The Obama administration and the U.S. Congress appear headed to a confrontation over the administration’s plan to open a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that many lawmakers and airline industry groups oppose. An opponent said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency plans to begin operating the facility on January 5.
Dubai International Airport
The Middle East Business Aviation Association’s founding chairman, Ali Al Naqbi, is calling on UAE-based business aircraft operators to support the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority’s push to move business aviation operations from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Al Maktoum Airport/Dubai World Central (DWC). He cited slot shortages and timing restrictions that make life increasingly untenable at DXB, a situation that will be exacerbated in May when the airfield partially closes for a three-month-long runway rehabilitation project.
Expectations of a late-2013 surge in new airliner deals were handsomely surpassed at last month’s Dubai Airshow (November 17-21), with aircraft orders (including the engines that will power them) exceeding a record-breaking $200 billion mark, as of press time. But business aviation also put on a strong showing, accounting for roughly a third of the 150 or so aircraft occupying a packed static display at the biennial event’s new Dubai World Central (DWC) site. The impressive purpose-built show venue closely replicates the appearance of the long-standing site at Dubai International Airport.
Aviall Services recently marked five years of operations in Dubai with the opening of a new warehouse in the Dubai Airport Free Zone. The new facility offers more storage space and will provide 24/7/365 global AOG delivery service. The new Aviall warehouse is co-located in Boeing’s 55,000-sq-ft warehouse and supports various Boeing aircraft, as well as the One Boeing enterprise initiative. Aviall also provides support for Airbus, Bell, Bombardier, Embraer, Gulfstream and Piper, among others.
Jetex Flight Support opened its FBO at Dubai World Central/Al Maktoum International Airport last week in a temporary facility shared with Jet Aviation and ExecuJet. The company is offering a lounge, ground support, fueling, handling and security services. Other amenities include hotel accommodation, catering and limousine services, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. Customs and immigration services are also available at the FBO.
One of Lufthansa Technik’s fastest-growing activities in the Middle East is the Lufthansa Technik Middle East Services (LTMES) facility here in Dubai. LTMES brings together all the capabilities offered by the parent group and makes them available from one regionally focused location.
With 36 A380 aircraft in the fleet as of late September and a further 104 now on order, the aviation community is trying to calculate what will happen to Emirates’ superjumbo fleet when the time comes to retire the type, at around halfway through its lifetime. Some analysts believe that, given a lifespan of 25 years, a proxy for the useful life of a modern widebody aircraft, the A380 will face problems in the secondary market when major leases come to an end after the standard 12-year term.
ExecuJet Middle East (Stand 2406), which opened an FBO in partnership with NasJet in Riyadh two months ago, is claiming it has brought a level of service that was previously lacking in the capital of Saudi Arabia.
“We provide no additional service but it is a question of being responsive and timely and ensuring the customer experience is efficient,” ExecuJet Middle East managing director Mike Berry told AIN. Passengers are a diverse mix, ranging from companies to wealthy individuals and companies, he said. Pilots benefit from their own private lounge.
More than three years after completion of its five-million-passenger-capacity terminal at Dubai World Central (DWC), passenger operations at DWC’s Al Maktoum International Airport finally launched October 27 with the arrival of Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air, Bahrain’s Gulf Air and Kuwait’s Al Jazeera Airways.
Jet Aviation has expanded operations at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport, underlining its FBO presence at the new airport, which opened less than a year ago. It also highlights the growing trend for business jet migration from Dubai International to DWC, which started around the time of the Middle East Business Aviation event in December 2012.