The UAE is in no immediate hurry to acquire a new fighter, although it is anxious to fully contribute to the security of the Gulf countries, according to Major General (ret.) Khaled Abdullah Al Bu-Ainnain, former commander of the UAE Air Force. Khaled told AIN here yesterday that, “it takes years to negotiate a new fighter contract.” His comments will dampen expectations of a near-term order or MoU for the Eurofighter Typhoon that have been raised by the British diplomatic and industrial offensive here this week.
United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation Services inked a letter of intent (LOI) for the Pilatus PC-24 business jet yesterday afternoon here at Dubai 2013. The new jet was launched in May at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva. While Pilatus said it will not open the PC-24’s order book until EBACE 2014, this is the first reported LOI for the new aircraft, potentially placing the UAE aircraft and charter management firm as one of the launch customers when orders are officially taken.
The Global Aerospace Summit, an Abu Dhabi-based aviation event that will take place for the second time in April, has announced speakers to take part on the first day of the summit.
Hosted by Mubadala Development and organised by Streamline Marketing Group, the event will see James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, Marillyn Hewson, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin and Tony Douglas, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, as opening speakers on April 7, 2014. The conference runs for two days through April 8.
A series of blockbuster orders placed yesterday underlined Dubai’s status as capital of the commercial aircraft megadeal, chief among them being an order for 150 Boeing 777X aircraft placed by Emirates (termed a “commitment”)–effectively launching the new larger variant of the popular long-range twinjet. Emirates’s 777X order, which consists of 115 -9Xs and 35 -8Xs, was not entirely unexpected as the carrier played a leading role in defining the aircraft, but yesterday marked the largest product launch in commercial airline history (by dollar value) for any OEM.
Aviation in the Middle East isn’t just growing, it’s booming–and women have every opportunity to join the ranks, according to the president of the Emirates chapter of Women in Aviation, International (WAI).
Jet Aviation has expanded operations at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport, underlining its FBO presence at the new airport, which opened less than a year ago. It also highlights the growing trend for business jet migration from Dubai International to DWC, which started around the time of the Middle East Business Aviation event in December 2012.
Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s investment diversification catalyst, will launch a new combined Aerospace, Communications Technology and Defense Services (ACTDS) portfolio, a merger of business units designed to maximize intra-unit synergies, at this year’s Dubai Airshow.
Some 21 businesses in the ACTDS portfolio incorporate international industry leaders and emerging domestic players with more than 10,000 global employees. Together, the ACTDS businesses contributed almost 40 percent of Mubadala’s revenues in the first half of its 2013 fiscal year.
Airline industry organizations have welcomed new legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress that would prevent the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency from opening a customs preclearance facility in the UAE.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) will offer new guidance on Emergency Response Planning (ERP) aimed specifically at the Middle East, as well as an update on the Middle East Business Aviation Insurance Scheme (MAIS), at a series of seminars and workshops during the Dubai Airshow this week.
MEBAA will also host its General Assembly on Tuesday, November 19, with founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi updating the association’s 215 members on MEBAA’s activities during the year. He will also outline plans for 2014, including the MEBA 2014 event in December.
Although charter providers form an important part of the Middle East aviation market they have faced tough times in recent years, unlike the region’s royal flights. “Royalty always had money and always will have money,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for Teal Group, of Fairfax, Virginia. “The entrepreneur class that was growing has obviously been hit by the downturn, though,” he added.