The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) will host its next MEBAA Conference in Amman, Jordan, on October 14. Initial plans called for it to be held in Tunisia next month, MEBAA said, but this venue has been postponed until next year. Following the success of the last MEBAA Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in April, the event in Jordan will also draw upon members and prominent stakeholders across the region’s aviation sector “to deliberate and discuss the issues pertaining to the Middle East and North Africa’s business aviation market.”
The long-expected follow-on order from Saudi Arabia for Eurofighter Typhoons has still not materialized, but in its half-yearly report BAE Systems revealed that it expects to receive orders worth about $2.2 billion to upgrade Saudi aircraft. Earlier this year, a protracted renegotiation of the original “Al Salam” deal for 72 aircraft was finally concluded.
Nearly three years after the U.S. military withdrew from Iraq, Navy F/A-18 Hornets and Air Force F-15s, F-16s and unmanned MQ-1 Predators returned to the sky over the country this past week to stem the advance of Islamic extremists and support humanitarian airdrops.
The new Jetex FBO at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, is now fully operational, according to the international trip support provider. The luxury facility, open 24 hours a day, has on-site customs, immigration and quarantine service and can obtain traffic slots and overflight permits on short notice. The location can also arrange VIP handling at other major airports throughout the Philippines.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker officially endorsed the Boeing 777-9X yesterday here in Farnborough by converting the 50-airplane memorandum of understanding announced at the Dubai Air Show last year to a firm order. A separate agreement to take purchase rights for another fifty 777-9Xs could increase the value Qatar’s investment from $18.9 billion to $37.7 billion at list prices. Finally, Al Baker also announced his intention to order four 777 Freighters and place options on another four.
The next Singapore Airshow in 2016 will be expanded in several key areas of growing interest to the wider aerospace and defense industries. The new Training & Simulation Zone, first introduced at the February 2014 show, is expected to almost double in size to include military exhibitors. Show organizer Experia Events (Chalet B18) is also planning a new dedicated Business Aviation Zone and an Aerospace Emerging Technologies Zone.
Rosoboronexport, Russia’s defense export agency, continues to benefit from backing by President Vladimir Putin. Speaking at a late April meeting of the Commission for Military Technical Cooperation with Foreign Countries, Putin claimed that Russia is second only to the U.S. in terms of volume of military shipments, with a 27-percent market share.
Russian Helicopters has taken over the management of five aircraft repair plants formerly owned by Russia’s ministry of defense. The plants are located in Khabarovsk, Svetly (Kaliningrad Region), Engels (Saratov Region), St. Petersburg and Chita. They will “significantly strengthen” after-sales service for Russian commercial and military helicopters, according to the manufacturer. Managers from the plants met with Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev on May 21.
Private charter operator Qatar Executive–a subsidiary of Qatar Airways–is set to open a new FBO at Doha’s Hamad International Airport shortly, having already moved its headquarters there. The airport, which opened earlier this year after a series of delays, is scheduled to replace Doha International Airport as the Gulf nation’s primary international gateway. The company plans to strengthen its core Middle East, Far East and African markets next year, according to executive vice president David Edwards.
Gama Aviation held a ceremonial opening yesterday for its FBO at Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates, about 15 miles northeast of Dubai’s downtown. The new facility’s lounge has been operational since June 15, and feedback from users of the private terminal has been “incredible,” according to Gama Aviation MENA general manager Richard Lineveldt.
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