The Middle East Business Aviation Association is hosting the inaugural Middle East Business Aviation Conference in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on June 4. The conference, to be held under the patronage of Saudi Arabia General Authority of Civil Aviation president H.H. Prince Fahd bin Abdulla bin Muhammad, will gather prominent leaders of the region’s aviation sector to discuss the issues affecting the Kingdom’s business aviation market. Business aviation in Saudi Arabia is quickly growing and is one the segment’s biggest markets among the six states in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Outline of Saudi Arabia
Qatar Airways is set to become the first foreign carrier to make lasting inroads into the Saudi Arabian air transport market, in moves that could overturn long-standing restrictions that have made the large and wealthy country something of a sleeping giant.
Saudia Private Aviation (SPA) plans to open business-jet FBOs at Saudi Arabia’s four main airports–Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Medina–within a year, according to company managing director Wajdi Al Idrissi. The facility at SPA’s Jeddah home base is expected to open next month.
Jet Aviation’s expansion in the Middle East continues, highlighted by the recent grand opening of its new terminal in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where the company has had an FBO since 1983. The opening ceremony, held earlier this month, brought guests from 10 countries to the 32,292-sq-ft facility, which was developed as a joint venture with Saudi partners under the Jet Aviation Saudi Arabia banner.
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.
Reports from Washington suggest that a new arms package being assembled for Saudi Arabia could reach record proportions, as much as $60 billion. Another 80-plus F-15 fighters could be offered, along with about 70 UH-60 Black Hawk and up to 60 AH-64 Apache helicopters.
Al Bateen Executive, the Gulf region’s first dedicated private aviation airport, reported a 30-percent increase in aircraft movements in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year. The airport is located minutes from the city center of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Royal Jet and Arabasco launched a joint venture to expand private charter services in Saudi Arabia. Under the deal, Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet will base one of its five Boeing Business Jets and a Gulfstream G300, respectively, at the Jeddah and Riyadh bases of FBO/maintenance group Arabasco, and will also permanently station aircrew and support staff in Saudi Arabia.
Royal Jet and Arabasco today launched a joint venture to expand private charter services in Saudi Arabia. Under the terms of the deal, Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet will base one of its five Boeing Business Jets and a Gulfstream G300, respectively, at the Jeddah and Riyadh bases of FBO/maintenance group Arabasco, and will also permanently station aircrew and support staff in Saudi Arabia.
In a major deal announced at the Dubai Air Show last month, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of the Interior ordered 40 Sikorskys. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in March.