The new Gulf Wings UAE operation of Jordanian charter/ management company Arab Wings is up and running as of yesterday when the company received its air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates.
Here at the Dubai show, Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh, executive president of Arab Wings, praised the GCAA for being “very stringent and strict,” which he said is better for the Middle East’s fast-growing businesss aviation industry.
“The UAE now has more than 250 registered aircraft,” he said, including an increasing number of executive airplanes, “which came out like mushrooms over the last few years.” Ghazaleh also praised the Arab Wings staff for working hard to obtain the AOC within a year.
Arab Wings, which was formed in 1975 and acquired in 2005 by the Royal Jordanian Air Academy, now operates 12 business jets, four of which it owns and eight which it manages. The aircraft operate out of the Jordanian capital Amman and Cairo, Egypt, as well as the new UAE base at Sharjah.
Gulf Wings UAE is starting up with a new Bombardier Challenger 605 under a management contract and is expected to add four more aircraft by year end. The Gulf Wings’ AOC is the second now held by Arab Wings.
Bahrain Holding Company
Last Thursday, its parent company established a holding company in Bahrain, which is 70 percent owned by a group of Saudi Arabian investors and 30 percent by the Royal Jordanian Air Academy. “The first company to be launched by this holding company is Global Wings, which will be a specialized brokerage company for the region,” Abu Ghazaleh said. It will be based in Bahrain and share offices with Arab Wings in Jordan and Gulf Wings in the UAE.
The next step in Arab Wings’ goal of becoming “the largest aircraft services group in the Middle East in the next 24 months” is to establish maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Jordan, possibly in partnership with a European MRO. “We’re looking along the lines of which manufacturer provides us with the biggest fleet,” explained Abu Ghazaleh. “Most of our fleet are Bombardier aircraft, even though we also do operate Cessna and Gulfstream airplanes.”
Arab Wings is also active in the medical evacuation market with clients in countries such as Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Kuwait. It has its own full-time medical director and can quickly equip aircraft with the medical equipment needed for a specific mission.