Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Interview in the Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews

Another article on Eastern Express during the Dubai Air Show. Sometimes I wonder if life of a CEO consists only of PR-work?

DUBAI 2011: Eastern Express to launch Abu Dhabi services from Fujairah
November 15, 2011

A new, Fujairah-based regional airline, Eastern Express, has announced plans to begin twice-daily turboprop service from its home base to Abu Dhabi, launching in 1st quarter of 2012.

Eastern Express’s CEO Alex de Vos said that he and his team had worked on the project for more than two years. He described the airline as “a regional full-service air carrier” designed to connect the hubs of the UAE. “It is not a state carrier, it is privately funded,” he commented. “Its current owners are three highly regarded businessmen and a crazy Dutchman [a reference to himself].

“We have a projected workforce of 50 people. Our mission is “dedicated to the local community” so will try to employ as many Emiratis as possible,” de Vos added. “And we’ll focus on service – the most important piece of equipment in the toolbag.”

de Vos explained that the Abu Dhabi–Fujairah drive is approximately 3.5-4 hours. So the target will be transit passengers going through Abu Dhabi. “We plan to feed into an existing network and expect to sign a deal in the middle of next year. We’ll begin with an interline agreement and eventually want to move to full codesharing. Before that we have to show the partner the quality of the service,” de Vos noted. “With the proposed timetable, we can reach in excess of 10,000 transit passengers.”

Other destinations are under consideration with Doha the likely second destination, a switch from the original choice of Bahrain.

The airline expects to announce an ACMI deal for its first aircraft shortly. Currently being evaluated are aircraft in the Jetstream 41 class.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
Dubai, UAE

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