x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Demand surge for UAE private jets over Egypt protests

Civil unrest in Egypt is driving demand for regional business jet flights.

The UAE's business jet operators are enjoying a surge of demand from Egypt as stranded companies and individuals rush to evacuate the country amid strife and civil unrest.

But the emergency flights are also being hampered by congestion at Egyptian airports and other delays, the companies said.

"With political demonstrations continuing across major cities including Cairo and Alexandria, governments and multinational corporations are requesting urgent flights for foreign nationals wishing to leave the country," said Christina Stanley, a sales and marketing manager at Chapman Freeborn, an aviation broker with offices in Dubai.

"We have already completed a number of VIP and Executive jets charters as well as large passenger movements on our larger aircraft."

Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation Services said it began receiving calls for chartered flights out of Egypt last Saturday, and has employed a Embraer Legacy 600 and two Gulfstream G450 aircraft out of Alexandria and Cairo.

"After some lengthy landing approvals work, we did our first flights on February 31st," said AJ Baker, the vice presidemnt of business development at FAS. "However, at both airports, delays on the ground were extended (we planned for two hours, but were there for over five hours) primarily due to sheer volume of traffic."

Nick Maynard, the manager of marketing and communications at Royal Jet, based in Abu Dhabi, said it has flown several flights and expects further business out of Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor, as well as other provincial airports. "As the situation develops, we do anticipate a continuing high demand for such aircraft in the coming days," he said.

igale@thenational.ae