Dhabi Aviation will mainly target oil companies in Iran and those in the tourism, transport and medical evacuation sectors, said Ashraf Fahmy, the chief financial officer.

“The last time we served the Iranian market was in 2007.”

Mr Fahmy said he expected to face competition from the likes of Qatar’s Gulf Helicopters and Falcon Aviation from the UAE.

Abu Dhabi Aviation operates a fleet of 61 helicopters, according to its website, making it the largest operator in the region.

Mr Fahmy said that Maximus, its previously struggling air cargo division, has turned around its operations after restructuring.

However, he did not provide details.

Maximus has sold all of its Airbus freighters and now operates just two cargo aircraft. It is focusing on freight brokerage targeting contracts from the UAE and regional governments and even corporates.

In February, the Abu Dhabi Aviation chairman Nadir Al Hammadi said the group was open to a “strategic investor or a partner” for its Royal Jet and Maximus subsidiaries.

Asked if this was still the case, Mr Fahmy said: “we are open-minded. We are still waiting”.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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Updated: July 26, 2015 04:00 AM

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