Gama Aviation announced today that the Scottish Ambulance Service has again selected the company to be its dedicated provider of air ambulance services, extending its contract for seven more years, to 2020. Gama’s Scottish fleet includes a Beechcraft King Air 200C at both Aberdeen and Glasgow Airports and a Eurocopter EC135T2 at both Glasgow and Inverness. The two EC135s will be replaced with two new EC145T2s next year.
Gama Aviation has announced plans to open a new base in Switzerland at Geneva Airport. The aircraft management operation is expected to be up and running by July, with the intention of getting its Swiss air operators certificate by year-end. It will be led by general manager Hamish Ross.
Tough trading conditions aren’t discouraging business aviation services group Gama (Stand 955) from its goal of growing a global network. The latest evidence of this is that Gama’s Asian clients are now benefiting from the UK-based business aviation, charter, management and maintenance company’s recently opened Hong Kong FAA Part 135 operating base.
Gama Aviation’s FBO at Sharjah International Airport in the UAE has seen a 25-percent increase in business jet movements in the first quarter versus a year ago. The company, which took over responsibility for all business and general aviation aircraft handling at Sharjah in January, said that business jet movements doubled last month, compared with April 2011. Additionally, a further 20 operators and flight support agencies have signed up for handling agreements with Gama’s Sharjah FBO, it said.
Gama Aviation opened its new FBO at Sharjah (UAE) International Airport on Monday, making it the sole business aviation handler at the field. The facility, which is open 24/7/365, marks Gama’s move into FBO management for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region. Gama has based a fleet of charter aircraft at Sharjah since 2004. Sharjah’s appeal is its availability of slots and its close proximity to downtown Dubai, Gama said.
Manufacturers are offering stepped-up support for visitors traveling by business aircraft to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Ind., February 5. Bombardier is positioning field service representatives at local Indianapolis FBOs to help Learjet, Challenger and Global operators with any last-minute problems. Bombardier’s North American customer services team will be standing by, including parts logistics representatives and mobile repair engineers.
Business aviation in the Middle East is expected to keep growing at a faster rate than that seen in North America and Europe, but slower than the more dynamic expansion now being seen in the emerging markets of Asia. This is the broad consensus among manufacturers and service providers for a region that is now emerging from a somewhat unsettled two-year period that has seen some fall-out from wider economic problems and the so-called Arab Spring political unrest.
Business aviation services group Gama Group is expanding its services to Saudi Arabia through a new joint venture company with Imitiaz Co. of Jeddah. The partnership will be known as Gama Aviation and the plan is for it to be operational early next year at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Airops Software is here at EBACE showing its new ProCharter aviation management software. ProCharter provides an aircraft and route cost calculator, monitors and records crew duty records and offers certificate administration. Of particular importance to European operators when the emissions trading scheme is instituted in 2012, ProCharter can provide emissions reports already verified for EU ETS reporting.
Imports of business aircraft into the UK have ground to a halt since tax authorities there scrapped its zero-VAT rating in January, according to Gama Aviation CEO Marwan Khalek. The change was forced on the UK by the European Commission with the intent of harmonizing VAT rules for aircraft sales, but the outcome has been a confusing muddle in which no one seems sure how VAT should now be applied.