Middle East business aviation support group Nexus is relocating its main operations center to Saudi Arabia in response to violent political upheaval in Bahrain, where its head office has been located. The company, which is a subsidiary of Saudi group MAZ Aviation, will now make its Jeddah facility the focus of its flight-support work for business aircraft operators.
Most of Japan’s airports have reopened in the wake of Friday’s major earthquake and ensuing tsunami that triggered one of the worst nuclear power plant disasters in history, left thousands dead and caused widespread property damage. Airspace within a 20-km (10.8 nm) radius of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant remains closed from the surface through all altitudes. Sendai Airport is buried under a sea of mud and remains closed.
Jordan is to modify two of its Airbus Military CN-235 utility transports to a gunship configuration. A contract has been awarded to ATK for the work, which is being undertaken in conjunction with Jordan’s King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau. The work will be split between ATK’s U.S. facilities and those of KADDB in Jordan.
United Arab Emirates-based flight planning and support group Avjet Routing is expanding operations into Europe with the opening of new offices in Geneva and Istanbul, Turkey. According to Avjet CEO Sam Wanli, the Sharjah-based company intends to establish operations in other European cities as it seeks to expand its customer base beyond the Arabian Gulf region.
A letter of intent (LOI) has been signed between Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) and Alpha Star Aviation Services, opening dialog about a joint venture to provide military and commercial aviation support and maintenance services in Saudi Arabia. Alpha Star Aviation Services is an aerospace services provider based in Riyadh.
The Court of Appeals of Quebec on January 11 summarily dismissed appeals by the state of Iraq and Iraqi Airways in the 20-year-old legal case brought by Kuwait Airways seeking damages for Iraq’s seizure of 10 airplanes and associated spares and records during its 1990 occupation of Kuwait. The case continues to prevent Bombardier from delivering the final six of an order for 10 CRJ900s placed by the government of Iraq in 2008.
I have long suspected that the main U.S. purpose in supplying huge arms packages to Gulf countries is to recycle petrodollars. Uncle Sam pays heavily for its reliance on imported oil, but offers in return a shopping list of shiny new weaponry from the U.S. defense industry. Like kids in a candy store, the Arabs take up these offers, although with not enough thought given to how they might absorb and operate the kit.
Alsalam Aircraft delivered a Lockheed L-100 Hercules in VIP configuration (photo, above) to an undisclosed customer at last month’s Meba show in Dubai. The aircraft features an interior designed by the Saudi Arabian company.
TAG Aviation is in the final stages of receiving an air operator’s certificate from the Kingdom of Bahrain and expects it to be issued by the end of this month. The Switzerland-based business aviation services group began the process of seeking the certificate six months ago and will base a Challenger 605 in Bahrain once it is granted.
The latest edition of the Middle East Business Aviation (Meba) show provided a vivid snapshot of the region’s business aviation industry. There is still tangible growth coming through, albeit at a markedly slower rate than had been seen before the global financial crisis washed up on some parts of the Arabian Gulf’s shores.