NetJets Europe announced today that it is extending its ferry waiver zone, in which fees on positioning flights are not charged, for flights between 21 “business critical” airports in the Middle East and Europe. The extension will add Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait to the waiver, which previously included Lebanon and Tel Aviv. The company said it has witnessed “strong growth” in flights to the Middle East in the last few years, with 9.2 percent growth reported last year alone.
European manufacturers of major defense equipment face a struggle to secure new contracts in the Middle East against American competition, as evidenced by the latest Saudi arms deal. The huge F-15 deal probably ends Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) interest in a second batch of Eurofighters.
Alongside ostentatious neighbors like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain has tended to get overlooked as a Middle Eastern hub for air transportation. Yet, the island kingdom in the Arabian Gulf actually lays a fair claim to being the birthplace of aviation in the Middle East. Next month (January 21 to 23) it intends to point the world to its aviation future when it hosts its own airshow for the first time.
Despite reporting a recent “pronounced upswing” in business jet charter business in the Gulf Cooperation Council territories, Middle East charter and aircraft management firm Rizon is rationalizing its activity in the area to cut costs.
Oman-based regional aircraft spares supplier Dahra Logistics & Marketing is planning to open an office in Dubai next March to tap into the fast-growing aviation market here in the United Arab Emirates. “Already, new airlines such as Air Arabia and Etihad are growing fast,” observed Dahra’s CEO, Khamis Obaid Mubarak Al-Ajmi.