Hangar management key to ExecuJet growth

ExecuJet MRO Services' new facility at Al Maktoum International Airport will support and cater to the growth of business aviation in the region.


Nick Weber

Nick Weber: "Our internship programme leverages off the local UAE aerospace universities and colleges to attract fresh talent." Picture: ExecuJet

ExecuJet MRO Services (ExecutJet) has seen a lot of growth since it started operations at Dubai International Airport (DXB) over two decades ago.

Now the MRO facility, which specialises in airframe maintenance and has the capability to support nearly all types of business jets, including Dassault, Bombardier, and Hawker, has expanded by launching a new certified heavy maintenance facility at Dubai South’s Al Maktoum International Airport (OMDW).

Nick Weber, regional VP Middle East of ExecuJet says it is designed to meet the projected growth in business aviation in the region and beyond. The hangar can accommodate up to 16-20 mid to large size business jets at a time, including the very largest Dassault business jets - Falcon 6X and Falcon 10X.

“The MRO facility is 15,350 m2, and is replete with large hangar space, additional back offices, workshops, and storage areas,” explained Weber. “The hangar floor space is 8,300 m2. We have grown the hangar space by about 1,200 m2, but a key difference is that our operations will all be under one roof, as opposed to being split between two hangars that we previously occupied at DXB.

“We have gained an additional 3,100m2 of workshop space which we will utilise to expand our MRO shop capabilities. Whilst we had workshops at our previous DXB facilities - for wheels, batteries, avionics, and NDT - with this incremental space, we can now expand on these capabilities even further.”

Weber says having a heavy maintenance capability will support the increased business aviation in the region.

“Business aviation in this region is stronger than ever,” he said. “The vast majority of those who migrated to business aviation during pandemic continue to fly on business jets today – it provides travellers with greater convenience and flexibility, and this was instrumental in revival of the sector. This uptick resulted in large orders for business jets which manufacturers will continue to deliver over the coming years which has also driven strong demand for pre-owned aircraft."

He added: “Prior to the Dassault Aviation acquisition of ExecuJet MRO Services in 2019, we had never worked on heavy maintenance type aircraft  here in Dubai, but now as a factory-owned Dassault MRO, we have gained approval to undertake heavy maintenance work on various Falcon aircraft. With this ramp up, Falcons now account for over 30% of our business."

"As we grow the business, this will necessitate recruiting around an additional 50 technically skilled personnel, the majority being from within region. A vast number of new employees will include fresh graduates onboarded via our internship programme that gives local students hands-on aircraft maintenance experience enabling them to progress further with their chosen career paths.”

Weber said the growth of business aviation MRO depends on having a this steady stream of new talent coming into the industry, as well as the region

“Our internship programme leverages off the local UAE aerospace universities and colleges to attract fresh talent. We started this in 2016 and to date we have had 67 interns through our ranks, 21 of which I am pleased to say, have taken up permanent employment with us, whilst others have gone on to fulfil their ambitions elsewhere within the industry.”

Weber said the new facility has a lot of projects on, including preparing for the 6X which is due to enter service ‘very soon.’ “We have been acquiring tooling and spare parts for the aircraft and have sent four engineers overseas for maintenance training on the Falcon 6X,’ he said.

“We are also looking to support many other OEM types like Bombardier, Embraer, and Hawker business jets, as well as working with cabin interior specialist F/List in Dubai to provide cabin refurbishment and have developed limited paint capability.”

Marcelle (Ella) Nethersole

Marcelle (Ella) Nethersole

Ella is a news editor for digital news channels including Arabian Aerospace, African Aerospace and Times Aerospace TV.