The ASA Group has opened an office in Dubai to expand its VIP handling services. The group’s plans to build an FBO at Thailand’s Phuket International Airport are back on track following last year’s delay while anti-government protesters shut down the airport and stranded thousands of passengers.
The Gulf region continues to adopt corporate versions of the BAe 146/Avro RJ regional jetliner, generically dubbed the Avro Business Jet (ABJ). Next month, the UAE’s Abu Dhabi will take into its Amiri Flight a late-model RJ100 that will join a smaller RJ70. Other ABJs serve with the neighboring Dubai Air Wing, which operates two RJ85s. Bahrain flies a brace of RJ85s and a lone RJ100 that are assigned to its Defence Force.
Rising demand for business aviation in the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is flying in the face of a decline in the West, according to Dubai-based flight support and ground handling provider Palm Aviation. The company is still seeing demand for flights into the Middle East from the U.S. and Europe and has confirmed plans to expand its operations into both Europe and Saudi Arabia.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has arranged $800 million in loans and revolving credit to fund “general corporate purposes.” The fresh capital, available on a three-year term, has come from a group of banks including Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Emirates Bank International, Lloyds TSB Bank and Noor Islamic Bank.
Al Jaber Aviation’s $1.2 billion order for 21 new aircraft placed during November’s MEBA show in Dubai confirmed the business aviation industry’s hopes that rising demand in the Middle East will compensate for slowing sales in western markets that are more directly affected by the ongoing financial crisis.
Bell 212, Persian Gulf, United Arab Emirates, Sept. 3, 2008–All seven people aboard the Aerogulf Services Bell 212 were killed when the helicopter hit a crane while taking off from an oil rig in the Persian Gulf. The helicopter had flown cargo from Dubai. After unloading the cargo, it lifted off the helipad, hovered and moved backward into the crane.
ExecuJet Middle East is planning to expand its maintenance capabilities in Dubai with a new maintenance facility at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport. The new airport is just part of the DWC complex, which covers 54 sq mi and includes the airport and residential, golf and business zones.
Dubai Airports unveiled the new branding of its Executive Flights Centre during the first day at MEBA, and also revealed that part of the first terminal being built at the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali (also known as Dubai World Central) will be reserved for corporate aviation.
Development of innovative offshore islands has made the United Arab Emirates ideal territory for seaplane services–at least that is the view of a team led by Sheikh Saeed Mohammed Hasher Al Maktoum who has formed Seawings to operate aerial sightseeing services.
Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group (EAG), founded just last year, is already laying plans for its expansion across the region. The company has appointed a representative sales agent in Qatar and is committed to a joint venture with an unnamed