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 largest FBO in the country, at Jeddah.
Geography of Saudi Arabia
Middle East business aviation support group Nexus is relocating its main operations center to Saudi Arabia in response to violent political upheaval in Bahrain, where its head office has been located. The company, which is a subsidiary of Saudi group MAZ Aviation, will now make its Jeddah facility the focus of its flight-support work for business aircraft operators.
Arabian Aircraft Service Co. (Arabasco) opened its new FBO in Jeddah last month. The new 37,675-sq-ft, two-floor FBO is part of the first phase of the redevelopment of Jeddah International Airport and consists of several separate lounges for passengers and a dedicated airside area for crew, allowing them close access both to their aircraft and to support services, including flight planning, crew snooze rooms and a crew lounge.
During the MEBA conference, new figures emerged on the region’s business aviation fleet and growth potential. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia-based operator National Air Services says there are some 350 private aircraft flying throughout the Middle East, although statistics generally reckon around 250 locally registered aircraft.
Europe-headquartered handling group Swissport and maintenance provider Arabasco (Arab Airplane Services Co.) of Saudi Arabia have formed a new joint venture to establish FBOs at Jeddah and Riyadh. Handling operations for business aircraft could begin at both Saudi airports as soon as next month or November.