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MixJet made flying simple, as the cause they work for - interview with Shukri Khalifa, Executive Vice President

Download: Printable PDF Date: 05 Jun 2024 16:05 (UTC) category:
MixJet made flying simple, as the cause they work for - interview with Shukri Khalifa, Executive Vice President - Business aviation publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: United Arab Emirates Aircraft: Airplanes

Founded more than 10 years ago, MixJet has firmly established its reputation within the aviation sector. Boasting a consistent record of success, MixJet emerged as an acknowledged leader in business aviation industry. A team of professionnals, passionate about creating a world, where international flights are as easy, cost-effective and enjoyable as possibleEBACE 2024 was a perfect opportunity to discuss business aviation trends and industry development with Shukri Khalifa, MixJet Executive Vice President . 

T.O. Glad to meet you! 

S.K. The pleasure is mine. 

T.O. EBACE is the place where we usually look back at the previous year, what was the main trend, how it was, and we are looking forward and speaking about what we are awaiting from this year. So, how it was the year 2023 for MixJet?

S.K. 2023 was quite phenomenal for MixJet in terms of sales, revenues and of course, growth. So, in 2023, for example, we had a significant offering of our services that includes all kind of services, whether it's fueling, ground handling, permits and concierge and travel management as well. Coming to EBACE is very important for us because we want to be here in the European market. A big segment of our operators comes from the European market, and we want to be present to show that we are here to connect with them, to share the latest trends with them and of course to see their feedback firsthand. So, we don't have to do it over the phone or by emails. It's totally different, you know, personal touch. First hours of EBACE, first feedback, first hours because you see immediately if it's warm, if people are there, if they are happy customers. I can tell you from our own experience, we see that people are happy. Of course, this year has been quite significant in terms of global market increasing global business. Aviation in Europe is the second largest market for, for business evolution. So, people, of course they are interested in coming here to deal with MixJet This year, for instance, we started our own podcast to hear the stories. 

T.O. Yes, yes, exactly. We were not invited yet:) So I will ask for next year.

S.K. You will be our special guest. But for now, what we are trying to do is to bring the stories of people, the success stories, how they see the aviation industry in the upcoming years, and to have more insights on the gritty details of each single operator. So that's what we're trying to do. And of course, the main business, as we always do, is to connect with people. Connectivity is essential when it comes to exhibitions.

T.O. I have to be honest, when we talk about MixJet the first what I'm thinking about is fueling service. I had to go through the list and see what else you were doing. Do you think that EBACE will be a platform where a lot of your customers will discover your additional services? And what are more challenging, of all you have, what do you want to develop more? 

S.K. Yeah, we hear that a lot. You know that MixJet is associated to fueling. Yes, and it's undoubtedly one of the most successful offerings of MixJet. In 2023 we managed to deliver over 61 million liters of Jet1 to our customers. But we are not limited to that. It's funny part that when you're good at something, people only naturally associate you to that part. But no, actually MixJet has a lot of capabilities, including, as I said, ground handling permits, concierge, travel management. And if we look at the numbers, because numbers don't lie... The second largest offering is ground handling and permits. For example, if you look at the ground handling, we managed to serve over 2800 aircrafts handling totally by MixJet. Permits for example, we obtained over 3500 permits over fly. Yes, yes. So, of course we are capable of doing a lot and that's what we want to educate our clients. The most challenging part would be permits, of course, but with the wide network, MixJet has a lot of CAAs FBOs, we can provide it in the fast manner. And a lot of our operators, they rely on MixJet because we are really powerful in that essence. Whether it's Africa, Middle east, you name the region. Very easy and complicated question at the same time. 

T.O. If I would ask your clients to describe MixJet in two essential words, what do you think it can be? 

S.K. Well, I could say excellence, but nowadays I hate this word. It's used as a compliment, but for me it's a bit cliche So I prefer to say client-oriented company where we take care of the needs of every single operator who's dealing with MixJet. And second most important factor is convenience So client oriented, convenience our logo that is driven from convenience. Flying made simple. We believe that simplicity is the key. Those operators, what they're looking for an easy, seamless experience and we want to make it happen for them. So, we tell them, come to MixJet, don't care about anything, we'll give you a headache free experience. And we will be at the forefront for every single request you send, we will go above and beyond. So that's what we do. 

T.O. It's simple for your client, but they have no idea what it's behind the scenes. And if sometimes it's complicated, they will have no idea? 

S.K. Exactly, exactly. That's what we make sure that for every single request it's all about that We take care of their needs and we even go an extra mile, even without them asking. We do it and then we tell them, look we did that on your behalf without you even noticing They're very happy. 

T.O. So,in fact, you're reading the mind of your, client in a way.... 

S.K. Exactly and doing even what they would think on the next level. That's what we aim always Like, for every single request, we make sure that we get ready, all our staff are ready on that level, that we have this request, whether it's to a European country or African, or Asian And we take care of the measures that, because every single, every different country has its own regulations and we have the know-how, so we offer it to the client without even them thinking about it.

T.O. Your main goals for year 2024? 

S.K. Of course, we want to solidify our presence in emerging markets. For example, Africa is one of them. And in some European countries, more and more requests are coming. We want to be there for our clients, having our own offices, so they know that it's not only remote location. No, we are there, we have our own regional office. Important for us focusing on sustainability, because now it's a big concern on the market. So MixJet wants to be sustainable in our practices. Last year, for example, we started the green horizon initiative we want to reduce the carbon footprint by 2030 or 30%. And of course, we have other secrets. For example, I can tell you one, because you're so special for us. Next year, we believe that MixJet would be visiting EBACE and attending with a different portfolio of services. One of them is our own charter services with our own aircraft. 

T.O. A big announcement indeed and I'm very much looking forward. My last question would be simple: do you think that sustainable aviation is in a way becoming more and more efficient in everyday practice? 

S.K. Of course! And one more factor that people need to understand when it comes to efficiency also is the cost. Unfortunately, now, to be efficient, you must have lower cost. Comparing sustainable aviation fuel to SAF to normal prices, it's much double, sometimes the price So they are working on that We have multiple partnerships with different fuel suppliers around the world, and it's all about how they present it. Sometimes the way it's marketed. It's only about the eco-friendly factor, which is also very important, but it's also about what you can do. Meaning that sustainability is a behavior we see. It's not only about the cost, but also the behavior, because what we want to offer to planet Earth and very important factor is reducing the carbon footprint in business aviation and the commercial aviation as well. So, day by day, we see that there's improvement in the efficiency, the way they promote this product, but it needs more time. And they're getting to that point, I believe, so. 

T.O. I will be forced to get ready to EBACE 2025 to see MixJet at the next level. But just to let you know, we will be pleased to share your news and updates during this year 2024 yet. 

S.K. Of course. And we are happy that you are one of the first platforms to share this big announcement. Because you deserve it. And we know how powerful are 50skyshades. 

T.O. Thank you! We just try to do our best being a little bit different Yes. And that's it. 

S.K. As I always say, every human is unique in their own way. And Tatiana, you are unique, of course. 

T.O. Thank you very much and have a great show! 

S.K. Thank you for coming. 

Related event:
Switzerland, Geneva, Palexpo: Route François-Peyrot 30, CH-1218 Grand-Saconnex Geneva, Switzerland.

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