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Dubai Airports Launches General Aviation at DWC with Inaugural Flight

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Dubai, UAE – March 1, 2011 – Dubai Airports launched general aviation operations at Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International (DWC) yesterday by welcoming the first flight of the launch customer Al Futtaim Services Company.

The Airbus 319 Corporate Jet, one of Al Futtaim’s varied fleet of 12, touched down at DWC’s 4,500-metre runway at 1515hrs with six passengers on board.  Dubai Airports opened DWC for general aviation operations on February 24 after receiving regulatory approval from General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

“It’s a good sign for the operations to begin within days of receiving official approval from the GCAA and this marks the beginning of another stage of development at our new airport,” Jamal Zaal Bin Krishan, Vice President of Airside Operations at Dubai Airports.  “We are thrilled to have Al Futtaim as our launch customers and we are positive the company will fully enjoy the benefits of operating at DWC.”

Dubai World Central and Al Futtaim Services Company signed a contract in December 2010, under which Al Futtaim, in a joint venture with a leading business jet operator in Europe, will provide a wide range of general aviation services at Dubai’s new airport. Through its Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility the Al Futtaim Services Company will host and service a fleet of varied aircraft, including Airbus A319 Corporate Jets and Bombardier Global Express. Of its fleet of 12, four aircraft will initially be put into operation of one daily flight with the frequency increasing in the months ahead. Al Futtaim’s service offerings will include business jet charter, aircraft maintenance and aircraft management from its 6,000 square-metre facility at DWC.

Rashed Bu Qara’a, Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Aviation City Corporation said: “The launch of general aviation operations is a hugely significant milestone in the ongoing development of DWC and the long-term strategy to make Dubai a regional and international aviation and logistics hub. It is appropriate that an Al Futtaim aircraft has the honour of being the first passenger aircraft to land. In building a servicing facility at Dubai World Central, Al Futtaim clearly understands the unique advantages that DWC as an airport city has to offer.”

“The entry of the Al Futtaim Services Company into the general aviation segment is a key component of our long-term growth and expansion strategy,” said Omar Abdulla Al Futtaim, Vice Chairman of Al Futtaim Group. “We have carefully chosen a strong partner on our side and our long-term business relationship assures us of a great prospect for this exciting project. The unique capabilities available at DWC are a perfect fit with our plans to become a leading aviation services operator in this young and dynamic region.”

General aviation forms a significant part of Dubai Airports’ business with 22,500 movements recorded at Dubai International in 2010. The launch of services at DWC will lead to a gradual transitioning of general aviation operations to the new airport. Dubai Airports projects 25 to 40 movements per day at Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International by the end of 2011.