Although charter providers form an important part of the Middle East aviation market they have faced tough times in recent years, unlike the region’s royal flights. “Royalty always had money and always will have money,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for Teal Group, of Fairfax, Virginia. “The entrepreneur class that was growing has obviously been hit by the downturn, though,” he added.
Dubai International Airport
The Middle East needs to prepare to handle increased air traffic congestion over the next few years, especially in the Gulf region; however, forming a central body to coordinate the necessary changes and harmonization is proving difficult.
This year’s Dubai Airshow marks the start of a new era in the event’s growth as one of the key dates in the aviation calendar. Having been under development for several years, the move to a new site here at Dubai World Central/Al Maktoum International Airport has been accomplished seamlessly. The move not only provides the show with a purpose-built facility with expanded road access, but also frees the former location at the busy Dubai International Airport from the burden of having to shut down airline operations during the daily flying display.
With eight civil airports boasting IATA designations, it’s reasonable to ask why there are so many facilities in a country the size of the UAE. Partly, this is because five of the seven emirates Abu Dhabi (3), Dubai (2), Fujairah (1), Ras al-Khaimah (1) and Sarjah (1) have the demand. The other two–Ajman, at 259 sq km the smallest, and Umm al-Quwain, the least populous–do not.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, the CEO of Flydubai, Dubai’s low-cost carrier, has a reputation for being tight-lipped. Observers would be unwise to mistake this reticence for a lack of activity: Flydubai has been diligent in adding aircraft and routes ever since its first flight to Beirut in 2009 and, as of September, Dubai’s second airline, operated to 66 destinations, from Yekaterinburg in the north to the Maldives in the south, Belgrade in the west and Colombo in the east.
Dubai-based aircraft sales and aircraft management specialist and operator of the region’s largest fleet of business jets,Empire Aviation Group, which has been a subsidiary of Air Works India Engineering since 2012, is looking to expand support to the booming Southeast Asia market. A strategic tie-up is to be announced in the first quarter of 2014, Paras Dhamecha, executive director at Empire Aviation, told AIN.
Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai’s second airport, originally planned to accommodate 160 million passengers when complete, will see its development speeded up dramatically if Dubai’s bid to host World Expo 2020 is successful.
Next week’s Dubai Airshow, running from November 17 to 21, is set to provide yet more evidence of the soaring ambitions of the Gulf region’s air carriers, and Boeing’s new 777X twinjet seems set to be the main beneficiary of their relentless fleet expansion plans.
Business aviation is set to make a strong showing at next month’s Dubai Airshow, with the sector expected to account for as many as 50 of the 150 aircraft anticipated on the static display and around 220 of the exhibiting companies. In addition to all the main airframers, bizav service providers such as Jet Aviation, ExecuJet Aviation, Royal Jet and Jetex are booked to exhibit at the event.
Cargo carrier UPS has begun installing new systems in its aircraft to help contain intense fires such as the one that brought down UPS Flight 6, a Boeing 747-400 freighter, on Sept. 3, 2010, in Dubai. The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) issued its final report on the crash on July 24. The report suggests that a shipment of lithium batteries possibly caught fire and led to the fatal crash.