The delayed arrival of business aviation at Dubai's new Al Maktoum International Airport got a kick start here on the opening day of the MEBA show yesterday. Airport developer Dubai World Center (DWC) and the Al Futtaim Services Company (AFSC) signed agreement to establish general aviation services at the ambitious new hub.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, and Omar Abdulla Al Futtaim, vice chairman, Al Futtaim Group, represented their organizations at the ceremony. "It is a pleasure to announce that Al Futtaim Services Company will be the first general aviation services provider to establish operations at the only aerotropolis in the Middle East and North Africa region," said Sheikh Ahmed. "This new partnership represents another milestone in Dubai's ongoing development as a global aviation hub."
AFSC is planning a joint venture with DC Aviation, a European business jet operator, to provide a wide range of services from the new airport, including business jet charter, management and maintenance. Operations are expected to commence in the third quarter of 2011 with aircraft including Airbus A319 Corporate Jets and Bombardier Global Express aircraft.
Other business aviation services groups have long planned to set up shop out at Al Maktoum, which is being built near the Jebel Ali port and free zone. But their plans have been held up by delays in the development of the airport and the various business parks that are supposed to surround i