Some of the places in the world where business aviation is needed most are by their very nature some of the hardest places to provide and support this mode of transportation. It is a core paradox of the industry’s emerging markets, as frustrated service providers will attest.
Saudia Private Aviation (SPA) plans to open business-jet FBOs at Saudi Arabia’s four main airports–Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Medina–within a year, according to company managing director Wajdi Al Idrissi. The facility at SPA’s Jeddah home base is expected to open next month.
ExecuJet Aviation has been in the Middle East for the long haul since 1999 and since then it has seen the bizav market fluctuate from boom to flat and now reach a slow climb. It has seen rivals come and go, and ambitious business plans turn to dust.
Jet Aviation’s expansion in the Middle East continues, highlighted by the recent grand opening of its new terminal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where the company has had an FBO since 1983. The opening ceremony, held earlier this month, brought guests from 10 countries to the 32,292-sq-ft facility, which was developed as a joint venture with Saudi partners under the Jet Aviation Saudi Arabia banner.
Middle East business aviation support group Nexus is relocating its main operations center to Saudi Arabia in response to violent political upheaval in Bahrain, where its head office has been located. The company, which is a subsidiary of Saudi group MAZ Aviation, will now make its Jeddah facility the focus of its flight-support work for business aircraft operators.
Jet Aviation’s new FBO in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is open and features an innovative passenger flow system so arrivals and departures are conducted in separate channels to speed up throughput. The 106,000-sq-ft building provides more space than its predecessor while still offering direct ramp access. The new ramp enclave includes an area for storing ground equipment and providing line maintenance, and the FBO offers a new washing bay.
Arabian Aircraft Service Co. (Arabasco) opened its new FBO in Jeddah last month. The new 37,675-sq-ft, two-floor FBO is part of the first phase of the redevelopment of Jeddah International Airport and consists of several separate lounges for passengers and a dedicated airside area for crew, allowing them close access both to their aircraft and to support services, including flight planning, crew snooze rooms and a crew lounge.
The latest edition of the Middle East Business Aviation (Meba) show provided a vivid snapshot of the region’s business aviation industry. There is still tangible growth coming through, albeit at a markedly slower rate than had been seen before the global financial crisis washed up on some parts of the Arabian Gulf’s shores.
Jet Aviation is scheduled to move into a new FBO facility in Jeddah by the end of the month. The facility is located on King Abdulaziz International Airport and will offer FBO and line maintenance services. A Jet Aviation spokesman told AIN the MRO portion of the business is a Saudi Arabia GACA-approved repair station and provides line maintenance services to all aircraft, including N-registered.
Dassault Falcon announced at MEBA the appointment of Bernard Delouye as the new customer service manager to support its customers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Syria. He will be based in Jeddah, where a significant portion of the region's Falcon fleet is based.