Trip support group United Aviation Services (UAS) has boosted its international network with a new U.S. headquarters established in Houston and the launch last month of a trip management system. The Dubai-based company has signaled its intent to roll out more flight-support offices in other parts of the world.
News and issues relating to business, corporate and private aviation, primarily regarding turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters. Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
The majority of aircraft operators are willing to pay more for high-quality support services, according to a United Aviation Services survey that quizzed 250 business aircraft operators (approximately two-thirds of them based in the U.S.). Seventy percent of respondents put service quality ahead of price.
As the Great Recession moves into its sixth year, the market for used business aircraft remains something of a quagmire, with some models still searching for a price bottom. But there are bright spots where values have stabilized, and inventory overall is headed in the right direction.
Expectations of a late-2013 surge in new airliner deals were handsomely surpassed at last month’s Dubai Airshow (November 17-21), with aircraft orders (including the engines that will power them) exceeding a record-breaking $200 billion mark, as of press time. But business aviation also put on a strong showing, accounting for roughly a third of the 150 or so aircraft occupying a packed static display at the biennial event’s new Dubai World Central (DWC) site. The impressive purpose-built show venue closely replicates the appearance of the long-standing site at Dubai International Airport.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) plans to draft policies and procedures that will provide baseline regulations for business aviation in the UAE and Saudi Arabia at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference, which will be held in Dubai just before the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show from Dec. 8 to 10 next year. MEBAA founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi said the introduction of these policies and procedures had been on the association’s agenda for some time.
Yesterday’s tax auction by the Brazilian government of a Bombardier Challenger 300 and Dassault Falcon 900 at Viracopos Airport in Campinas, Brazil, failed to garner the minimum bids of $12.85 million and $5.05 million, respectively. Another auction will be scheduled, possibly by year-end, with lower minimums that have not yet been determined.
According to aviation data research firm WingX Advance, there have been 139,966 business aviation movements at the top 22 airports in the Middle East so far this year, a 3-percent rise from the same period a year ago. WingX said the majority of departures from the region are headed to Europe.
King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is the busiest of the 22 Middle Eastern airports, with 909 departures year-to-date, 62 percent of which are private flights, it said. Activity at Kuwait, which is one of the busiest charter departure points, is up 7 percent year-over-year.
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.
Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), a key figure in the development of business aviation in the region, confirmed recently that the MEBA 2014 Show will take place at the new Dubai World Central Expo site, where the current Dubai Airshow is taking place.
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.