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in Air Transport / Business Aviation

MEBA2012: RizonJet cries foul over Doha customer refusals

Posted 12 December 2012 · Add Comment

Qatar's privately-owned VIP aviation company, RizonJet, is preparing to take the country's airport authority to court over a row about access by third-party operators to its luxury FBO at Doha Airport.

Hassan Al MousawiRizon’s chief executive, Hassan Al-Mousawi (pictured), said that the monopoly that sees Qatar Airways, business jet operator Qatar Executive, Doha airport and Qatar Aviation Services (QAS), under the same management, is hindering the Qatar government’s 2030 vision that called for a greater role for private enterprise in the growth of the Gulf state.
The issue came to a head last week when all third-party operators were refused permission to access the RizonJet FBO and sent, instead, to the Doha International ramp owned by the Qatar Airlines group.
“They have the upper hand,” Al-Mousawi said. “If it is a level playing field then competition is ok, but this is uneven. It is unfair competition.
“We are all for clean, healthy competition – that is what brings efficiency and raises standards. But in Qatar we have a world-class airline that also owns a private aviation business and the airport. If you look at the UAE you don’t see Emirates or Etihad owning a business aviation operation; in fact Etihad is very supportive of Royal Jet. When you have a delivery of a $250 million jet every two weeks you have no place in business jets.
“Our investors have spent a lot of money to provide a world class FBO and MRO operation and we have worked hard to show people the service we can deliver. Everybody that has visited the facility has been amazed.
“The Qatar 2030 vision encourages the private sector to be part of the growth of the country. We want to be part of that growth. That is why we invested in a highly volatile industry in an area that has a lot of challenges. Qatar is known for being number one and we want to be number one in FBO and MRO services, aircraft management and charter. But we are facing hindrances from a lower level.
“We are going to challenge them through the legal system if we are not being fairly treated.”
Al-Mousawi said RizonJet was aware of the exclusive deal the airport has with QAS for ground handling and is happy with QAS providing the under-the-wing services, catering, towing etc, but the agreement when Rizon first planned to build its multi-million FBO was that it could accept its own aircraft and those of third parties.
“We have tried to resolve the issue on an amicable basis but now we have to speak up and then go to court if we have to,” Al-Mousawi said.
RizonJet is still awaiting communication as to whether it will be allowed to move to the New Doha International Airport (NDIA), which was due to open today, but has been delayed until some time next year.
“If we can move to NDIA we will build something even better. We have already proven that the private sector is willing and capable of producing world-class facilities. If we stay at the existing airport we will continue to offer our customers the highest level of service… but only if we are allowed to do so.”


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