DC Aviation Al-Futtaim marks its first decade of operation in 2023. Managing Director Holger Ostheimer shares some highlights
A joint venture between Stuttgart-based DC Aviation GmbH and Dubai-based Al-Futtaim, DC Aviation Al-Futtaim (DCAF) is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its operations in 2023. Holger Ostheimer, Managing Director at DCAF, explains: “Over the past decade, the Dubai operation has passed several significant milestones, including the September 2013 completion of our purpose-built integrated hangar facility with lounge and office areas. This made it the first fully integrated business aviation operation at the then-newly opened Al Maktoum International Airport, located at Dubai South.”
He notes further cause for celebration too, including the DC Aviation Group’s 25th anniversary and its 15th year of operations in Malta. “We have big plans for a celebration at the Dubai Airshow, with details to be revealed shortly.”
The DCAF facility includes two dedicated hangars, measuring a total of more than 13,500m2, and a 13,500m2 ramp. A 1,300m2 lounge provides the highest levels of comfort and privacy, with shower areas, a conference room and covered parking, while refurbishment of the VVIP lounges was recently completed.
Maintenance and management
DCAF obtained its Aircraft Operator Certificate in 2015 and is EASA Part 145 certified. It offers line and base maintenance and recently received International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) Stage 3 certification for aircraft and passenger handling services, making it one of only two FBOs in the Middle East to achieve this level of certification. “It verifies that safety management activities are fully integrated into the business and that a positive safety culture is being sustained. We received our Stage 1 certification in May 2019 and Stage 2 in January 2021,” Ostheimer adds.
DCAF’s maintenance capabilities include approvals for the entire scope of A320 Family, Bombardier Global Express/XRS/500, Challenger 604/605, and Global 6000 and Global 5000 Vision flight deck work, plus line maintenance for the Dassault Falcon 7X. A newly added wheel shop has extended Dubai South’s maintenance provision, while DCAF recently passed another significant milestone on completion of its first 60-month check on a Global 6000.
“Owned by a private customer, the aircraft underwent its first heavy maintenance check at DCAF’s hangar at Al Maktoum International Airport,” says Ostheimer. “The largest maintenance inspection yet undertaken by the DCAF team, it involved more than 2,000 man-hours and adept management of logistical challenges with the support of local and overseas partners.”
Alongside its FBO and maintenance operation, DCAF offers a comprehensive, tailored aircraft management service, including CAMO, maintenance, ground handling and marketing. Global 7500, 6000 and 5000 jets have so far joined the managed portfolio in 2023, Ostheimer reporting: “We have steadily grown our managed fleet over the years and currently manage 11 aircraft from our base at Dubai South. We have a single point of contact with a dedicated account manager for each customer, ensuring the highest levels of service.” If none of the managed fleet is suitable or available for a charter, then DCAF’s network provides access to a fleet in excess of 7,000 aircraft globally.
Companies and individuals looking to purchase an aircraft may engage DCAF’s consulting service which takes a comprehensive approach to ensure the best outcome. Ostheimer says the first step is for the director of sales to carefully assess the client’s specific requirements and preferences before presenting a selection of aircraft options aligned with the client’s needs and tailored to match size, range, features, budget and other parameters.
“Once the client has made a shortlist, our dedicated team conducts a thorough evaluation of each option. This considers factors including performance, maintenance history, regulatory compliance and cost. Ultimately, the team presents the client with a final recommendation. Our goal is to leverage our expertise and industry insights to facilitate a streamlined and informed decision-making process for clients looking to acquire the ideal aircraft.”
Having established high standards across its diverse organisation in just ten years, DCAF continues its strive for excellence. Considering the past decade, Ostheimer says: “We take great pride in the journey we have taken. From day one, we were confident in Al Maktoum International Airport’s tremendous potential to develop as a key hub for business and private aviation. We feel privileged to be a partner in the continuous progress of the UAE’s expanding aviation industry and look forward to continuing to serve our clients with best-in-class services.