Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior ordered 12 S-76D twins at Farnborough. It’s the largest fleet order for the S-76D to date. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2012.
Israel has agreed to acquire 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), despite U.S. reluctance to permit their modification with Israeli-designed equipment. Recent talks in Washington between Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed a compromise that was first revealed at the Farnborough airshow.
Israel’s latest remote-sensing satellite, Ofeq-9, was successfully placed in orbit on June 22 by an Israel Aerospace Industries Shavit vehicle launched from Palmachim Air Force Base, near the cities of Rishon LeZion and Yavne. Three days later the IAI-built satellite began transmitting its first high-resolution images.
The Central Europe Private Aviation (Cepa) group has formed an affiliated organization called Southeast Europe Private Aviation (Sopa). This new group will focus initially on representing the interests of the business aviation industry in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. According to Cepa chairman Dagmar Grossmann, these countries are positioned in the heart of expected, and significant, business aviation growth in the region.
The prospect of involuntarily bankruptcy is all too real for many airlines around the world. But the government of Iraq is poised to voluntarily take Iraqi Airways out of business as a way to avoid a 20-year-old legal dispute with Kuwait Airways.
Al Bateen Executive, the Gulf region’s first dedicated private aviation airport, reported a 30-percent increase in aircraft movements in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year. The airport is located minutes from the city center of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Abu Dhabi-based charter operator Royal Jet is taking increasing numbers of bookings for flights into Iraq. Since the 2003 invasion of the country by the U.S. and its allies, the operator has made more than 100 flights into Iraq, including private charters and emergency medical evacuations. Following the 2003 conflict, Royal Jet was the first commercial flight provider to enter the market.
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.
The new Gulf Wings UAE operation of Jordanian charter/ management company Arab Wings is up and running as of yesterday when the company received its air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates.
MAC Aircraft Interior Specialists has completed refurbishment of the second of three Falcon 20s for Egypt Air. The first aircraft was finished late last year and work has begun on the third airplane.