Dubai may harbor ambitions of one day hosting an airshow to outshine those held in Paris and Farnborough, but on one score the Gulf emirate is already well ahead. The nearly $80 billion worth of aircraft sales commitments announced through the first two days of the show smashed all-time records and easily surpassed even an impressive tally recorded at June’s Paris Air Show.
Both local and Western companies are enjoying a strong market for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in the Middle East, due to increased airline activity and military aircraft fleets.
In just over three months, on February 19, the renamed Singapore Airshow will open at a brand new purpose-built site, with a new dress code for professional visitors and a new organization behind the scenes.
Mubadala Development Company has changed the name of its Gulf Aircraft Maintenance (GAMCO) subsidiary to Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies. The Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala (Stand W300) aims to grow its annual revenue from a current $300 million to $800 million by 2012.
There is a bit of an ironic twist in the continuing fast-pace growth of business aviation in the Middle East. Many new users of business aircraft in this part of the world are part of the wave of economic diversification sweeping the Arabian Gulf states as they try to reduce their dependence on oil income in anticipation of the depletion of reserves.
The Arabian Gulf region has experienced an unprecedented period of economic activity over the past decade, especially here in Dubai, which has succeeded in reducing its reliance on oil to a point where its economy does not seem to depend on that sector for survival.
Royal Jordanian will be the Middle East launch customer for the GEnx engine to power its 787s when deliveries begin in 2010. The flagcarrier selected General Electric (Stand C410) as its powerplant provider last month. Earlier this year, Royal Jordanian was announced as a 787 customer for up to 16 of the new 787 long-haul airliners. It will be taking these through a mixture of purchase and lease packages.
As part of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways’ expanding “emiratization” program, an initial batch of 12 UAE national cadets started training in June at Mubadala’s Horizon International Flight Academy in Al Ain, 75 miles south of Dubai.
Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle Mubadala Development Co. (Stand W300) has enlisted the aid of some of aerospace’s biggest names in pursuit of the United Arab Emirates’ aim to become a producer and investor in the industry as well as a major customer. The company says its entry into aerospace will be “organized in carefully planned stages and is likely to involve significant investment in the first few years.”
The Malaysian government’s decision to ground a fleet of helicopters belonging
to state-owned operator Hornbill Skyways has disrupted life in Sarawak, Borneo. The Malaysian government issued the order at the beginning of last month, after Sarawak’s second helicopter accident in two months claimed the lives of four people on board a Hornbill Bell 206 JetRanger.