XJet, which has been operating an FBO at Denver Centennial Airport since 2007, is opening a second base at Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport. Last week, XJet founder and CEO Josh Stewart signed a 10-year lease agreement to establish an exclusive club and FBO service at the airport, which expects to see a doubling of private jet movements within the next five years. XJet has also committed to ultimately moving its headquarters to the UAE as it grows the company’s footprint in the Middle East.
Dubai Airshow organizing firm F&E Aerospace (Booth 827) said that the show’s new venue is on schedule for completion, with just 90 days until Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects officially hands over the keys for the show site. The biennial event will take place November 17 to 21 at Dubai World Central (DWC) in Jebel Ali. This year, more than 60,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors are expected.
Gama Aviation’s Sharjah Airport FBO has posted a 75-percent increase in corporate aviation movements during the past 12 months. The company responded to the increased traffic by adding five new employees to serve its expanding customer base. The increased traffic demonstrates that the FBO has established itself as “the stress-free preferred gateway for business and private visitors to Sharjah, Dubai and the Northern Emirates,” according to Dave Edwards, managing director, Gama Aviation Sharjah.
Qatar Executive is investing in the development of a private jet terminal at Doha’s Hamad International Airport. The opening of the new gateway for airline service has been delayed, following a failure to achieve the planned “soft opening” on April 1, but this appears not to be holding back plans to serve business aviation traffic there.
Qatar Airways’ private jet division, Qatar Executive, has been granted Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) regulatory approvals to conduct base maintenance services for Bombardier’s Challenger604/605 and Global series. To meet anticipated demand, the MRO has expanded its service offering with heavy maintenance checks at its nearly 70,000-sq-ft dedicated hangar at Doha International Airport.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association is hosting the inaugural Middle East Business Aviation Conference in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on June 4. The conference, to be held under the patronage of Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation president H.H. Prince Fahd bin Abdulla bin Muhammad, will gather prominent leaders of the region’s aviation sector to discuss the issues affecting the Kingdom’s business aviation market. Business aviation in Saudi Arabia is quickly growing and is one the segment’s biggest markets among the six states in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Bell Helicopter held two maintainers and operators conferences in China at the end of April, in Beijing and Shanghai. The conferences helped Chinese operators learn more about Bell customer support and service enhancements and safety improvements and enabled discussion of technical issues. “We were pleased with the turnout at both locations,” said Chris Jaran, managing director, China. “It was apparent that our Chinese customers are focused on maintaining their Bell Helicopter products at the highest level.”
Russian Helicopters reported an increase in revenues, to RUB125.7 billion ($4 billion), for last year on the strength of a 10.7-percent increase in deliveries. “Last year we delivered 290 helicopters of nine different types to our clients from 19 countries,” said CEO Dmitry Petrov. The backlog stood at 817 helicopters, worth RUB350 billion ($11 billion) as of December 31.
Nextant Aviation has started to enjoy success in Asia. The U.S.-based remanufacturer of Beechjet 400s brought a Nextant 400XT to Hongqiao and used ABACE to announce that it has appointed China Great Wall Industry (CGWIC) as its dealer for China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Later, Nextant announced that CGWIC made its first sale at the event–to someone who saw the aircraft on display in the static and quickly become CGWIC’s first sales success. With all the talk of how long business deals take to come to fruition in China, the deal was of particular note for showgoers.
Aviation industry groups in the U.S. and Europe oppose a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that would spare passengers the inconvenience of waiting at a customs checkpoint upon arrival in the U.S. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers also questions the plan and has requested more information from the DHS.