June 19 - Air Charter International (ACI), the Dubai-based aircraft charter and leasing company, is experiencing an upward trend in the number of charters involving unusual or complicated requirements, along with an increase in charter requests from the A
"Business is up by 20 percent compared with this time last year in this particular segment of the market and we've seen charter requests from the African continent raise by 25 percent" said Caroline Jongma, Charter Sales at ACI.
Recently, ACI was responsible for the urgent delivery of two hydraulic cylinders from Amsterdam to Dubai (pictured below). This is the second time that ACI has been involved in this specific type of charter with the first being dispatched last year. To manage the charter ACI project manager Ian McEwan was dispatched to the Netherlands where the cargo was originating. He advised on how to construct cradles for the cylinders to prevent them falling through the aircraft floor and was on site to ensure safe loading. An Emirates Sky cargo nose loader 747-400freighter carried the shipment on a seven hour journey from Holland to the UAE.
"Handling cylinders that are over 11 m long, weighing over 36 tons, and of extremely high value requires specific expertise to handle," added Ms Jongma. "Ian was the perfect man for the job and we utilised his knowledge and wealth of charter experience to deliver an extremely challenging load."
ACI has been working with outsized charter for over 20 years as it regularly ships machinery and equipment for the oil trade to Nigeria, Angola and Sudan. This year however it has seen an increase in business charter from the African continent.
"We believe the higher demand is resulting from businesses realising that executive charters, as well as cargo charters, are valuable tools that can underpin their day to day work. Passengers can land conveniently close to their destination, some of which are quite remote, at the time that they want, with the people they need to be with, which is valuable from a security perspective for the region."
ACI anticipates that the African continent will become an increasingly important source of business, particularly for reliable, well maintained and secure charter aircraft.