Aircraft registrations in the Middle East business aviation market could grow to 1,300 units by the end of the decade, and business aviation in the Middle East is undergoing unprecedented changes, according to Thierry Boutsen, former Formula 1 race-car driver and founder of Monaco-based brokerage Boutsen Aviation.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association’s efforts to help regulators take the initiative on pressing business aviation issues in the region, such as oversight and the gray-charter market, have helped to create debate in the Gulf, a market that is one of the most important to aircraft manufacturers.
Monarch Aircraft Engineering has sent a specialist team of structural aircraft engineers to Basel to complete a strut improvement program (SIP) for Jet Aviation. The company, which gained its Bermuda Department of Civil Aviation approval last October, sent a team of licensed engineers from its headquarters at London Luton Airport to Jet Aviation’s facility in Basel to carry out the SIP modification on a private Boeing 767. The SIP modification consists of an extensive rebuild of the engine pylons to restore damage tolerance.
Jim Christiansen, a giant in the business aviation industry, passed away last night at the age of 67. He led several large air charter firms, as well as NetJets, over his nearly 50-year career, most recently serving as vice president of business development at FlightSafety International.
Fresh off its January contract win for the green completion of an A320 for an undisclosed head of state, Switzerland’s Jet Aviation Basel, with more than 200 custom interiors to its credit, highlighted improvements to its completion processes aimed at delivering jets more quickly. Jet Aviation Basel has been reducing cycle time for its completions through new business practices and investments in production facilities such as enhancing 3-D engineering capabilities and bringing full systems integration to its cabinet shop.
In the opening salvo for FBO bragging rights at Houston Hobby Airport, Million Air unveiled the $15 million flagship facility that also serves as its corporate headquarters. The 22,000-sq-ft terminal provides twice the space of the former building and features a three-story glass-clad lobby atrium spanned by a “sky bridge” that connects the building’s two wings.
ExecuJet Aviation Group’s Middle East joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s NasJet at the private aviation terminal at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, which opened less than a year ago, is benefitting from robust levels of business in the Saudi capital, and is likely to continue to see higher levels of aircraft movements than regional hub Dubai, a company official said last month at MEBAC in Riyadh.
The Saudi market accounts for almost half of the 550 business jets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and is growing at 10 percent a year, the head of a leading Saudi Arabian aviation company said in Riyadh at last month’s Middle East Business Aviation Conference.
TAG Aviation at the UK’s Farnborough Airport has once again garnered the highest score in AIN’s Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia FBO Survey. The service facility, southwest of London, earned an overall score of 9.1 out of 10 from AIN readers, led by twin 9.3 scores in the categories of passenger amenities and facilities.
While the North American business aviation market has shown signs of recovery of late, for many other parts of the world fortunes have continued to fluctuate, making for a mixed outlook for the global FBO industry. Emerging bizav markets across regions such as Asia and Africa have seen encouraging traffic growth, even if opportunities to expand FBO services in these places have been somewhat limited. Meanwhile, service providers in Europe’s more mature market have yet to see sustained recovery from flight activity dips in recent years, but there are some notable exceptions.