Privately owned Bahrain Air continues to struggle to establish its place in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, which has a proliferation of flag carriers and no-frills operators. After making its first passenger flight in February 2008, Bahrain Air has seen its passenger count rise to 720,000 in 2010, only to decrease to 640,000 last year, amid the global economic downturn and the internal troubles of its home country.
Avtech Sweden, a provider of air-traffic management services, is helping Emirates Airline develop time-based operations into its base at Dubai International Airport. The “Emirates-Flow” project could improve overall throughput and capacity at the airport, which lays claim to being the world’s fourth busiest hub for international passengers and freight.
Aurora Aviation has signed a memorandum of understanding for a partnership agreement to run the first full-service FBO at Fujairah International Airport (FIA) in the United Arab Emirates. “We are looking to make Fujairah our hub,” Aurora CEO Ammar Kutait told AIN.
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman on the country’s east coast instead of on the Persian Gulf. A new highway connects it with Dubai.
Nexus Flight Operations Services has announced a joint venture with U.S.-based customer service specialist ServiceElements International (SEI) to offer training courses in the Middle East and Africa. Courses will be conducted in organizational resource management and related topics focusing on the human elements and issues relating to customer service within the aviation industry.
Qatar Airways’s colorful CEO, Akbar Al Baker, has made a name for himself at the helm of one of the Arabian Gulf region’s trio of fast-growing airlines. But alongside his United Arab Emirates rivals Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways he can claim an additional string to his bow that the other two have so far overlooked: the creation of an executive jet division.
Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a leading business aviation hub in the Arabian Gulf was further enhanced by the March staging of the inaugural Air Expo. The event, held at the Al Bateen Executive Airport nine months before rival Dubai’s Middle East Business Aviation show, attracted a reported 10,700 visitors and 105 exhibitors.
Boeing has expanded its supplier base into the Middle East by awarding a 10-year contract to Strata Manufacturing, the Al Ain-based subsidiary of Mubadala Aerospace in the United Arab Emirates. The deal, announced at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi on April 17, covers empennage ribs for the 777 twinjet and vertical fin ribs for the 787.
NetJets Europe announced today that it is extending its ferry waiver zone, in which fees on positioning flights are not charged, for flights between 21 “business critical” airports in the Middle East and Europe. The extension will add Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait to the waiver, which previously included Lebanon and Tel Aviv. The company said it has witnessed “strong growth” in flights to the Middle East in the last few years, with 9.2 percent growth reported last year alone.
Halfway through a 10-year agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv, the U.S. now gives Israel $3.1 billion each year in foreign military funding (FMF), which is about one-fifth of the total Israeli defense budget, according to a recent report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) .The FMF total does not include American money spent on joint missile defense projects with Israel, for which $99.8 million has been requested in Fiscal Year 2013.
Middle East-based flight support group Nexus Flight Operations Services is preparing to set up an operation in India. Nexus India is being established through a partnership with Mumbai-based Sovika Airline Services, which has been involved in aircraft handling and airport support for more than 20 years.