Gama Aviation FZE opened its exclusive executive terminal (FBO) at Sharjah International Airport, creating a full service private aviation hub serving Sharjah, Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
The new facility, which is the latest stage of development by Gama Aviation, its investors including Crescent Enterprises, Growthgate Capital, and Sharjah’s Department of Civil Aviation, was inaugurated by H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani during an evening ceremony held after the Isha prayer.
The facility at Sharjah International Airport is already performing above its target for weekly movements as operators and owners seek to cut the transit time of principals and crew to the Northern Emirates.
H.E. Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Airport Authority, remarked, “Sharjah is getting increasingly popular for general aviation and business jet operators, given its uncongested ease of operations and speedy processes. Our partnership with Gama Aviation and their initiative in providing a world class executive terminal, at Sharjah International Airport, further enhances this reputation, thereby contributing to fulfilling Sharjah’s aspiration of a premier private aviation hub in the region.”
Marwan Khalek, CEO of Gama Aviation added, “We have long seen the strategic potential of Sharjah as a private aviation hub. Our new lounge facility complements our dedicated hangars, maintenance facilities and fuel services. Phase two is to commence shortly with the development of a new hangar which will incorporate an expanded maintenance facility as well as a much needed increase in aircraft storage capacity.”
Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises, also a Gama Aviation shareholder, highlighted the importance of the new terminal to Sharjah. “Over the last decade, Sharjah has developed into an internationally recognised hub for low-cost aviation and air freight. Much less well known is the extent of the airport’s private aviation operations, which will be given a further boost with the opening of the new Gama Aviation terminal. Furthermore, it will help grow Sharjah’s aviation economy by creating new employment opportunities and upskilling the region’s talent.”
Karim Souaid, Managing Partner of the specialist private equity firm Growthgate Capital, a shareholder in Gama Aviation’s MENA business replies: “As Marwan explained, there are strong growth opportunities for Sharjah. With Dubai International Airport closing a runway and restricting slots to private aviation during the past few months, and Dubai World Central still starting up, Sharjah Airport and the facilities offered by Gama Aviation have become a natural choice for those requiring to access the Northern Emirates quickly and effectively.”
Although today marks the ceremonial opening of the facility, the lounge has been fully operational since June 15. Feedback from principals, their entourages and flight crew has been “incredible” according to Richard Lineveldt, General Manager, Gama Aviation MENA. He continued: “We have a world-class product, with a great strategic location. Downtown Dubai is a mere 30 minutes away. We have few slot or airways restrictions, facilitated by our strong relationship with Sharjah Aviation Authority and Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation. This translates into tangible client benefits, particularly speed and privacy, that few others can match.”
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