The European Commission has lifted flight restrictions into Europe imposed on all operators from Swaziland, as well as for Cebu Pacific in the Philippines and Kazakhstan’s Air Astana with the latest revision of the EU air safety list, or so-called blacklist. The EC said it based its decisions on various sources and hearings before the EU Air Safety Committee, which met from March 25 to 27.
Australian navy teams detected signals consistent with the frequency emitted by flight data and cockpit voice recorders some 900 nautical miles northwest of Perth in the Indian Ocean over the weekend, a development characterized by authorities as the best lead yet in the search for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Gulfstream has a fleet of more than 100 business aircraft owned and operated in the Arabian Gulf region, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) representing strong customer bases in the large-cabin market.
Seawings has launched an amphibious seaplane shuttle service to connect Dubai’s remote new Al Maktoum International Airport with the Park Hyatt Hotel in the city center. The new operation has been launched in partnership with flight support provider Jetex, which operates an FBO at the airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Gama Aviation’s FBO at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) witnessed 70-percent growth in traffic last year and is anticipating similar growth this year. To keep pace with demand, during the second quarter of this year the company expects to complete development of new passenger and crew lounges. It is also set to double staffing levels at the facility by the end of next month.
On average, Middle Eastern business aircraft passengers fly twice as many hours as those in Europe, according to a benchmarking study from Dubai-based Private Jet Charter. The average UAE private jet passenger flies 100 to 150 hours annually, a figure that rises to between 150 and 200 hours for business aircraft fliers in Saudi Arabia. This compares to the average of 50 to 100 hours flown yearly by European business aircraft passengers. Private Jet Charter attributes the difference to “the limited availability of commercial options on domestic routes” in the Middle East.
A war of words has flared between Ankara and Damascus this week after a Turkish air force Lockheed Martin F-16 shot down a Syrian air force Mikoyan MiG-23BN ground attacker on Sunday. While Syria described the shootdown as a “flagrant act of aggression,” Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warned Syria that “our response will be heavy if you violate our airspace.” Syria has also accused Ankara of shooting down the aircraft to deflect attention away from Turkish domestic political issues, just a week before local elections.
The need for better regulation and firmer action to stem the tide of the so-called gray market in illegal charter flights will top the agenda at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC), which will be held in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on April 10. The event is organized by the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), which is taking the lead in pushing for firmer legal foundations to support the region’s fast-growing industry.
Earlier this month Japan released some details about the growth of incursions by Chinese aircraft into Japanese airspace. The release of information comes after China unilaterally declared the establishment of its East China Sea ADIZ (air defense identification zone) last November. The figures show a significant rise in the number of interceptions being launched by the JASDF (Japan air self-defence force) against Chinese intruders.
Infrastructure and regulatory issues continue to stifle general aviation in India, and for the first time in a decade the industry contracted by one percent last year, according to Rohit Kapur, president of the country’s Business Aviation Operators Association (BAOA).
Kapur told a press conference at this week’s India Aviation show in Hyderabad that 13 aircraft were imported into the country last year and 19 were sold.