The Gulf region is recognized as one of the key markets for private aviation, and Middle East Business Aviation Association (Stand 1751) chairman Ali Al Naqbi is determined to help shape it as a safe one.
Comlux Middle East and Saudia Private Aviation have signed an agreement for joint development of charter business opportunities in the Middle East. Comlux Middle East, one of Comlux the Aviation Group’s companies, holds a European air operators certificate and will make its fleet of six Airbus corporate jets (soon to be eight) available for Saudia Private Aviation customers.
Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and GE have collaborated on a facility to train technicians on GE engines, including the GE90, CF6, CF34 and GEnx. QSTP is located in Qatar Foundation’s Education City, which was developed as a campus to bring together research and business. According to a GE spokeswoman it is the first GE facility of its kind outside North America.
Jordan is to modify two of its Airbus Military CN-235 utility transports to a gunship configuration. A contract has been awarded to ATK for the work, which is being undertaken in conjunction with Jordan’s King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau. The work will be split between ATK’s U.S. facilities and those of KADDB in Jordan.
United Arab Emirates-based flight planning and support group Avjet Routing is expanding operations into Europe with the opening of new offices in Geneva and Istanbul, Turkey. According to Avjet CEO Sam Wanli, the Sharjah-based company intends to establish operations in other European cities as it seeks to expand its customer base beyond the Arabian Gulf region.
A letter of intent (LOI) has been signed between Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) and Alpha Star Aviation Services, opening dialog about a joint venture to provide military and commercial aviation support and maintenance services in Saudi Arabia. Alpha Star Aviation Services is an aerospace services provider based in Riyadh.
The Court of Appeals of Quebec on January 11 summarily dismissed appeals by the state of Iraq and Iraqi Airways in the 20-year-old legal case brought by Kuwait Airways seeking damages for Iraq’s seizure of 10 airplanes and associated spares and records during its 1990 occupation of Kuwait. The case continues to prevent Bombardier from delivering the final six of an order for 10 CRJ900s placed by the government of Iraq in 2008.
I have long suspected that the main U.S. purpose in supplying huge arms packages to Gulf countries is to recycle petrodollars. Uncle Sam pays heavily for its reliance on imported oil, but offers in return a shopping list of shiny new weaponry from the U.S. defense industry. Like kids in a candy store, the Arabs take up these offers, although with not enough thought given to how they might absorb and operate the kit.
Alsalam Aircraft delivered a Lockheed L-100 Hercules in VIP configuration (photo, above) to an undisclosed customer at last month’s Meba show in Dubai. The aircraft features an interior designed by the Saudi Arabian company.
Executive Sky managing director Khaled Akkawi said yesterday that growth at his two-year-old Beirut, Lebanon-based charter company has been nothing short of phenomenal, with "2010 revenues up 500 percent over 2009." Executive Sky currently operates a two-aircraft fleet, a Learjet 60 and a Hawker 700.