GI Aviation drops in to turn on the light market
Abu Dhabi-based GI aviation has formally arrived on the scene to launch the “light” business aviation market to the UAE and Gulf region.
Demonstrating the capability of its Pilatus PC-12NG aircraft, GI landed at Zero Gravity, Sky Dive Dubai’s famous drop off zone on Jumeirah Beach.
The 750m landing strip is home to the Sky Dive’s PC-6, Twin Otter and NG Viking fleet. GI Aviation’s PC-12 became the first commercial aircraft to land there since it accepted fixed wing aircraft in 2011.
“This is an auspicious occasion for us,” said GI Aviation’s Marios Belidis as the aircraft arrived on the flight from its current base at Al Bateen Executive Airport. The company received its GCAA Air Operator’s Certificate in December 2016 during the MEBAA show.
“GI Aviation is the first company to operate this aircraft commercially in the region and is pioneering an all new business model for the Gulf. Our goal is to deliver a competitively priced, reliable private charter service that will encourage new clients into this sector and stimulate the market, ” Belidis said.
“We are looking forward to engaging with charter brokers, travel agencies, corporate entities and individuals alike to demonstrate the unique characteristics the Pilatus PC-12NG holds over similar sized jets. We expect demand will initially focus on key city pairs in the region where we will serve Doha, Kuwait, Bahrain, KSA and Sir Bani Yas from Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” he added.
The distinctive Swiss-built high-speed turboprop (520 km/h cruise speed with a pressurized cabin of up to 30’000ft) is well suited for private group charter. Equipped with a stylish BMW DesignWorks interior the aircraft offers the jet experience with a large rear cargo door.
The introduction of this new market in the Gulf received praise from MEBAA founding chairman Ali Alnaqbi who said that entrepreneurial companies like GI Aviation with the flagship PC-12NG and fresh approach to marketing is going to help widen the customer base for business aviation in a region where larger jets typically dominate. “On short flight routes within the Gulf region, the PC-12NG makes commercial sense,” he said.
GI Aviation expects to receive its second PC-12NG aircraft in February 2017 to begin operations at its primary base in Dubai South Airport.
Left to right: Gabriel Cordova, First Officer; Yousif Al Hammadi, Director of Security and Government Relations for GI Aviation; Jukka Vito, Captain and Flight Ops Director; and Marios Belidis, General Manager, GI Aviation; at the launch of their private charter service and their first Pilatus PC-12NG at Sky Dive Dubai, one of the world’s most famous drop off zones.