Beirut FBO ventures into bizjet maintenance with sister MASCO

 - November 16, 2008, 2:52 AM

Beirut FBO Cedar Jet Center (Stand No. 631) has started offering aircraft maintenance services in partnership with its MEA group sister company MASCO. Next month, the joint venture will open a new hangar dedicated to maintenance operations.

The facility at the Lebanese capital’s Hariri International Airport is approved as a maintenance organization by the European Aviation Safety Agency and it has already completed major overhaul checks on Airbus Corporate Jetliners. Cedar and MASCO have recently begun to offer line maintenance for aircraft ranging in size from a Boeing Business Jet to an Eclipse 500 very light jet. The Eclipses are operated by Lebanese charter firm Open Sky Aviation.

MASCO is one of two authorized service providers in Lebanon. It now wants to expand into providing line maintenance for other business jet types, such as the Hawker and Falcon families. The ISO-certified operation has recently been extensively re-equipped.

Cedar Jet is part of the Middle East Airlines Ground Handling group. It set up a dedicated FBO in Beirut’s new General Aviation Terminal in 2005. After suffering serious disruption following Israel’s invasion of the Lebanon in July 2006, business aircraft traffic has recovered and has been especially strong since around May 2008. On average, Hariri International receives about eight executive/VIP movements per day as a year-round average. According to Cedar Jet, this traffic includes a very high proportion of high-net-worth individuals whose travel habits have not been diminished by the global financial crisis.

Cedar Jet’s lounge can accommodate about 40 people at a time and there is ample ramp space outside the building. The only other FBO in Beirut is a joint venture between Universal Weather & Aviation and local charter operator Imperial Jet.