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Bermuda-certified private jet service gets licence exemption

A Boeing Business Jet, such as the one added to the growing fleet of managed aircraft of the Abu Dhabi owned and operated, RoyalJet in 2021

The Bermuda subsidiary of a luxury private aviation company based in Abu Dhabi has been granted an air transport licence exemption for specified charter flights.

RoyalJet Bermuda was allowed the exception for journeys where separate fares are not charged for each passenger.

Tariq Lynch-Wade, the director of operations at the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority, said that the exemption was further justified because the aircraft does not operate to and from the island.

He explained: “Any time an operator of an aircraft – that wants to carry passengers or cargo for hire or reward – wants to establish business in Bermuda, they’re required to have what’s called an air transport licence.

“That licence is really a financial fitness test.

“It’s to ensure that the public interests of the country – in this case Bermuda – would be protected; so passengers wouldn’t be stranded in an outstation somewhere, should the airplane become grounded because of maintenance – things of that nature.”

Mr Lynch-Wade added: “RoyalJet Bermuda, they are a company that does not operate into and out of Bermuda.”

He said it was not deemed to be in the public interest for the company to go through the process.

Mr Lynch-Wade added: “It’s really just a formality that they would not have to undergo the specific financial fitness test.”

He explained that the air service was described as “sole-use charter”.

Mr Lynch-Wade said: "Basically they’re VIP operations, so there are specific clientele that would actually charter their operator.

“But because they also don’t operate out of Bermuda, that further exacerbates the reason not to have to issue this licence to them.“

A notice from the Minister of Transport published in the Official Gazette said that the Civil Aviation (Air Transport Licensing) Act 2007 provided that no aircraft was to fly with passengers or cargo for reward “unless the operator holds an air transport licence and complies with the terms of the licence”.

It added: “This provision applies to any flight in any part of the world by an aircraft registered in Bermuda and any flight, which begins or ends in Bermuda, by an aircraft not registered in Bermuda.”

But the notice said that the relevant Cabinet minister can allow for the rule to be lifted from a flight or series of flights.

It added that the prohibition was not applied to “all sole-use charter flights operated by RoyalJet Bermuda Limited”.

Mr Lynch-Wade explained that a sole-use charter flight is one where the fare is determined by the cost of using the aircraft “and as such, there are no individual fares charged per passenger”.

He added: “The above is the reason for the exemption.

“The fact that the aircraft does not operate to and from Bermuda justifies further support in granting the exemption.”

The RoyalJet Group announced last year that it was granted an air operator certificate by the BCAA.

A statement in July 2021 said: “The granting of this certificate – the first AOC to be issued to the group outside the UAE – allows RoyalJet Bermuda to conduct commercial operations on Bermuda registered aircraft managed by the company.”

Rob DiCastri, RoyalJet’s chief executive officer, added: “The first aircraft to be operated by RoyalJet Bermuda under this AOC will be a European based Boeing Business Jet we’ve recently added to our fleet which was already Bermuda registered.

“This new addition marks an historic moment in our operations, as we are now managing this asset for a private owner and select charter customers.”

RoyalJet is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

It is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi Aviation and the Presidential Flight Authority, the royal flight service.

Mr Lynch-Wade said an exemption was also made in 2008 for Longtail Aviation.

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Published May 21, 2022 at 7:37 am (Updated May 21, 2022 at 7:37 am)

Bermuda-certified private jet service gets licence exemption

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