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Maximus Air Cargo concludes Dh350m deal for three aircraft.

Summary: ABU DHABI -- Abu Dhabi's Maximus Air Cargo has concluded a deal valuing Dh350 million to acquire three A300-600s aircrafts from Japan Airlines, which will be converted into freighters for induction into the service by July, a top official said.

ABU DHABI -- Abu Dhabi's Maximus Air Cargo has concluded a deal valuing Dh350 million to acquire three A300-600s aircrafts from Japan Airlines, which will be converted into freighters for induction into the service by July, a top official said.

Three planes each offering 48 metric tonnes of payload capacity and can fly 2,800 nautical miles, would greatly boost aircraft charter company's existing fleet comprising eight wide-body jumbos.

The charter company, setup in 2005, is involved in aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance or ACMI and wet leasing activities. The company is known for transporting outsized cargo, humanitarian aid, rapid response and live animals.

The aircraft, which are expected to receive in March, April and July, will be flown to Germany where EFW, the maintenance arm of Airbus Industrie, will carry-out the freighter configurations, making them available for induction into service in July, September and November this year, said Fathi Hilal Buhazza, President of Maximus Air Cargo, in a briefing to the media.

The president said "the acquisition will be funded by bank borrowing for which negotiations are under way with local and regional banks."

"The arrival of these aircraft, which were built in 2001 and 2002 and are the youngest ever to be converted from passenger planes to freighters, comes at an exciting time in the company's growth programme," he added.

The year 2010 saw 23 per cent year-on-year growth to 6,000 hours flown, as Maximus has deployed two aircraft that runs regular scheduled cargo flights on behalf of Etihad Crystal Cargo.

The company, which is in profit from the day one, said its growth exceed targets, despite the continuing tough economic conditions in 2010.

"Due to our steady and constant operations we realised a 16 per cent growth in 2010 over the previous year with a turnover of Dh430 million, " Buhazza said.

"The current year will be a year of growth at Maximus," the president said. However, no more acquisitions are planned for the year, he said, as focus will on hosting these aircraft.

About deployment of the new acquisition, the president said his priority would be to deploy the aircraft acquired with the national air carrier depending on their expansion plans. However," talks are underway with companies in the Middle East to host these aircraft."

Buhazza said the new aircraft would provide strategic support for the ambitious expansion plans which strengthens chartered company's positioning as the Middle East's largest all cargo operator.

"With the addition of these new cargo aircraft and more destinations, we can now offer cargo agents and freight forwarders a wider choice of cities for their shipments."

Maximus Air Cargo is a part of the ADA Group, and includes Royal Jet, the international luxury executive flight services company and Abu Dhabi Aviation, the largest commercial helicopter and fixed wing aircraft operator in the Middle East. -- haseeb@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jan 19, 2011
Words:529
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