MENA Aerospace, the Bahrain-based aircraft management and charter services company, is looking to improve MRO provision to the Middle East business jet and commercial airliner fleet, as its hangarage and technical know-how are put into the service of the industry.
The company’s main business line is the aircraft management and charter business in association with international partner Austria-based International Jet Management. The companies have set up a Bahrain-based joint venture, IJM MENA, which operates under a Bahrain AOC.
IJM MENA offers aircraft management services and VVIP and corporate business jet charter. “The company is setting a new standard in private business aviation, combining the unrivaled regional presence and experience of MENA Aerospace with IJM's in-depth industry knowledge and expertise,” said Mohammed Juman, managing director of MENA Aerospace.
MENA Aerospace said it has “five years of experience in managing private jet aircraft under our own AOC; seven years in installation of airport security and surveillance systems; and ten years in aircraft and helicopters upgrades and modifications. The company runs the first private hangar built in the region.”
“Business aviation in Bahrain is limited," said Juman. "However, there are steps being taken by the Bahrain Airport Company and the Bahrain Civil Aviation Authority to develop the sector by providing common-use offerings such as terminals and handling partners.”
Minister of Transport Kamal Ahmed announced plans to set up a new general aviation terminal at Bahrain International Airport at Bahrain’s airshow in November.
Juman’s other primary focus is contributing to meeting demand for the growing MRO requirements for business jets in the region and also for commercial airliners. Juman believes that the MENA Technics subsidiary can skim extra work from the growing market due to the sheer demand for maintenance in the region.
“Our MRO is going to be a little bit different [compared] to others," he said. "We want to develop it as a platform where service providers or aircraft owners can come in and have the services we offer on this platform made available to them. What I am trying to be is complementary to MROs so that they can continue to offer that service, using us as a platform.
“We have the capabilities and the assets required. We do MRO services but we do not go and compete with the MROs for the bigger contracts. We will never be able to do that. The smaller owners are very important, but we go to the MROs and sell our space to them because MROs have limited capacity; real estate is not always available. We have that real estate capability.”
The company is mainly targeting markets that deal in larger aircraft, particularly Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s, which also include important ACJ and BBJ components, as well as the private jets made by other OEMs, including Bombardier's Challenger and Global jets.
Juman said that MENA Aerospace’s MRO capability could also help with managing requirements for business jets such as ACJs and BBJs. “The plan that we have looks at 15 percent being on the bizjet side, [with the rest commercial airlines],” he said.
The third part of the business is MENA Aerospace’s work on trading spare parts. “That is more on a global scale," Juman said. "Not only do we have the contacts, but we also have the financing capability."
MENA Aerospace’s fourth division concentrates on real estate.
As a neighbor of Saudi Arabia, located on the doorstep of Dammam, the home of one of the top-four Saudi airports, MENA Aerospace is set to contribute to that market too. “Bahrain is well-placed to understand the nuances of the current situation with business aviation in the kingdom,” he said.
As the dearth of hangarage comes into focus there, Juman is looking to respond to the demand for new facilities. “There are opportunities. If you have the right model, it will work,” he said.
The company also said a recent restructuring embraced a strategy of developing a versatile platform for engineering and avionics services in the region, but also targeting the global market.
Among MENA Aerospace’s top officials, Omar Matar is general manager for the IJM MENA joint venture, Anil Kumar general manager of trading and real estate, while Mike Hughes serves as chief of technical operations at MENA Technics.