2016 proved to be yet another high-flying year for Falcon Aviation, exceeding numerous targets the Company had set for itself previously; the success of which lying within its ability to provide a world-class service to all customers.
LIFTING YOU TOWARDS SUCCESS
With oil prices dropping last year, Falcon Aviation employed effective and admirable teamwork in order to aid some of its main customers in the oil & gas industries. Working closely with ADMA and TOTAL, Falcon Aviation was subsequently able to move through this difficult period, evolving and strengthening its status as a major player in the UAE ADNOC Operations.
“We have provided continuous support to ADMA, with efficient 19-seater state-of-the-art AW189s and a large proportion of our fleet of Bell 412s,” explains Captain Ramandeep Oberoi, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Falcon Aviation. “We have also brought in AW169 in order to successfully make the TOTAL operations compliant with their rigorous safety requirements.
“It gives us great pride to be the first offshore operator of AW 169s in the world and we have also supported TOTAL and Wintershall Operations with our second AW189.”
Falcon Aviation’s two Dash 8 Q400 NG remain the backbone of ADNOCs operations for Das and Zirku islands, with Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Airport continuing to grow as the main hub for these operations.
A huge part of the Company’s success and continuous work with big-name clients is down to its high achievement record. A prime example of this can be seen when looking at the Company’s key performance indicators (KPI) for last year where it achieved 97 percent. ADNOC is now engaging the Company in weekly flights from Ras Al Khaima Airport for its Northern Emirate’s passengers.
“As a Company we are incredibly focused on expanding our existing projects,” continues Oberoi. “In 2015 we started the Qazaq Air Project in record time with three Q 400 NG, and one and a half years down the line, our aims to make Qazaq Air’s airline operations self-sufficient have been achieved. This has enabled us to focus our efforts on maintenance support for the airline, which will continue in the coming years.”
SETTING THE PRECEDENT
This year will see exciting movement for the Company, with a particular focus on project expansion of its oil & gas helicopter support operations in the UAE with a view to branch out to other countries in time.
“We have already set an exemplary precedent with the success displayed in the steady growth of business jet MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services in the Al Bateen Airport,” adds Oberoi. “We are confident that this programme will be effectively replicated in our Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) project, located within our state-of-the-art 18,000 square metre hangar facility.”
Finding pockets in the market that hold potential for growth is pivotal to the Company strategically, and Dubai in particular has offered a lot of potential for growth in various segments.
“For three years running, we have successfully operated tour rides in Dubai in collaboration with Alpha tours. This business has grown steadily over the years and we expect this pattern of growth to continue,” affirms Oberoi. “This year has also seen us achieve a pivotal milestone for the Company – the certification of the Atlantis helipad – which will go a long way in helping us achieve our goals in and around Dubai.”
Falcon Aviation follows strategic approaches with a proven track record of success; a prime example of this is being demonstrated at DWC where the Company followed a three-pronged approach.
“It was a very exciting time as we were able to establish a 1,000 square metre Luxurious FBO (fixed-base operations) facility at the Dubai South VIP terminal in a short time” summarises Oberoi. “The facility was inaugurated on 19 December, 2016 by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO of the Emirates Group, along with our esteemed Chairman, Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and our Vice Chairman and CEO Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan.
“Another of our aims for our VIP business jet customers of FBO (fixed-base operations) at DWC is to provide our VIP helicopters – from the newly certified heliport on the land side of our FBO – to proceed to their destinations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.”
Additionally, Falcon Aviation will be providing line maintenance and handling at DWC for its jets, and upon completion of its hangar facilities the Company will be providing hangarage and MRO services to business jets.
Falcon Aviation has also taken a variety of audit findings and used them to restructure its quality and safety departments. This will go a long way in enhancing the efficiencies of the Company.
MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND OVERHAUL
Bearing in mind the importance of MRO for both efficiency and maintenance of Falcon Aviation’s helicopters and fixed wing fleet, the Company formed a team to restructure the maintenance department, in order to further grow its MRO and aircraft management for third party aircraft projects.
“Our new structure is being implemented as we speak and I am confident in the fact that this will improve our MRO performance,” Oberoi describes. “The key factor has been the creation of our planning department, to ensure the proper planning and monitoring of manpower and material which is crucial to our MRO activity, and with the help of the upgrade of our software systems, we will be able to monitor and control man-hours, job card and costs to the Company.”
It is increasingly important for a Company of Falcon Aviation’s size to continue to innovate and find new avenues. Recent months have seen Falcon Aviation forging new and exciting partnerships with TDIC and the Abu Dhabi Government, both of which are in the pursuit of enabling growth in tourism activities both in and around Abu Dhabi and the Western Region, with a special focus on Sir Bani Yas Island and Ruwais.
Oberoi concludes: “We are hoping to provide both TDIC and the Abu Dhabi Government with helicopters and fixed wing services as the partnership grows and evolves; it’s an exciting avenue for us and something we hope to see grow as we move through the year.”