With eight civil airports boasting IATA designations, it’s reasonable to ask why there are so many facilities in a country the size of the UAE. Partly, this is because five of the seven emirates Abu Dhabi (3), Dubai (2), Fujairah (1), Ras al-Khaimah (1) and Sarjah (1) have the demand. The other two–Ajman, at 259 sq km the smallest, and Umm al-Quwain, the least populous–do not.
Gama Aviation’s Sharjah Airport FBO has posted a 75-percent increase in corporate aviation movements during the past 12 months. The company responded to the increased traffic by adding five new employees to serve its expanding customer base. The increased traffic demonstrates that the FBO has established itself as “the stress-free preferred gateway for business and private visitors to Sharjah, Dubai and the Northern Emirates,” according to Dave Edwards, managing director, Gama Aviation Sharjah.
The Middle East presents plenty of opportunity for business aviation growth, and at last month’s Abu Dhabi Air Expo businesses reported that their investment in the region–and beyond–is paying dividends.
Gama Group, the fast-growing business aviation services group, is quickly settling into its new base at Sharjah International Airport. The Farnborough, UK-based company is finding that customers now recognize the limitations of Dubai International Airport, which has become increasingly busy with airline traffic, making it hard for business aircraft operators to get convenient slots–especially at short notice. Meanwhile, Gama’s move into Saudi Arabia with new FBOs planned in Jeddah and Riyadh are coming together fast.
Three months after launching scheduled domestic service in the UAE with flights to Sir Bani Yas and Delma Islands from Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Executive Airport, Rotana Jet extended its offering on September 19 to double-daily Embraer ERJ-145 service from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Fujairah. Exactly a week later, the upstart regional airline started twice-daily flights from Abu Dhabi International to Al Ain.
Aurora Aviation has signed a memorandum of understanding for a partnership agreement to run the first full-service FBO at Fujairah International Airport (FIA) in the United Arab Emirates. “We are looking to make Fujairah our hub,” Aurora CEO Ammar Kutait told AIN.
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman on the country’s east coast instead of on the Persian Gulf. A new highway connects it with Dubai.
Gama Aviation’s FBO at Sharjah International Airport in the UAE has seen a 25-percent increase in business jet movements in the first quarter versus a year ago. The company, which took over responsibility for all business and general aviation aircraft handling at Sharjah in January, said that business jet movements doubled last month, compared with April 2011. Additionally, a further 20 operators and flight support agencies have signed up for handling agreements with Gama’s Sharjah FBO, it said.
Gama Aviation opened its new FBO at Sharjah (UAE) International Airport on Monday, making it the sole business aviation handler at the field. The facility, which is open 24/7/365, marks Gama’s move into FBO management for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region. Gama has based a fleet of charter aircraft at Sharjah since 2004. Sharjah’s appeal is its availability of slots and its close proximity to downtown Dubai, Gama said.
United Arab Emirates-based flight planning and support group Avjet Routing is expanding operations into Europe with the opening of new offices in Geneva and Istanbul, Turkey. According to Avjet CEO Sam Wanli, the Sharjah-based company intends to establish operations in other European cities as it seeks to expand its customer base beyond the Arabian Gulf region.
Despite what Avjet Routing (Stand C225) called a year of "uncontrollable economic factors," the Sharjah-based aircraft handling company said it recorded a year of strong growth, strong enough, in fact, that the company labeled its 2010 performance to date as "exceptional." Growth came through a number of new contacts joining its AV-Global Network.
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