Asyad Aviation Holdings, the aviation arm of Asyad Holding Group, has significant investments in numerous aviation services companies that span the spectrum of the industry. The synergistic nature of its holdings is a manifestation of the Asyad business philosophy, and the diversity of local holdings reflects a local environment that is encouraging the growth of the business aviation industry. Asyad Aviation’s diverse but integrated portfolio reflects the group’s desire to build a rational and efficient aviation industry. Asyad’s investments in international aviation concerns, particularly its landmark investment in the Swiss-based, PrivatAir (2009), one of the world’s most successful and respected scheduled services operations, laid the groundwork for broadening Asyad’s aviation portfolio in Saudi Arabia. With PrivatAir as the division’s foundation, Asyad established PrivatAir Saudi Arabia (PASA), to establish a firm foothold in the GCC’s growing business aviation market. In July 2015, in a very significant development for both the Aviation Division and the Group as a whole, Asyad took a major position in Saudia Private Aviation (SPA), the business aviation arm of national carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines. Through Asyad’s involvement, SPA is expected to increase the size of its fleet while managing third-party aircraft and growing the business through strategic partnerships and increased efficiency.
Today, Asyad is a major investor in numerous aviation concerns, locally, regionally and internationally. The philosophy driving investment in aviation reflects that of the Group’s other investment activity. Potential investments are analyzed in terms of their potential contributions to the group, as well as in terms of how the group can contribute to and whether it meets the criteria as a suitable technical complement to Asyad’s business expertise.
This approach has led to positions in Beirut-based Lebanese Air Transport (LAT), a charter carrier and ground services company; Beirut Wings Aviation Academy (BWAA), a pilot training academy and ancillary services outfit in Beirut; and Rabigh Wings Aviation Academy (RWAA), a pilot training school near Jeddah contracted to train pilots for Saudi Arabian Airlines.
With holdings in ground services, fueling, charters, flight schools and MRO’s, Asyad maintains positions in the full spectrum of business aviation services. Its success in all of these sectors, most notably, PASA’s fast track to profitability, has allowed Asyad to build an impressive reputation and made it a first contact for RFPs for new operations, both private and public.
Asyad Holding’s first foray into the aviation industry was an investment in the Swiss-held PrivatAir, well-known for its profitability and growth and regarded as a global leaders in business aviation and a trend-setter in aviation service standards. PrivatAir comprises three divisions: Scheduled Services (long-term contracts to handle certain routes for Lufthansa, KLM, Swiss Air, Gulf Air and ECair), Business Aviation (aircraft management, charter, sales, fueling and other ground services) and PrivatTraining. PrivatAir employs 425 people and operates from bases in Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Zurich and Brazzaville.
A true success story, PASA has become a benchmark in the development of the private aviation industry in Saudi Arabia. Established in 2011, PASA owns and operates five aircraft and offers aircraft management, charter, sales, purchase and consulting services. Plans call for the establishment of an FBO at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, which will offer aircraft and passenger handling, aircraft maintenance, training and catering services.
Asyad recently assumed a significant position in the private aviation arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines, the Kingdom’s national carrier. Through a five-year strategic plan, the new partnership will increase business in the GCC and the Middle East. Plans call for increasing the number of owned aircraft, managing aircraft owned by other companies and providing ground services.
LAT is a licensed charter airline and ground handling company registered in Beirut and operating at the Lebanese capital’s Rafik Hariri International Airport. LAT services leading regional and international airlines flying into and out of Beirut, and provides a full range of traffic services in addition to operating a 24-hour VIP passenger lounge for first- and business-class passengers. LAT’s freight division handles all incoming and outgoing shipments, and its engineering and line maintenance division provides a full array of ground support services. The aircraft services division provides interior cleaning services for aircraft.
Saudi Arabia’s first flight school is located on the Red Sea coast north of Jeddah and currently offers 15 single- and multi-engine fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft for those seeking a full-range of pilot licenses and accreditation. RWAA has contracted with Saudi Arabian Airlines to train 25 pilots a year. Other top students remain with the academy to train incoming candidates. RWAA plans to introduce helicopter pilot training in the near future as well as expanding its fleet of fixed-wing aircraft.
BWAA is a pilot training academy licensed by the Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority and offering courses for Private Pilot License (PPL), Instrument Training (IT) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL). BWAA also conducts English language training as a pre-requisite to pilot training programs. Beyond its training activities, BWAA operates discovery flights for tourists and provides hangarage at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport. Asyad Aviation Holdings owns 60% of Beirut Wings.
This joint venture with the petroleum powerhouse Petronas Malaysia – ranked on Fortune’s Global 500 as the 68th largest company in the world in 2014 with revenue of US$100.6 billion – was established to provide aviation fueling services at all civil, military, domestic and international airports across Saudi Arabia. The company is GACA-approved to engage in airport fuel depot operations, into-plane fueling services, aviation gas and importation of spare parts for aircraft and aviation fuels and derivatives.
Based in Riyadh, Al Salam is a Boeing subsidiary authorized to perform maintenance and repairs on Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Handling both military and civil aircraft, Al Salam is contracted to perform work on the entire Royal Saudi Air Force fleet, including its F15 fighter jets, and has contracts with commercial aircraft, as well.
Based in Geneva, PrivatPort is an executive aviation handling company specializing in the exclusive private jet handling business. It works with partners to provide comprehensive services to its very discerning clientele, including flight planning and rostering, airport handling, limousine services, catering, safety measures, security services and a wide array of VIP services. PrivatPort is jointly owned by PrivatAir and Swissport.