UAE government-owned carrier Etihad Airways inaugurated its fourth destination in North America on April 1, starting daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. Etihad last opened a new route to North America more than three years ago by starting service to Chicago, adding to its previous launches in New York and Toronto. Emirates, the largest Middle East carrier, started service between Washington Dulles and Dubai last September.
The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show made a strong debut in its new home at the Dubai World Central site, with organizers reporting attendance 20 percent up on the 2010 event at 7,549 trade visitors from 84 countries. The 2012 show drew 385 exhibitors from 45 countries, a 14-percent boost on the previous event.
The first airplane carrying revenue passengers from Dubai International Airport’s newly opened concourse in Terminal 3 took off Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. local time on its way to London Heathrow Airport. Emirates Airline Flight EK003 officially marked the opening of Concourse A–the world’s first dedicated to Airbus A380 operations.
A conference called Aviation Safety Culture, focused on establishing the highest levels of aviation safety across the Middle East, is scheduled for January 29 and 30 in Dubai. Organized under the auspices of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, the event is supported by Dubai Airports and Emirates Airline.
With FBOs in Dubai, Jeddah and Riyadh, and additional maintenance and management services at other locations, Jet Aviation (Stand 590) is one of the major business aviation players in the Middle East. The company has recently announced a number of developments for the region, including new capability for its Dubai-based MRO and FBO center.
That new capability comes in the form of FAA approval to perform base maintenance on the Bombardier Challenger 604 and 605, and light scheduled maintenance (A checks) on the Airbus single-aisle family (A318/319/320/321).
The significant investments in expanding the aircraft completions and maintenance capabilities of Amac Aerospace have surely been made with the Middle East very much in mind.
Construction began on the port at Jebel Ali in 1978, but it wasn’t until around 1985 that the man-made facility–generally recognized as the bedrock of Dubai’s modern-day success–started to fulfill its potential–and the emirate’s knack for turning ideas into world-beating projects shouldn’t be underestimated.
Tough economic times are resulting in innovations by carriers in the Asia Pacific region looking beyond traditional business models through strategic realignments and new product offerings. Recent ground-breaking deals include Virgin Australia selling a 10-percent stake to Singapore Airlines (SIA) and buying 60 percent of Tiger Airways; the new partnership between Emirates Airline and Qantas; and Etihad Airways purchasing a 10-percent stake in Virgin Australia.
Dubai’s importance as a hub for carrier Emirates Airline continues to increase, along with its proportion of connections to total traffic. Connecting passengers now account for 70 percent of all traffic into and out of Dubai, Emirates reported last month. For example, on September 5, the airline’s Dubai-Glasgow flight, EK27, attracted passengers from 39 points on the globe, from Accra and Cape Town in Africa, Christchurch in New Zealand, and Tokyo and Seoul in Asia.
Fuel efficiency and its effect on the useful life of aging aircraft is a dominant factor in the thinking of aircraft leasing companies, which are increasingly helping credit-squeezed carriers to refresh their fleets. Their presence in the market for airliner acquisition has continued to grow in the last two decades, with operating leases now thought to account for almost 40 percent of total deals today.