x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Al Bateen Airport is flying high

Private flights into Al Bateen Executive Airport continue to soar as new visitors make the most of the exclusive facilities.

Abu Dhabi's airport for private jets recorded soaring numbers of business executives touching down in the past three months.

Al Bateen Executive Airport reported that it experienced a 12 per cent increase in flights in the third quarter of this year, and officials expect demand to remain high for the rest of the year.

"Our whole year will be slightly higher than 12 per cent because it includes part of our quiet period over the summer," said Steve Jones, the general manager of the airport.

"We will see a very busy period now that will stretch right through to next May."

The airport recorded a 42 per cent increase in visiting flights in the third quarter compared with the same period last year.

The airport handled 1,903 commercial flights in the period between July and last month this year, which Mr Jones says was driven by an increase in the quality of service and facilities at the airfield.

"The airport's strategic location, providing businessmen with access to the central business district of the city, is one of the key strengths of this facility," he said. Boosted by the Formula One race, Al Bateen expects next month to be its busiest of the year as celebrities, businessmen and government officials fly in for the event.

"The airport will offer free landing and parking to all visiting VIP aircraft using the executive terminal over the Formula One period," said Mr Jones.

Visitors can move from their aircraft through immigration and to waiting cars in just 10 minutes, a convenience that has helped Al Bateen lure traffic from the international airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Mr Jones said.

"Dubai has a very large business aviation population, but it's very difficult now because the capacity there is crowded by the main carriers," he said.

Al Bateen this year added its fifth operator, Rotana Jet, which launched operations with a Gulfstream G450 jet this year.

Al Bateen is among five civil airports in the emirate. The others are Abu Dhabi International, Al Ain International, Sir Bani Yas and Delma Island airports.