Saturday, June 11, 2011

New airline: Now fly from Fujairah

Another article on our little start-up. Here is the link: Gulf News article Journalists have a tendency to write what they perceptually hear, not what their interview partners tell them. But hey, as long as they spell my name right. Correct? (and, surprisingly, they did!)
Air passengers in the UAE may next year be flying a new Fujairah-based airline offering "low cost" tickets.

Dubai: Air passengers in the UAE may next year be flying a new Fujairah-based airline offering "low cost" tickets, XPRESS can reveal.

The carrier is expected to fly to main cities in the Gulf countries by January 2012 and later to the Indian subcontinent, Captain Alex de Vos, a Dutch aviation expert closely involved in the project, said during an exclusive interview last week.

"Our pricing model will be based on very low-cost operations to the passengers, but offer full flight services on board at the same time," de Vos said when asked about ticket prices. He is the president and CEO of Al Hajjar Aviation Consultancy in Fujairah.

No budget flight

"We won't be a ‘budget' airline per se, we're not competing with [Sharjah's] Air Arabia [for example]".

De Vos said there is no passenger service in Fujairah and residents have to take a road trip to Dubai or Sharjah to catch a flight out. He added that the planned airline will also serve tourists exploring the country's eastern region and business travellers and government officials.

De Vos said the airline, which has received its AOC (Air Operator's Certificate) in the UAE, is "basically a convenience to passengers, an additional option". He also pointed out it could serve as a "feeder" connecting flight using "other UAE hubs" to link Fujairah with the rest of the world.

Friday, April 29, 2011

New regional airline, Al Hajjar Air, to be based in Fujairah

Exciting news to announce. The GCC region is finally getting linked. Article from 'Fujairah in Focus'Article in Fujairah in Focus

A new Fujairah-based airline, Al Hajjar Air, is in the administrative and planning phase. The business plan has been reviewed by the Fujairah International Airport and the Department of Civil Aviation. The directors are currently seeking funds to enable Al Hajjar Air to enter the operational phase, hopefully in 2012.
What is envisaged is a regional carrier, dedicated to connecting the GCC hubs (Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Muscat, Riyadh, Kuwait), with a later expansion into the Levant states and the Indian subcontinent.
The concept is proven in many regions of the world yet the Middle East lacks a dedicated regional airline. Consequently major airlines operate economically non-viable routes with large aircraft.
Al Hajjar Air plans to operate dedicated regional aircraft in the form of modern turboprops with a stand-up cabin in single class configuration, large baggage compartments and equipped with the latest avionics and systems to ensure a smooth flight according to the highest safety standards.
All flight crew (2 pilots and 1 flight attendant) will be trained according to the stringent GCAA regulations.

Al Hajjar Air will operate primarily as a regional carrier not as a low cost carrier but the small turboprop planes will be a low cost operation suitable for developing the local market.

Al Hajjar Air plans to feed passengers into an existing route network of the major Middle Eastern flag carriers. Al Hajjar Air will fly passengers to/from Fujairah or its other destinations to/from the base of their partner airline, giving the people of Fujairah a chance to buy for example, one single ticket from Fujairah to London.

Baggage check-in will be at the Fujairah International Airport and baggage pick-up at the destination. It is envisaged that Al Hajjar Air passengers will be entitled to use the passenger lounge of their partner airline at the intermediary stop, making the long trip a simple and pleasant experience.

The concept of basing an airline in Fujairah came from a thorough due diligence investigation of scheduled air services in the UAE.

Fujairah has the potential of being a tourist hot spot in the UAE.

Currently, any business traveller in Fujairah must drive at least one hour to an airport in Dubai or Sharjah to catch a flight say to Doha and one must be there two hours before departure.

With Al Hajjar Air, one would travel a few minutes to the Fujairah International Airport where you would be checked-in and seated in your aircraft direct to Doha within half an hour. What a saving of time!

Furthermore, a daily service that links Fujairah with say Abu Dhabi, would benefit business and tourism interests and strengthen the link between Fujairah with the UAE capital.

The venture is headed by Capt. Mike Carvath of the UK and Alex de Vos (currently based in Fujairah).

Captain Carvath is an experienced entrepreneur with various links to the auto industry in the UK and aviation industry in Iraq. He established one of the first dedicated charter airlines operating regional flights out of Erbil after the war.

Alex de Vos hails from the Netherlands and he started his aviation career in international operations mainly out of the USA. He has served in various aviation management positions, including Flight Operations Manager for a charter airline in Germany and CEO of Gulf Executive Aviation, an aviation consulting and air charter company in Bahrain.

The intent of Al Hajjar Air is to provide quality air services within the region while taking into account the local customs, traditions and character of the place.

Al Hajjar Air is offering local investors an opportunity to support a local enterprise which will not only use Fujairah as base but the vision of its leaders is to be a driving force behind the development of the Fujairah International Airport as a primary passenger aviation hub within the GCC.