Alongside ostentatious neighbors like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain has tended to get overlooked as a Middle Eastern hub for air transportation. Yet, the island kingdom in the Arabian Gulf actually lays a fair claim to being the birthplace of aviation in the Middle East. Next month (January 21 to 23) it intends to point the world to its aviation future when it hosts its own airshow for the first time.
Royal Jordanian Airlines’ new president and chief executive, Hussein Dabbas, is maintaining the carrier’s long-held ambition to become the Middle East’s airline of choice. After 30 years in the airline’s marketing and sales organization, Dabbas brings contrasting experience to that of his predecessor, Samer Majali, an aeronautical engineer who left Royal Jordanian abruptly four months ago to lead troubled Bahrain carrier Gulf Air.
Research firm Frost & Sullivan today said that the Middle East is one of the few world regions where the business jet market has registered growth, adding that the air-taxi segment is expected to be a major driver for this market. According to the company’s data, the Middle East logged 93,000 business jet movements last year, and that number is projected to grow to 103,000 this year.
Al Ain-based Horizon International Flight Academy, which has assembled a fleet of nearly 30 aircraft since it was established in 2002, is looking for growth opportunities.
The new Gulf Wings UAE operation of Jordanian charter/ management company Arab Wings is up and running as of yesterday when the company received its air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates.
Qatar Airways (Stand C130) is again at the Dubai Airshow on Emirates Airlines’ home turf evidently to remind its rival that it can’t have this prosperous territory all to itself. Along with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, the Doha-based carrier has adopted a very high profile as it seeks to take a share of the market to provide long-haul connecting service through its Gulf hub.
Qatar Airways is getting into the private charter business with the launch of its Qatar Executive subsidiary. The new operation, which will be based at Doha International Airport, took delivery of two new Bombardier Challenger 605s in June. The fleet also includes a Challenger 300.
Bahrain-based Bexair has launched a new company called Aventura Air Center to “own, operate and manage its FBO in Bahrain and expand FBO operations throughout the Middle East and other parts of the world,” according to Bexair. While Aventura will run the FBO, including aircraft handling and fueling at Bahrain, Bexair will remain a charter company.
The inaugural Bahrain International Air Show (BIAS), which will take place Jan. 20 to 23, 2010, was officially launched in Paris yesterday after a host of major aerospace companies agreed to participate in the exclusive chalet-only event.
ahrain-based charter operator Bexair has been granted an aircraft operator’s certificate in Saudi Arabia. The company established a subsidiary in Riyadh last year and it is now aiming to secure long-term charter contracts from Saudi customers.