Istithmar World Aviation targets corporate aviation in the Middle East

Dubai World company, Istithmar World Aviation (IWA), has announced that it will invest in expanding its executive jet operations, and setting up an aircraft servicing facility at the Dubai World Central Aviation City.

IWA signed an agreement with Dubai World Central Aviation City this week to establish its base of operations in the heart of what is billed to be the world''s largest airport - Dubai World Central. This facility will cater to individual and corporate aircraft owners, aircraft visiting the region and individuals, as well as corporations and groups wishing to charter aircraft.

IWA will also initially invest $50 million to build and equip two hangars on 170,000 square feet, and will eventually increase its holding to as many as five hangars, spread over 439,000 square feet, in order to cater to the growing demand for corporate jet and air charter services.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman, Dubai World said: "The rising popularity of corporate jets and charter flights, coupled with Dubai''s development as the Middle East region''s strategic aerospace hub offer the ideal conditions for Dubai World to focus on corporate jet operations and services. Our aim in expanding executive jet operations and services is to fulfil the demand of this sector with the same level of quality, efficiency and responsibility that is the hallmark of Dubai World projects across the globe."

Tom Ronell, CEO Istithmar World Aviation Holdings said: "The growth of corporate aviation in the Middle East is forecast to be between 20 per cent and 50 per cent per year for the foreseeable future, with the consensus growth forecast being 40 per cent per year. In this lucrative market, Istithmar World Aviation intends to become the pre-eminent company in the region for management and operation of private and corporate jets, provision of charter flights and servicing of corporate jets from Very Light Jets to Boeing Business Jets."

The company currently employs 60 people, including flight crews, and projects a significant increase in these numbers in anticipation of the opening of the facility.