Manufacturers are offering stepped-up support for visitors traveling by business aircraft to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Ind., February 5. Bombardier is positioning field service representatives at local Indianapolis FBOs to help Learjet, Challenger and Global operators with any last-minute problems. Bombardier’s North American customer services team will be standing by, including parts logistics representatives and mobile repair engineers.
Business aviation in the Middle East is expected to keep growing at a faster rate than that seen in North America and Europe, but slower than the more dynamic expansion now being seen in the emerging markets of Asia. This is the broad consensus among manufacturers and service providers for a region that is now emerging from a somewhat unsettled two-year period that has seen some fall-out from wider economic problems and the so-called Arab Spring political unrest.
Business aviation services group Gama Group is expanding its services to Saudi Arabia through a new joint venture company with Imitiaz Co. of Jeddah. The partnership will be known as Gama Aviation and the plan is for it to be operational early next year at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Airops Software is here at EBACE showing its new ProCharter aviation management software. ProCharter provides an aircraft and route cost calculator, monitors and records crew duty records and offers certificate administration. Of particular importance to European operators when the emissions trading scheme is instituted in 2012, ProCharter can provide emissions reports already verified for EU ETS reporting.
Imports of business aircraft into the UK have ground to a halt since tax authorities there scrapped its zero-VAT rating in January, according to Gama Aviation CEO Marwan Khalek. The change was forced on the UK by the European Commission with the intent of harmonizing VAT rules for aircraft sales, but the outcome has been a confusing muddle in which no one seems sure how VAT should now be applied.
Gama Aviation has added a new Bombardier Challenger 850 to its managed fleet of business aircraft in the United Arab Emirates. This is the first aircraft of its type in the Arabian Gulf state.
The Challenger is operated from Dubai International Airport on behalf of a local private owner. It is available for charter and has already made several flights since its entry into service at the start of this year.
The Middle East charter market has gone a long way to shedding its reputation as a hot-bed of illegal, so-called grey-market, activity, according to leading charter brokering group Air Partner.
It is just more than two years since Gama Aviation (Booth No. 927) acquired PrivatAir and a foothold in the U.S. aircraft management and charter market. The timing of the deal may not have been entirely auspicious–closing before the full impact of the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis was understood–but the UK-based group has no regrets about seizing the opportunity to move into the mother of all business aviation marketplaces.
Gama Aviation (Booth No. 141) reached an important milestone in its global expansion plan by gaining an air operator’s certificate from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in February. The UK-based group secured the AOC in barely six months, having applied for it in June 2009. It operates from a new base at Sharjah International Airport and has a sales office in Dubai.
Mitsubishi Aircraft has named Hideo Egawa, former Mitsubishi Heavy Industries director and senior executive v-p, as its new president. He succeeds Nobuo Toda, who will assume the post of vice chairman.
Minneapolis-based Shadin Avionics has appointed Dan Nelson, most recently president of start-up materials testing company Swift Nanotech, as its new CEO.