Executive jets used to he the domain of itinerary-stretched rock stars and high-flying royalty. Businessmen used them only sparingly, wary of the backlash from shareholders over accusations of corporate indulgence.
Bur perceptions are changing. Middle East corporations are increasingly aware that executive jets are a cost-effective way of moving staff around the region, and the globe. Yes, they are expensive, hut more financial directors recognise that there is also a cost to having senior executives stranded in airport waiting lounges or wasting nights in hotels because conventional connections could not get them back to head office in time. The business jet as a serious professional tool is finally coming of age.
"Despite the gee-political and economic factors of the past few years, demand for executive jet charters throughout the region has steadily increased, although on a small scale," says Horm Irani, Managing Director, ExecuJet Middle East. "However, in the past few months, the demand has increased significantly." He quotes figures front Dubai International Airport as evidence of this significant growth with an average of 11-12 business aircraft movements a day this year, compared with 12-15 a month in 2000.
Fakeer Sheik, marketing support manager for Bahraini …