Abouzeid has founded two successful aviation companies in the US, including Macair Inc., which is headquartered in California and offers worldwide aircraft charters, sales, and management. Since Macair Flight Support started operations as an exclusive private flight support provider at Erbil International Airport (EIA) in 2011, it has raised the standards in private aircraft services in Kurdistan. To Macair’s leadership, that goal relies most heavily on one key element– the quality of the firm’s staff. “In order to raise the bar, we felt that you have to first bring in a good team and continually train them to make them better,” says Abouzeid.
As part of its efforts to redefine standards for private aircraft services, Macair has outlined ambitious plans to expand operations at EIA. Most notably, the company intends to construct a fixed-base operation that will allow Macair to offer an array of aviation services including state-of-the-art facilities, VIP lounges, crew rest areas, 24/7 passenger concierge services, aircraft fueling, light maintenance, aircraft charters, and aircraft sales and acquisitions. Macair’s planned facilities will also provide hangars to protect private aircraft from the extreme weather of the summer and winter months in Kurdistan. At the moment, Macair representatives are in talks with airport administrators to determine the best location for the new facilities at EIA. Abouzeid predicts groundbreaking for the project sometime in the third quarter of 2015 and estimates that it will take approximately one year to reach completion. Emphasizing the significance of this project to Macair’s overall growth strategy in Kurdistan, Abouzeid explains, “We would be offering a full-service aviation facility with exceptionally high attention to detail, good customer service, and red carpet treatment for all of our incoming and departing flights.”
The KRG and the airport management have done a fantastic job of security at the airport. We feel very confident in promoting the airport and the security to business aircraft operators worldwide.Dori Abouzeid, CEO, Macair
Macair’s determination to grow its operations in Kurdistan is underpinned by the firm’s optimism regarding the future of the private aviation sector in the Region. The company's leadership cites statistics from the Middle East Business Aviation Association revealing a 12% year-on-year increase in total flight hours logged in the Region in 2013 and point to the convenience, time savings, and safety that private aviation can afford business leaders, while highlighting Kurdistan’s geographic position as a crossroads between Europe and Asia as a fundamental advantage. Kurdistan’s security also feeds into Macair executives’ confidence in the long-term potential of Kurdistan’s private aviation sector. Abouzeid praises the support of the KRG for the regional aviation industry, stating, “The KRG and the airport management have done a fantastic job of security at the airport. We feel very confident in promoting the airport and the security to business aircraft operators worldwide.”
Despite promising signs of growth in previous years, there is no denying that 2014 has been a trying year for the aviation industry in Kurdistan. The instability and violence in areas surrounding Kurdistan have tested the market and negatively affected traffic at EIA, although Abouzeid predicts a more promising business environment in 2015. Reflecting on the developments of the last year, Abouzeid highlights Macair’s success in the face of the difficulties it has encountered. “There have been numerous challenges. Through it all, we have been able to raise the bar in customer service to exceed the highest standards,” he emphasizes. With the potential for recovery in Kurdistan’s private aviation sector and an unprecedented expansion of Macair’s operations at EIA, 2015 may prove to be a pivotal year in the company's quest to build the best aviation services company in the region.