RayaJet and Ayla Aviation Academy advanced their plan to form a new business aviation service group in Jordan and other parts of the Middle East by signing a memorandum of understanding here at the EBACE show yesterday. By the end of this year, the two companies intend to restructure under a single name.
RayaJet chairman Nader Dajani today explained the thinking behind the Jordanian charter operator’s purchase yesterday at EBACE of a Hawker Beechcraft Premier II light jet. “The Middle East has always been focused on luxury,” Dajani said. “The bigger and fancier, the better. In the U.S., business people work out their cost per hour and decide how they can save money. They are astute. They count dollars before cents.
Jordanian charter operator Rayajet has placed firm orders with Bombardier for a Challenger 300 and one of the larger Challenger 605s. Today it plans to announce a strategic alliance with Ayla Aviation Academy, a flight-training provider based in Aqaba, Jordan. The new airplanes will join a Challenger 601 RayaJet currently operates for Middle East clients.
Jordanian executive charter provider Arab Wings (Booth No. 666) arrived in Geneva this week anticipating yet another new addition to its growing fleet–a Citation CJ1+ based in Amman–by June or July. The former subsidiary of Royal Jordanian Airlines earlier this year took a new Gulfstream G450, and plans to see its fleet expand to 13 airplanes by 2012.
This year’s election of Shimon Peres as Israel’s president could revitalize dormant plans for developing Jordan’s King Hussein International Airport at Aqaba as a regional hub to serve both countries. The airport sits at the north end of the Red Sea, across the Gulf of Aqaba from the Israeli resort city of Eilat.
Both local and Western companies are enjoying a strong market for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in the Middle East, due to increased airline activity and military aircraft fleets.
Royal Jordanian will be the Middle East launch customer for the GEnx engine to power its 787s when deliveries begin in 2010. The flagcarrier selected General Electric (Stand C410) as its powerplant provider last month. Earlier this year, Royal Jordanian was announced as a 787 customer for up to 16 of the new 787 long-haul airliners. It will be taking these through a mixture of purchase and lease packages.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has announced that it will modernize the 17 used F-16s that were previously provided to the Kingdom of Jordan by the U.S. This upgrade program will begin in April 2006 and will involve installation of Falcon-UP, Falcon Star and other Lockheed Martin mid-life upgrade (MLU) modifications of these aircraft.
Seabird Aviation Jordan (SAJ) plans to place the two-seat, Lycoming O-360-B2L-powered Seeker SB7L-360A aerial surveillance platform into serial production next year. Designed in Australia and assembled in Amman, Jordan, the Seeker on exhibit here at the Dubai drew a purchase order from the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority last year. It also recently has undergone an assessment by the U.S. military and government.
Amman, Jordan-based executive charter operator Arab Wings has taken delivery of a new Cessna Citation XLS jet. The first aircraft of its type in the Middle East, the XLS has joined a fleet that already consists of a Bombardier Challenger 604 and a Raytheon Beech King Air 200. The aircraft fly out of Amman’s downtown Marka International Airport to points within the Middle East and into Europe.