You can count on the AIN team to bring you full and exclusive coverage of news from the 2012 MEBA show. We’re working around the clock at the new MEBA show site in Dubai so keep coming back for fresh reports.
The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show’s first appearance at the Dubai World Central aerotropolis Al Maktoum International Airport is expected to see a record number of attendees, “with over 7,000 trade visitors expected,” show organizer F&E Aerospace told AIN yesterday.
Gama Group, the fast-growing business aviation services group, is quickly settling into its new base at Sharjah International Airport. The Farnborough, UK-based company is finding that customers now recognize the limitations of Dubai International Airport, which has become increasingly busy with airline traffic, making it hard for business aircraft operators to get convenient slots–especially at short notice. Meanwhile, Gama’s move into Saudi Arabia with new FBOs planned in Jeddah and Riyadh are coming together fast.
Royal Jet, the commercial private jet concern owned by the UAE’s Presidential Flight Authority and Abu Dhabi Aviation, is planning a major fleet expansion in 2013, the year of its 10th anniversary. A defection by the nine-jet company away from Boeing, given that Royal Jet owns the world’s largest Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) fleet–six aircraft–would be a major blow for the U.S. manufacturer.
Aurora Aviation has signed a memorandum of understanding for a partnership agreement to run the first full-service FBO at Fujairah International Airport (FIA) in the United Arab Emirates. “We are looking to make Fujairah our hub,” Aurora CEO Ammar Kutait told AIN.
Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman on the country’s east coast instead of on the Persian Gulf. A new highway connects it with Dubai.
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.
Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a leading business aviation hub in the Arabian Gulf was further enhanced by the March staging of the inaugural Air Expo. The event, held at the Al Bateen Executive Airport nine months before rival Dubai’s Middle East Business Aviation show, attracted a reported 10,700 visitors and 105 exhibitors.
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.
The Aircraft Interiors and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Exhibition Middle East is scheduled to open January 31 at the Dubai Airport Expo. Event organizers, F&E Aerospace and Aviation Week, are expecting more than 2,500 visitors.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrates its 40th anniversary next month on December 2, and aviation has always been at the forefront of the young country’s ambitious development plans.