Rizon Jet Expands Services, Preps For Move To New Doha Airport
Qatar’s Rizon Jet (Stand 340) is eyeing business from all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, expanding its aircraft maintenance services and building up its aircraft trading and management offering, while preparing the ground for a move to the new Doha Airport and the establishment of an FBO at Paris Le Bourget airport.
The company expects to take delivery of three new managed aircraft in 2013, and to implement new agreements to act as authorized service centers for several OEMs. According to the company’s CEO, Capt. Hassan Al-Mousawi, Rizon Jet’s current managed fleet consists of a Global Express, three Challenger 605s and one Hawker 900XP.
“In 2013 we expect to add a Global 5000 and Legacy 650 to managed aircraft under our AOC, as well as a privately managed A319 Corporate Jet,” said Al-Mousawi. The ACJ319 [scheduled] for delivery in January has slipped to April, while the Legacy 650 due in the first quarter is also slightly delayed, he said. “These are managed aircraft, so we have little control [over timings],” he told AIN.
Set up in 2006 and headquartered at Doha International Airport, the company spotted a niche and is now focusing on the lack of aircraft management and MRO facilities. Previously, Qatari aircraft owners had to employ companies in neighboring countries to manage their aircraft, while Qatari private-charter customers also needed to turn to outside operators, which meant higher costs for aircraft repositioning.
“By establishing its facilities in Qatar, Rizon Jet has catered [to] local market requirements,” said Al-Mousawi. “Our client base embraces corporations, governments and private individuals in Qatar and the region who are looking for luxury travel solutions, discretion, time saving and the utmost convenience of traveling.
“Our mission is to meet increasing demand for corporate aircraft charter in the Gulf Cooperation Council states, expand our [portfolio] with aircraft maintenance services and build on our aircraft trading and management arm,” he told AIN.
Rizon Jet is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ghanim bin Saad Al Saad and Sons Groups Holdings (GSSG). GSSG was set up in 1993 as a Qatari private-sector business group, owns and operates more than 40 companies worldwide and has offices in London, Zurich, Cairo, Singapore and Dubai.
In 2009, Rizon Jet was the first Qatari private operator to obtain an AOC, and opened its facility at Biggin Hill, outside London. In 2011, it upgraded the London facility to a 130,000-sq-m hangar and FBO terminal, and also completed its Doha FBO, with a parking area of just over 5,800 sq m. The hangar there is large enough to accommodate four Global XRSs or nine Challenger 604/605s. The 737-sq-m FBO houses five private lounges and a duty-free area.
Since 2010, Rizon Jet has been working with affiliate British-owned Oryx Jet, which won its AOC from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority that year and also operates from London Biggin Hill. British shareholders own the majority of Oryx Jet, while Rizon Jet is the minority owner of the company, and considers Oryx its “AOC arm” in the UK. This enables the pair to offer their clients aircraft management and chartering services across Europe and the Middle East. Oryx Jet’s fleet includes the Beechcraft Premier IA, Hawker 900XP, Falcon 50EX and a Bombardier Challenger 604, added in September, as well as two turbine-engine helicopters.
Rizon Jet’s two bases are authorized service centers for several OEMs, primarily serving business jet operators in the Middle East and Europe. It is an authorized service center with what Al-Mousawi calls “limited authority” for Bombardier, carrying out warranty work on managed aircraft. “We are working with Hawker Beechcraft and Embraer for something similar or even more expansive,” he said, adding that talks are still under way for the agreement with Hawker Beechcraft.
With an eye to the future, Rizon Jet is weighing its plans for 2014, the scheduled date for the opening of New Doha International Airport at a site four kilometers east of the existing facility. “A lot depends on the wider plan for the existing airport, and once we know this, we can take a decision on which location is best for us, and most importantly for our customers,” said Al-Mousawi.
“In Doha…our business is not directly related to the airport hub, [but] is fueled by the economic activity of Qatar and the Gulf region, and the demand for exclusive business and leisure travel that that activity creates. The airport development represents a huge opportunity for us and we are excited about the prospects for new business it represents.”
Plans for further international expansion revolve around a new facility at Paris Le Bourget airport and currently are going through various approval processes. “Paris is the world’s most visited city and Rizon Jet would then be at the very center of Europe’s business aviation market,” said Al-Mousawi. “Le Bourget is certainly a challenging and competitive FBO market, but there is a great opportunity for a well-funded and positioned newcomer like Rizon Jet.”
Rizon Jet will be making a major announcement regarding a new service offering here at MEBA, said Al-Mousawi. “There is no doubting the importance and influence of this year’s expanded MEBA show and we are looking forward to exhibiting alongside some of the leading names in the global aviation industry.”