Fast 5: Royal Jet Unveils New Projects, Refurbishments
Husham Osman, Royal Jet’s technical director, talks with Aviation Week’s Lee Ann Shay on the sidelines of MRO Middle East about how the Abu Dhabi-based services company accelerated projects during the pandemic—including upgrading BBJs.
What changes has Royal Jet made during the pandemic?
During the pandemic, Royal Jet launched a brand transformation and customer experience project. This program involved upgrading aircraft, a new look for the FBO and new logo, livery and staff training. This will give Royal Jet a new look altogether.
The first project we launched immediately was to refurbish one of our Boeing BBJ aircraft, as well as install new connectivity, inflight entertainment (IFE) and lighting. We also upgraded connectivity on another BBJ, but that one had already been refurbished recently. We partnered with AMAC Aerospace in Switzerland to do those projects. We used Honeywell for the connectivity, True North for IFE and JCB Aero in southern France for interiors. JCB is a subsidiary of AMAC that we have worked with previously.
How much did all of this cost?
The refurbishment project and connectivity upgrades cost about $6 million for the two aircraft. The cargo project cost about $100,000 or so, but the pay back will be quick.
Can you tell me more about the BBJs?
One of the unique features of our BBJs is the multiple configuration options. We always have had the medivac configuration and high-low density configurations, but now we introduced the cargo configuration, which is useful to transport vaccines and medical equipment to the world. This is a project we launched during the pandemic, as well—in record time. It took about three months from the time we started until we finished, including getting the STC. Without the support of the OEMs and authorities, we couldn’t have done it. We really appreciate their efforts.
What does your fleet consist of, besides the two BBJs mentioned earlier?
We operate eight BBJs and two Bombardier Global 5000s. During the pandemic, one of the other projects we had been looking into, but then accelerated, was aircraft management. We signed up a BBJ to be managed by Royal Jet. The aircraft will be based in Europe.
Any other fleet changes?
We are always looking for aircraft. We’re looking for some to put under management and we’re looking to acquire used BJJs that could be certified for commercial operation. We are very active in the market. But of course it has to be the right aircraft and it has to fit our profile and customers’ requirements.