The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) will host its next MEBAA Conference in Amman, Jordan, on October 14. Initial plans called for it to be held in Tunisia next month, MEBAA said, but this venue has been postponed until next year. Following the success of the last MEBAA Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in April, the event in Jordan will also draw upon members and prominent stakeholders across the region’s aviation sector “to deliberate and discuss the issues pertaining to the Middle East and North Africa’s business aviation market.”
The long-expected follow-on order from Saudi Arabia for Eurofighter Typhoons has still not materialized, but in its half-yearly report BAE Systems revealed that it expects to receive orders worth about $2.2 billion to upgrade Saudi aircraft. Earlier this year, a protracted renegotiation of the original “Al Salam” deal for 72 aircraft was finally concluded.
FlightSafety International continued its non-U.S. expansion in the helicopter training market, signing an agreement at EBACE on Wednesday with Infinity Support Services (ISS). The contract calls for FlightSafety to deliver a Level D flight simulation training device (FSTD) for the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter to the new ISS Aviation Academy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This will be FlightSafety’s first helicopter FSTD in the Middle East and follows recent announcements of S-92 devices for Stavanger, Norway and São Paulo, Brazil.
Aircraft registrations in the Middle East business aviation market could grow to 1,300 units by the end of the decade, and business aviation in the Middle East is undergoing unprecedented changes, according to Thierry Boutsen, former Formula 1 race-car driver and founder of Monaco-based brokerage Boutsen Aviation.
ExecuJet Aviation Group’s Middle East joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s NasJet at the private aviation terminal at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, which opened less than a year ago, is benefitting from robust levels of business in the Saudi capital, and is likely to continue to see higher levels of aircraft movements than regional hub Dubai, a company official said last month at MEBAC in Riyadh.
The Saudi market accounts for almost half of the 550 business jets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and is growing at 10 percent a year, the head of a leading Saudi Arabian aviation company said in Riyadh at last month’s Middle East Business Aviation Conference.
Saudi Arabia saw almost 30,000 business jet movements last year, including 10,737 in Riyadh, 9,740 at Dammam and 9,392 in Jeddah (a total of 29,869 movements), according to data compiled by WingX for the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) show. Boeing has the strongest OEM presence in the kingdom, with 38 aircraft in 10 Middle East countries; since 2000, Airbus has sold 13 new aircraft in the region, Embraer eight and Bombardier five.
Riyadh International Airport’s private aviation terminal, which houses FBO facilities for several players under one roof, is a “disaster,” a senior Saudi aviation official told AIN today at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference in Riyadh.
The need for better regulation and firmer action to stem the tide of the so-called gray market in illegal charter flights will top the agenda at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC), which will be held in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on April 10. The event is organized by the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), which is taking the lead in pushing for firmer legal foundations to support the region’s fast-growing industry.
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