XJet has confirmed that it is to open a second Gulf-based FBO, at Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The announcement comes a year and a half after the U.S.-based group unveiled plans for an operation at Dubai World Central.
“We are delighted to announce that we have been officially awarded an exclusive license to operate our business model at Dammam Airport in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. The airport team understood they wanted to attract more business and private aviation to this airport. They have got an incredible opportunity to do that with land space right next to the business aviation runway,” company founder, president and CEO Josh Stewart said.
“It’s a greenfield site. We’ve already picked the location. We’ve negotiated terms. We’ve already engaged HOK and Faithful and Gould to help with the project and design of the facility. There’s a two-year construction window and then a five-year exclusive contract, for a combination of seven years,” he said. “We’ll begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2016. The airport is interested in us [operating from temporary facilities] while we are constructing the [building].”
Given the potential for business aviation growth in the region, the company has been keen to expand its business model beyond hub Dubai–Saudi Arabia is the other major business and general aviation hot-spot in the region, and XJet’s enthusiasm and expertise is sure to stand the kingdom in good stead.
Dammam joins a growing list of locations where XJet (Stand 545) is opening facilities. A center at London -Stansted Airport opened last month (although the full refurbishment will not be completed until early summer next year) and a Dubai center is set to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2015 (see page 8).
Elsewhere in Europe, XJet is building a new facility on an 18-acre site at Paris -le Bourget, which is scheduled to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2016. The site includes a 70,000-sq-ft climate-controlled hangar. Like the London-Stansted facility, it will serve the aircraft of 20 XJet club members, while also being open for other customers.
XJet is also planning to implement phase 2 of its construction plans at the company’s original Denver location, which is running at its capacity of 21 members. Building is due to start in the second quarter of next year to expand capacity. Currently XJet uses only seven acres of the 18 it has available.