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.
The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) exhibition’s first appearance at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport location is expected to see a record number of attendees. According to organizer F&E Aerospace, more than 7,000 trade visitors are expected at MEBA 2012, which opens tomorrow and ends Thursday. At press time, the number of pre-registered visitors had already exceeded 6,000, which is 35 percent higher than the pre-registration tally two years ago, when MEBA was last held.
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.
Saudia Private Aviation (SPA), the business jet arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines, is seeing increased interest from businesses in the Kingdom in acquiring new aircraft, as it prepared to open the country’s largest FBO in Jeddah. “SPA’s operations will grow 100 percent year-on-year this year,” said SPA CEO Wajdi Al Idrissi. “The government is spending the money and there is no decline in growth. In Saudi Arabia, private aviation is growing at 15 to 20 percent a year.”
Doha-based Rizon Jet has become a founding member of The Luxury Network Qatar, which brings together a select group of companies and high-end service providers. The Luxury Network Qatar will be launched officially early next year in Rizon Jet’s VIP terminal at Doha.
Qatar’s Rizon Jet (Stand 340) is eyeing business from all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, expanding its aircraft maintenance services and building up its aircraft trading and management offering, while preparing the ground for a move to the new Doha Airport and the establishment of an FBO at Paris Le Bourget airport.
Royal Jet, the commercial private jet concern owned by the UAE’s Presidential Flight Authority and Abu Dhabi Aviation, is planning a major fleet expansion in 2013, the year of its 10th anniversary. A defection by the nine-jet company away from Boeing, given that Royal Jet owns the world’s largest Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) fleet–six aircraft–would be a major blow for the U.S. manufacturer.
Fujairah’s business has traditionally been in cement and mining, but ship bunkering has developed into a major industry, general shipping is thriving at Fujairah and Khorfakkan ports, and plans are in full swing to build an oil refinery, increase tank-farm storage facilities and develop tourism and real estate.