Qatar Airways has placed a follow-on order for six Boeing 777-300ERs, the companies announced yesterday at the show. Valued at $1.7 billion at list prices, the order brings to 40 the number of 777s Qatar has ordered since it signed its first contract for the Boeing widebodies in November 2007. Boeing recently delivered Qatar’s 25th 777.
During a visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani to Beijing in late May, it was reported that China is to provide 50 Chengdu JF-17 Thunder multirole fighters to Pakistan, and that China will pay for the aircraft. The report comes at a time when Pakistan’s relations with the U.S.–its other principal warplane supplier–have soured over the May 2 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
Many companies boast of being the best, but Metrojet bills itself as “Asia Pacific’s business aviation leader” with some justification. It is a subsidiary of The Hong Kong Aviation Group HKAG (itself a subsidiary of the Kadoorie Group, which owns China Light and Power and the Peninsula hotel chain).
During the 2011 International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF), held in Istanbul on May 10 to 13, EADS Cassidian signed a memorandum of understanding with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), covering the participation of Turkish industry in the Talarion Male UAV program. This modular surveillance platform is being developed to meet projected requirements from France, Germany and Spain.
The Gulf region is recognized as one of the key markets for private aviation, and Middle East Business Aviation Association chairman Ali Al Naqbi is determined to help shape it as a safe one. To this end he is proposing to set up an informal working group dubbed “Middle East Control,” rather like the early days of Eurocontrol when the six founding member states collaborated to achieve integrated air traffic services across Europe.
Jet Aviation’s expansion in the Middle East continues, highlighted by the recent grand opening of its new terminal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where the company has had an FBO since 1983. The opening ceremony, held earlier this month, brought guests from 10 countries to the 32,292-sq-ft facility, which was developed as a joint venture with Saudi partners under the Jet Aviation Saudi Arabia banner.
Rizon Jet has opened its long-planned FBOs at London’s Biggin Hill Airport and Doha International Airport. Both the UK and Qatar facilities will provide full handling support and plan to extend their maintenance portfolios.
Comlux Middle East and Saudia Private Aviation have signed an agreement for joint development of charter business opportunities in the Middle East. Comlux Middle East, one of Comlux the Aviation Group’s companies, holds a European air operators certificate and will make its fleet of six Airbus corporate jets (soon to be eight) available for Saudia Private Aviation customers.
Geneva-based TAG Aviation (Stand 7020) has added new charter and lease options to its aviation services and an Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) to its fleet. It also has opened a new regional base in Bahrain to its global network.
Comlux Middle East is one of the latest companies to commit to participate in the Bahrain Airshow, scheduled for January 19 to 21 next year. At EBACE on May 17, Richard Gaona, president of Comlux The Aviation Group (Stand 142), announced the participation of subsidiary Comlux Middle East.