Air Arabia will operate an additional 14 shuttle flights per day from Sharjah to Doha. Etihad Airways will operate 42 weekly flights during the event, compared to 18 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Doha currently. Budget airline flydubai will do most of the heavy lifting with around 60 daily shuttle flights.
Jetex isn’t the only private jet company preparing for the event. DC Aviation Al-Futtaim (DCAF) is also working to enhance its ability to meet the expected increase in demand. “We are facing a constant level of inquiries about travel from Dubai to Doha,” said Holger Ostheimer, managing director of DC Aviation Al-Futtaim. “DCAF will offer capacities on various sizes of aircraft, from small business jets with 4-6 seats to more cost-conscious customers, as well as in the larger business jets class with 12-16 seats.”
Ostheimer said rental demand has been strong, with much of the entertainment traffic returning.
Typically, for a small group of four to six passengers traveling on a private jet for the World Cup period, the cost can range from $18,000 (about Dh66,000) upwards one way depending on the type and size of the aircraft.
Regular commercial flights from Dubai to Doha will cost passengers between Dh1,000 to Dh4,000 during that period. A business class seat can cost up to 12,000 dirhams.
Traveling on a business jet will be interesting in terms of price as well as allowing passengers to travel when they need to
– Holger Ostheimer of DC Aviation Al-Futtaim
While fuel prices affect margins for commercial airlines, the impact on business aviation is minimal. Jetex’s Mardini noted that commercial jets require far more fuel than business jets. The Bombardier Global 5000, one of the largest private jets, has an hourly fuel burn of 450 gallons per hour. The Airbus A380 – the largest commercial airliner – can burn up to 3,600 gallons in one hour.
“Commercial airliners have to fill 60-70 per cent of seats just for a breakeven point, while in private aviation, everything is demand driven,” he added.
The fuel costs will be adjusted in flight fares, DC Aviation said, adding that the increase would be “small”.
The CEO of Jetex does not expect commercial aviation to return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2025 or 2026. This is mainly due to staffing issues faced by airlines in the UK and Europe.
“This is a huge advantage for our industry because people will still have to travel in private jets to avoid last-minute cancellations, delays and baggage loss,” Mardini said. Airlines also continue to be affected by the epidemic and high fuel prices.