The Mediterranean island of Malta, which was awarded Britain’s George Cross gallantry medal for its resistance against Axis air raids and a naval blockade during World War II, is now engaged in a campaign to become as involved in the aviation services industry as it previously has been in maritime affairs.
All MEBA 2012 News
The Jet Services Group is here at MEBA 2012 (Stand 345) promoting its Advanced Air Support (AAS) FBO at Paris Le Bourget airport, claiming it is particularly well suited to Middle Eastern VIP aircraft visiting Europe. Jet Services president Marie-Antoinette Dain told AIN that AAS has adapted to the growing clientele from the region: “We have private lounges, one of them with a full en suite bathroom, a prayer room and dedicated catering.
The Middle East continues to be a key market for business aviation services group Comlux, with Bahrain being its main base in the region and home to three of its largest managed aircraft: a Boeing 767, an Airbus ACJ320 and an ACJ319. The Swiss-based company is seeing increased flying activity in Saudi Arabia, but group president and CEO Richard Gaona indicated to AIN ahead of this week’s MEBA show that increased competition, some of it from so-called “gray” (that is, probably illegal) charter operations, is inhibiting growth in the region.
Steve Varsano, founder of private aircraft sales company The Jet Business, took AIN through the selection process for a typical customer based in Dubai and wanting a jet that can fly nonstop to and from London. With a required range of 2,955 nm, The Jet Business database indicated it contained 26 suitable aircraft, such as the Bombardier Challenger 605. To go travel further, the shortlist could be extended to include a Gulfstream G550, Dassault Falcon 7X and Bombardier Global Express.
Many wealthy Middle Easterners visit London at least once a year, usually for a break from the hot summer, so perhaps it is no surprise that the first shop window for business jets is in an up-market area of the UK capital at One Grosvenor Place–just across the road from Buckingham Palace.
You can count on the AIN team to bring you full and exclusive coverage of news from the 2012 MEBA show. We’re working around the clock at the new MEBA show site in Dubai so keep coming back for fresh reports.
Hawker Beechcraft Corp. (HBC) rolled up to MEBA 2012 with its full line of civil Beechcraft King Air twin turboprops over the past two days as it prepared for a key court hearing, taking place today in the U.S., probing whether it has to honor warranties on Hawker 4000s and Premier I jets if, as intended, it sells its Hawker jets business to rebrand as Beechcraft Corporation.
The evils posed by the gray market, the disconnect between regional operators and regulators as they attempt to curb it, and the problem of perception for business aviation in the Middle East, dominated the discussion at the second biennial MEBA Conference (MEBAC), which convened at the Dubai Marina on the eve of the show.
Airbus Corporate Jets is launching its new Gala cabin concept for the ACJ330/340 wide-bodies here at MEBA 2012. The choice of Dubai for the announcement should come as no surprise: the Middle East represents the most important market in the world for wide-body business and VIP aircraft.
London’s Biggin Hill Airport (Stand 230) is an important location for business aviation operators going to and coming from the Middle East, who will be glad to know that the airfield has recently upgraded its air traffic control voice communication control system (VCCS) to enhance ATC performance and integration, especially during emergency situations.