The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show’s first appearance at the Dubai World Central aerotropolis Al Maktoum International Airport is expected to see a record number of attendees, “with over 7,000 trade visitors expected,” show organizer F&E Aerospace told AIN yesterday.
Montreal, Canada-based flight training provider CAE is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Emirates-CAE Flight Training (ECFT) center during MEBA this week. The center was created in partnership with the Emirates Group in 2002, and some 4,000 pilots per year are trained there now.
American International Group has agreed to sell up to a 90-percent stake in International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) to a group of Chinese investors led by Weng Xianding, the chairman of New China Trust Company, AIG announced today.
According to Avinode (Stand 212), the Sweden-based aviation business intelligence house and charter marketplace, although Turkey has been experiencing major growth in business aviation in recent times, with an increase of 4.8 percent from January to October, this has now been hit by the effect of the conflict in neighboring Syria.
The only big-three Middle East airline player to have an executive jet operation, Qatar Executive is expanding its fleet, preparing for the opening of its FBO at New Doha International Airport in 2014, and increasing destination options for its customers.
Gama Group, the fast-growing business aviation services group, is quickly settling into its new base at Sharjah International Airport. The Farnborough, UK-based company is finding that customers now recognize the limitations of Dubai International Airport, which has become increasingly busy with airline traffic, making it hard for business aircraft operators to get convenient slots–especially at short notice. Meanwhile, Gama’s move into Saudi Arabia with new FBOs planned in Jeddah and Riyadh are coming together fast.
Airbus Corporate Jets launched its new Gala cabin concept for the ACJ330/340 widebodies today at MEBA 2012. The concept is applicable to A330s and A340s, which essentially have the identical cabins between doors two and three. In this cabin zone, Airbus proposes the installation of a VVIP fit encompassing a master bedroom, master office and conference area. Governments requiring head-of-state aircraft are seen as the main potential customers.
The second biannual MEBA Conference (MEBAC) convened in Dubai Marina today to tackle the issues facing the regional industry, underscoring evils posed by the gray market and the disconnect between regional operators and regulators as they attempt to curb it. The gray market–when an aircraft carries paying passengers without an air operating certificate–has caused consternation in the business aviation industry in the Middle East, as legitimate operators see earnings whittled away by fly-by-night operators cutting corners and failing to provide proper insurance.
Dassault Falcon sees demand for business jets recovering throughout the Middle East, thanks to large operators in the region and the increased globalization of commerce. The company expects to deliver six Falcons to Middle East customers over the next 18 months, expanding the Falcon fleet in the Middle East by 10 percent. More than 60 Falcon business jets already operate in the region.
The scheduled-airline vacuum at Dubai World Central’s new Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) has created an opportunity for business aviation operators hard pressed to obtain adequate slots at Dubai International Airport (DXB), according to Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of government-owned Dubai Aviation City Corp., whose main responsibility is construction at Dubai Aviation City.