The Middle East presents plenty of opportunity for business aviation growth, and at last month’s Abu Dhabi Air Expo businesses reported that their investment in the region–and beyond–is paying dividends.
Royal Jet, the commercial private jet concern owned by the UAE’s Presidential Flight Authority and Abu Dhabi Aviation, is planning a major fleet expansion in 2013, the year of its 10th anniversary. A defection by the nine-jet company away from Boeing, given that Royal Jet owns the world’s largest Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) fleet–six aircraft–would be a major blow for the U.S. manufacturer.
Three months after launching scheduled domestic service in the UAE with flights to Sir Bani Yas and Delma Islands from Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport, Rotana Jet extended its offering on September 19 to double-daily Embraer ERJ-145 service from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Fujairah. Exactly a week later, the upstart regional airline started twice-daily flights from Abu Dhabi International to Al Ain.
Abu Dhabi-based Strata Manufacturing, a composite aerostructures company, recently graduated 62 Emirati nationals–60 women and two men–from an intensive 10-month course that provides the students with the core competencies needed to become composite aircraft technicians. The course forms part of a longer 22-month program of study that includes on-the-job training at Strata, Mubadala Aerospace’s advanced composite aerostructures plant in Al Ain.
Mubadala Aerospace’s global ambitions in the aerospace arena are already achieving tangible successes at Strata, its composite aerostructures manufacturing subsidiary. Strata’s 230,000-sq-ft facility is located at the Al Ain Aerospace Center at Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain International Airport.
Abu Dhabi is determined to succeed in aerospace, but not at all costs. Mubadala, the emirate’s $45 billion sovereign wealth fund, set up an aerospace division in 2006. The plan is for it to break even by 2013, but some latitude is possible on this goal, if the group secures the right partnership opportunities to support its plan to spend around $1 billion building another new facility here in the United Arab Emirates.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrates its 40th anniversary next month on December 2, and aviation has always been at the forefront of the young country’s ambitious development plans.
Some of the world's top pilots are going to battle it out at next year's Al Ain Aerobatic Show (February 2-5, 2011). The Desert Challenge, officially sanctioned by the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI), will be the centerpiece for a show that is expected to attract 130,000 people.
Mubadala Aerospace is positioning itself as a tier-one supplier of large composite structures to Airbus or Boeing for future single-aisle aircraft as part of its continuing drive to become a top player in the global aerospace industry. “We’re looking at a stake of up to 20 percent in the composites content of any new aircraft,” executive director, aerospace unit, Homaid Al Shemmari, said yesterday.
MBDA’s joint venture with Abu Dhabi-based Baynuna Aviation Technology, dubbed Baynuna MBDA Missile Technologies (BMT), has just been incorporated. It was announced in February as a 49-51 effort between the European missile manufacturer and the local company.
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