Qatar Airways has placed a follow-on order for six Boeing 777-300ERs, the companies announced yesterday at the show. Valued at $1.7 billion at list prices, the order brings to 40 the number of 777s Qatar has ordered since it signed its first contract for the Boeing widebodies in November 2007. Boeing recently delivered Qatar’s 25th 777.
Rizon Jet has opened its long-planned FBOs at London’s Biggin Hill Airport and Doha International Airport. Both the UK and Qatar facilities will provide full handling support and plan to extend their maintenance portfolios.
Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and GE have collaborated on a facility to train technicians on GE engines, including the GE90, CF6, CF34 and GEnx. QSTP is located in Qatar Foundation’s Education City, which was developed as a campus to bring together research and business. According to a GE spokeswoman it is the first GE facility of its kind outside North America.
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.
Zurich-based ExecuJet Aviation is to set up a new charter and aircraft management operation in Qatar in a bid to expand its footprint in the growing Middle Eastern market. Yesterday, the company sealed an agreement with Doha-based Al-Faisal Holdings, which will be its local partner in the new venture.
Rizon Jet’s two FBOs at London Biggin Hill and Doha, Qatar, are set to open in July. Both facilities are similar in size and design, although the Qatar facility includes separate prayer rooms for male and female passengers.
The Harrods Aviation FBOs at London Luton and Stansted airports, as well as helicopter charter operator Air Harrods, have been sold as part of a $2.2 billion transaction that saw Qatar Holdings acquire the Harrods retail group from Mohammed al-Fayed last month.
Rizon Jet is in the final stages of construction for two new FBOs in Europe and the Middle East. In July, it expects to open almost identical hangars with adjoining lounges and offices at London Biggin Hill Airport and at its Doha headquarters in Qatar.
Alongside ostentatious neighbors like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain has tended to get overlooked as a Middle Eastern hub for air transportation. Yet, the island kingdom in the Arabian Gulf actually lays a fair claim to being the birthplace of aviation in the Middle East. Next month (January 21 to 23) it intends to point the world to its aviation future when it hosts its own airshow for the first time.
Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways expects to make a profit this year, even though it reported a $7.6 million first-half loss. “We are going to be profitable for the full year,” said chief executive Stefan Pichler, who joined the airline in June from a position as chief commercial officer at Virgin Blue. The low-cost carrier plans to open a second hub in 2010, having dropped routes to Beirut, Delhi, Mumbai, Salalah and Sanaa this year.