Embraer sees Arab operators of its 64- to 114-seat E170/175 and E190/195 regional jets (E-Jets) as providing a good example of what it views as the “right-sizing” of passenger services. By matching capacity to demand such carriers can enhance yield through increased flight frequency rather than continuing possibly marginal operations with larger single-aisle aircraft such as Airbus A320s, Boeing 737-500s and McDonnell Douglas MD-90s.
Arab Wings has stepped up its expansion plans by taking delivery of a new Bombardier Challenger 605 just before the EBACE show opened. The Jordanian charter operator is also applying for an aircraft operator’s certificate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where it is about to launch a sister company called Gulf Wings from a base in Sharjah.
Jordanian executive charter provider Arab Wings (Booth No. 666) arrived in Geneva this week anticipating yet another new addition to its growing fleet–a Citation CJ1+ based in Amman–by June or July. The former subsidiary of Royal Jordanian Airlines earlier this year took a new Gulfstream G450, and plans to see its fleet expand to 13 airplanes by 2012.
Both local and Western companies are enjoying a strong market for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in the Middle East, due to increased airline activity and military aircraft fleets.
Royal Jordanian Airlines has opted to take two 72-seat E-175 jetliners in lieu of two of seven 100-seat E-195s it ordered last year. The first of the E-175s is to be delivered in May 2008 and will feature a cabin with 60 economy-class seats and a 12-seat first-class section. The airline will deploy the new aircraft on a mix of domestic and regional routes.
Royal Jordanian will be the Middle East launch customer for the GEnx engine to power its 787s when deliveries begin in 2010. The flagcarrier selected General Electric (Stand C410) as its powerplant provider last month. Earlier this year, Royal Jordanian was announced as a 787 customer for up to 16 of the new 787 long-haul airliners. It will be taking these through a mixture of purchase and lease packages.
As the emirate of Dubai helds its biennial international airshow last month, travelers from anywhere but a major city were feeling first hand the pressures against a robust regional-airline industry in the Arab world.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has announced that it will modernize the 17 used F-16s that were previously provided to the Kingdom of Jordan by the U.S. This upgrade program will begin in April 2006 and will involve installation of Falcon-UP, Falcon Star and other Lockheed Martin mid-life upgrade (MLU) modifications of these aircraft.
Next month will see the formal launch of Arabesk, a network of eight Arab and North African airlines aiming to pool their efforts to be more efficient. To this end, they will coordinate schedules to avoid costly duplication, reducing expenses by joint buying of aircraft, equipment, fuel, food and insurance, as well as managing supplies of spares and parts.
Amman, Jordan-based executive charter operator Arab Wings has taken delivery of a new Cessna Citation XLS jet. The first aircraft of its type in the Middle East, the XLS has joined a fleet that already consists of a Bombardier Challenger 604 and a Raytheon Beech King Air 200. The aircraft fly out of Amman’s downtown Marka International Airport to points within the Middle East and into Europe.