A new Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) aviation study predicts that the Persian Gulf region will see 250 million passengers using its airports each year by 2020 and that annual Middle East aircraft movements will reach 2.3 million five years later, when the number of people living within range of a single flight reaches some 7 billion. The study, titled “The World Via Gulf” and published for Dubai’s The Airport Show, scheduled to take place from May 6 to 8 in Dubai, concludes that the region’s aviation industry will create 294,000 jobs over the next two decades.
For Airbus and its A350XWB program, 2013 should prove a critical year. With service entry already pushed back to the second half of 2014, the European airframer is carefully managing expectations for a first flight as it seeks to resist the temptation to rush the key milestone in time for June’s Paris Air Show.
Qatar-based Rizon Jet says the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is unfairly blocking the company’s plans to expand its business aviation services. The privately owned group charged on Tuesday that it is “facing hindrances that make it impossible to sustain a viable business in Qatar.”
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched personnel to investigate a fire that broke out Monday morning in a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 parked at Boston Logan International Airport. The fire emanated from what an airport spokesman described as a compartment in the belly of the fuselage.
The Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show made a strong debut in its new home at the Dubai World Central site, with organizers reporting attendance 20 percent up on the 2010 event at 7,549 trade visitors from 84 countries. The 2012 show drew 385 exhibitors from 45 countries, a 14-percent boost on the previous event.
Qatar Airways’ private jet division, Qatar Executive, has received European Air Safety Agency Part 145 approval to provide maintenance and repair services for Bombardier business jets from its hub in Doha. Qatar Executive is already certified by Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority for similar work.
Qatar Airways’ private jet division, Qatar Executive, received EASA approval to provide maintenance and repair services for Bombardier Challenger 604/605s and Globals. With this certification, Qatar Executive can offer scheduled maintenance, repair and warranty services for European-registered Challengers and Globals at its Doha hub. The new EASA Part 145 certification complements the existing approval from Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority and underpins Qatar Executive’s status as a Bombardier-authorized service facility.
The only big-three Middle East airline player to have an executive jet operation, Qatar Executive is expanding its fleet, preparing for the opening of its FBO at New Doha International Airport in 2014, and increasing destination options for its customers.
Qatar Airways underscored its endorsement of the largest variant of Airbus’s new A350 XWB last week by raising its firm order count for the A350-1000 to 37 from 20. The contract amendment also added three A350-900s to its previous order for 17, but it effectively scrapped Qatar’s firm order for 20 A350-800s.
Bahraini flag carrier Gulf Air last week signaled a major shift in its fleet plans, affecting orders with both Boeing and Airbus. The airline has already signed so-called amendment agreements with the manufacturers “to reduce long-term liability and meet future strategic needs.”
Gulf Air said negotiations with the airframers date back to last year, as high fuel prices, a general slump in air traffic and so-called regional developments forced the airline to suspend service to a number of destinations in a bid to preserve its ongoing viability.