12 March 2012

Interview: H.E. Nadir Al Hammadi, Abu Dhabi Aviation

H.E. Nadir Ahmed Mohammed Al Hammadi, chairman of abu dhabi aviation, highlights another year of success for the group's helicopter, cargo and VVIP charter companies.

How would you summarise the history of Abu Dhabi Aviation?

Abu Dhabi Aviation was launched to provide the offshore oil industry with air support services in 1976. From humble beginnings, with only two helicopters in operation, our growth has been exponential over the past 35 years. Today, we are considered the largest commercial helicopter operator in the Middle East, with a current fleet of 54 helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft, while our global presence has also been expanded to cover five different continents around the world, including countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Brazil, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

How many flight hours have been achieved by the company to date?

Abu Dhabi Aviation was awarded a special plaque by Bell Helicopter after completing 700,000 helicopter flight hours and we're now approaching the 1,000,000 hours mark, in addition to 55,000 flight hours in fixed-wing aircraft. Due to the high-intensity of offshore oil support work, around 200,000 landings and takeoffs are required on an annual basis, while we transfer around 26,000 passengers and 162,00kgs of freight to and from offshore areas each month. Sustaining these impressive rates has required a high degree of dedication, commitment and professionalism on the part of the pilots, engineers and support staff.

Have you diversified into any other aviation-related markets at all?

Yes, diversification has played an important role in our development. For example, we entered the VVIP charter market with the establishment of Royal Jet, which is equally owned by Abu Dhabi Aviation and Presidential Flight, and we also acquired a 95 percent share in the dedicated cargo airline Maximus Air. Looking ahead, a joint venture has been finalised with Mubadala to launch a simulator centre in the second half of 2013, and we have partnered with helicopter manufacturer Augusta Westland to establish a joint venture for parts distribution, MRO and maintenance support.

How would you rate the financial performance of Abu Dhabi Aviation as a group of companies in 2011?

Our group turnover was AED1.82 billion for the 12-months ending 31st December 2011, marking a total increase of 10 percent over the 2010 figure of AED1.66 billion. The fourth quarter, between October and December 2011, was our strongest in terms of revenue. We also reported a 13 percent increase in the group's operating profit last year, which reached AED470.1 million, while our net profit increased by 22 percent to AED280.9 million.

Which of the three companies within Abu Dhabi Aviation Group performed the strongest last year?

As the parent company, Abu Dhabi Aviation registered a 0.30 percent increase in revenue levels for 2011, with a total of AED719.5 million. However, our 2010 results increased a one-off revenue settlement of AED134 million offset by fleet impairment of AED56 million, which increased our net profit by AED78 million for that year. If these adjustments were excluded, there would be a 22.8 percent revenue increase in 2011. Royal Jet's revenues were AED697.3 million last year, an impressive growth rate of 37 percent in comparison to 2010. And revenues at Maximus Air were AED407.4 million in 2011, approximately 5.47 percent lower than the previous year, although the net profit was actually 45.26 percent higher due to the sale of aircraft.