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.
British business aviation companies have joined forces to help 16 seriously ill or disabled children and their families. Freestream Aircraft, Gama Aviation, TAG Aviation and TAG Farnborough Airport supported a special day held by the Fly2Help and Dreamflight charities at BAE Systems’ Filton Airport in Bristol on September 7.
ExecuJet Aviation Group, Gama Aviation and Jet Alliance International were among the companies inducted Sunday into the National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) at the organization’s annual membership meeting. Other new members included Boutsen Aviation, Symbolic Aviation and Tandava Aviation. Hawker Beechcraft Services; Hinckley, Allen & Snyder; Hope Aviation Insurance; and Ober Kaler, Attorneys at Law, joined as associate members.
Customers who finance an aircraft through Bank of America can arrange more attractive lease terms if they also hire Gama Aviation for management services. Michael Amalfitano, corporate finance executive for Bank of America, and Scott Ashton, vice president for business development at Gama, announced the alliance at Gama’s booth (No. 1247).
The charter industry has seen a flurry of acquisitions and mergers in the past year, and by all accounts the activity will continue. One of the most surprising, perhaps, was the acquisition of PrivatAir by UK-based Gama Holdings, a company relatively unknown in the U.S. The new business was named Gama Aviation and is based in Stratford, Conn., with additional locations in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Norwich, N.Y.