Business aviation is set to have a high profile at the next Dubai Airshow later this year (November 15-19). The Middle East has not been immune from the global economic crisis but remains a major prospective growth market for an industry that has seen a significant slowdown in both North America and Europe.
United Arab Emirates
Dubai-based Palm Aviation is here at the EBACE show (Booth No. 1069) to discuss plans for its new FBO, the first to be built at the new Al Maktoum International Airport. The airport is part of the vast Dubai World Central (DWC) complex currently under construction at Jebel Ali, about 30 miles from the city center.
Dramatically expanding the country’s airlift capabilities, the United Arab Emirates plans to add Boeing C-17s and Lockheed Martin C-130Js. The country is purchasing four C-17 Globemaster IIIs for AED4.3 billion ($1.17 billion), and 12 C-130Js for AED5.9 billion ($1.6 billion). Financial management of the purchases has been assigned to Al Waha Capital, and deliveries are scheduled for 2012 and 2013.
The Gulf region continues to adopt corporate versions of the BAe 146/Avro RJ regional jetliner, generically dubbed the Avro Business Jet (ABJ). Next month, the UAE’s Abu Dhabi will take into its Amiri Flight a late-model RJ100 that will join a smaller RJ70. Other ABJs serve with the neighboring Dubai Air Wing, which operates two RJ85s. Bahrain flies a brace of RJ85s and a lone RJ100 that are assigned to its Defence Force.
Executive charter firm Empire Aviation has started operating a pair of Cessna 208 Grand Caravans on scheduled flights connecting Abu Dhabi International Airport with a new upscale resort on Sir Bani Yas Island in the Arabian Gulf.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has arranged $800 million in loans and revolving credit to fund “general corporate purposes.” The fresh capital, available on a three-year term, has come from a group of banks including Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Emirates Bank International, Lloyds TSB Bank and Noor Islamic Bank.
Al Jaber Aviation’s $1.2 billion order for 21 new aircraft placed during November’s MEBA show in Dubai confirmed the business aviation industry’s hopes that rising demand in the Middle East will compensate for slowing sales in western markets that are more directly affected by the ongoing financial crisis.
Falcon Aviation Services is opening a Sikorsky S-76 customer support center in Abu Dhabi, the first in the Middle East. The company is a provider of helicopter charter and maintenance services based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Bell 212, Persian Gulf, United Arab Emirates, Sept. 3, 2008–All seven people aboard the Aerogulf Services Bell 212 were killed when the helicopter hit a crane while taking off from an oil rig in the Persian Gulf. The helicopter had flown cargo from Dubai. After unloading the cargo, it lifted off the helipad, hovered and moved backward into the crane.
Avjet has partnered with Executive Aircraft Sales of Abu Dhabi, UAE. The alliance, which expands Avjet’s global presence into Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Moscow, will focus on sales, acquisitions, management and charter operation of large-cabin aircraft, including the BBJ, Gulfstreams and Globals.