United Arab Emirates-based Prestige Jet has signed an agreement to provide EMS flights for Flight Ambulance International (FAI). The company will operate a fleet of Bombardier Learjet 55s from bases in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. FAI is based in Nuremberg, Germany, and provides evacuation flights out of Africa. The Middle East is a growing part of its business, already accounting for 8 percent of operations.
GE Aviation and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) have signed a memorandum of understanding for global cooperation.
As part of the agreement, GE and DAE will collaborate in several areas related to the commercial aerospace industry based on their respective competencies and capabilities which, among other interests, include assisting DAE in the development of MRO capabilities.
Livewel Aviation Services has signed the first lease for space at the newly launched Dubai World Central Aviation City on Al Maktoum International Airport, slated to become operational by the end of next year.
VIP and government flight specialist Dubai Air Wing has ordered two AW139s in executive configuration. In Qatar, Gulf Helicopters has ordered 10 AW139s for offshore-oil passenger transport.
Anyone with even a superficial knowledge of the stratospheric ambitions of the Middle East air transport sector generally, and mind-boggling wealth of the Arabian Gulf states in particular, had expected the 2007 Dubai Airshow to be an epic event. But it is doubtful that anyone outside the top tiers of the region’s airline managements really anticipated the volume of business announced over just five days (November 11 to 15).
Two years after 9/11, Dubai’s biennial air show will declare itself to be firmly back to business as usual when it opens next month (December 7 to 11) in the United Arab Emirates. Last time, the event convincingly put on a brave face in the wake of 9/11 and the U.S.-led war against Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan (just 500 miles north).
A story in AIN’s opening edition at the Dubai Air Show [DEAL FOR RUSSIAN HELOS A BLOW TO FRANCE] suggested that Russian defense export agency Rosboronexport would announce a $2.2 billion deal with Saudi Arabia for 150 Mi-17 transport and Mi-35 attack helicopters at the show.
While record-breaking orders for airliners were announced, the just-completed Dubai Air Show, held from November 11 to 15, offered no big news for the defense industry. However, there were important developments across the border in Saudi Arabia, and the UAE Air Force is close to making important decisions about its future pilot training system.
The September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. immediately cast doubt on the viability of next month’s Dubai Air Show in the United Arab Emirates (November 4 to 8). However, at press time show organizer Fairs & Exhibitions said no consideration had yet been given to postponing or canceling the event.
The need for qualified people is about the only constraint to growth in the booming air transport markets of the Middle East and Asia, and the fact that DAE University was the first of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise’s six business units to get a chief executive reflects that reality.