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Empire Aviation Group expands aircraft management operations.

Empire Aviation Group, the Dubai-based general aviation company, has added three aircraft to its managed fleet of executive jets, bringing the total fleet size to 23 – one of the largest mixed fleets of executive jets in the region. The company is focusing on developing its aircraft management operation, with a view to extending this service to aircraft (and owners) based beyond the UAE; currently, EAG`s managed fleet of executive jets operates from Dubai International Airport. The latest aircraft to join EAG`s managed fleet are a new Bombardier Global Express XRS; an Embraer Legacy 600; and a Hawker 900XP.The Bombardier Global Express is an ultra long range corporate and VIP high speed jet aircraft for which EAG also managed the delivery on behalf of a private owner. All three aircraft are under management with EAG and the Embraer Legacy 600 and Hawker 900XP will further complement its diverse fleet, which is open to the regional and international charter market through EAG`s executive jet charter service. EAG will manage the Bombardier Global XRS for the private use of its owner. Paras Dhamecha, Executive Director at Empire Aviation Group, commented: “It is very gratifying that aircraft owners are entrusting their very valuable aviation assets to us; we believe this is a reflection of the distinctive asset management approach we take to aircraft ownership and management, which has led to our fleet continuing to grow through the recession. We launched the company in 2007 with just two aircraft and we expect our fleet to grow to 25 by the end of 2010. Our business model is working well and we now plan to extend our aircraft management services outside the UAE, so that our owners have a choice of where to base their asset, as well as to grow our business internationally.” Empire Aviation Group`s `one-stop shop` approach to private aviation means the company can help a buyer or an owner search, acquire, finance, manage, operate and charter a business jet. “Our business and operations have also grown substantially year on year, even through the global economic crisis, which had a major impact on private aviation,” added Mr Dhamecha. “In fact, our model works just as well in these conditions, when aircraft owners are looking to optimise their investments/assets. It has also been a great time to acquire a business jet, with depressed valuations in recent months but which are now starting to recover, as finance becomes easier although with more stringent due diligence applied by lenders. The same is true of our charter business, which can help owners offset some of the standing costs of maintaining a business jet; our charter business started to recover at the end of 2009 and this momentum has been sustained through the first half of 2010.”