Jet Aviation appointed Hardy Bütschi as vice president and general manager of Jet Aviation’s facilities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, effective in January. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing the company’s maintenance and FBO operations at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central/Al Maktoum International Airport, as well as at Al Bateen Executive Airport in nearby Abu Dhabi. Previously, Bütschi oversaw the company’s operations in Saudi Arabia as vice president of Jet Aviation Saudi Arabia.
Emirates of the United Arab Emirates
With eight civil airports boasting IATA designations, it’s reasonable to ask why there are so many facilities in a country the size of the UAE. Partly, this is because five of the seven emirates Abu Dhabi (3), Dubai (2), Fujairah (1), Ras al-Khaimah (1) and Sarjah (1) have the demand. The other two–Ajman, at 259 sq km the smallest, and Umm al-Quwain, the least populous–do not.
Business aviation is set to make a strong showing next week at the Dubai Airshow, with the sector expected to account for about one-third of the 150 aircraft on static display and approximately 220 of the more than 1,000 exhibiting companies. In addition to the airframers, business aviation service providers such as Jet Aviation, ExecuJet Aviation, Royal Jet and Jetex are exhibiting at the event, which opens on Sunday.
The Middle East presents plenty of opportunity for business aviation growth, and at last month’s Abu Dhabi Air Expo businesses reported that their investment in the region–and beyond–is paying dividends.
Gama Group, the fast-growing business aviation services group, is quickly settling into its new base at Sharjah International Airport. The Farnborough, UK-based company is finding that customers now recognize the limitations of Dubai International Airport, which has become increasingly busy with airline traffic, making it hard for business aircraft operators to get convenient slots–especially at short notice. Meanwhile, Gama’s move into Saudi Arabia with new FBOs planned in Jeddah and Riyadh are coming together fast.
Royal Jet, the commercial private jet concern owned by the UAE’s Presidential Flight Authority and Abu Dhabi Aviation, is planning a major fleet expansion in 2013, the year of its 10th anniversary. A defection by the nine-jet company away from Boeing, given that Royal Jet owns the world’s largest Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) fleet–six aircraft–would be a major blow for the U.S. manufacturer.
Fujairah’s business has traditionally been in cement and mining, but ship bunkering has developed into a major industry, general shipping is thriving at Fujairah and Khorfakkan ports, and plans are in full swing to build an oil refinery, increase tank-farm storage facilities and develop tourism and real estate.
Three months after launching scheduled domestic service in the UAE with flights to Sir Bani Yas and Delma Islands from Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport, Rotana Jet extended its offering on September 19 to double-daily Embraer ERJ-145 service from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Fujairah. Exactly a week later, the upstart regional airline started twice-daily flights from Abu Dhabi International to Al Ain.
Undaunted by the dominance of its Dubai and Abu Dhabi “big brothers” in the United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah is pressing ahead with plans to put itself on the air transport map. After a badly timed false start at the peak of the recent financial crisis, RAK Airways will have been back in business for two years by the end of 2012, and the emirate’s airport is drawing attention for its wide-open capacity and widebodies-welcome 12,332-foot runway.
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