Dassault Aviation delivered nine Falcon business jets to operators in the Middle East last year, pushing the Falcon fleet in the region to almost 70 aircraft. “We are on a trend to increase our fleet by 10 percent. That is what we managed to do last year,” said Renauld Cloatre, Dassault’s Dubai-based Falcon sales director, speaking at the Air Expo show in Abu Dhabi today.
Saudi Arabian Airlines
The recently appointed head of Saudi Arabia-based luxury charter firm Saudia Private Aviation (SPA) said Middle East charter demand growth stood at 8 percent this year, exceeding the worldwide industry figure, but behind Russia, India and the Asia Pacific region.
Faisal G. Kayal, managing director of SPA, said the region is witnessing “strong economic growth.” Kayal replaced Wajdi Al Idrissi, the former head of the company, in May.
Saudi Arabia’s MRO players are seasoned operators. Alsalam Aircraft Co. (Stand 1718) is one of the two or three leading players in the kingdom and a pioneer in aircraft maintenance, modification and technical support in the Middle East. It carries out corporate, VIP and military work for customers worldwide.
The Middle East and northern Africa have become fertile areas for marketers at Brazil’s Embraer, now the undisputed leader in terms of fleet presence in the region among the world’s regional airliner manufacturers. Of course, the nearly decade-long effort to gain a foothold in a region long considered the virtually exclusive domain of widebodies didn’t yield immediate results, but Embraer’s persistence has undoubtedly paid handsome dividends.
Sudden sandstorms in the Middle East’s deserts are just one of the problems complicating the task of the region’s maintenance providers. At the recent MRO Middle East conference in Dubai, delegates heard that airlines often need to delay or even cancel departures on short notice due to unforeseen maintenance needs caused by sand and dust. Engines, bleed-air systems and air-conditioning packs are especially vulnerable to the region’s hot and unpredictable conditions.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) general assembly elected two new board members yesterday and held an insurance workshop for its MEBAA aviation insurance scheme (MAIS).
Wajdi Al Idrissi, managing director of Saudia Private Aviation (SPA), and Richard Gaona, president and CEO of Comlux Management, will join other industry leaders to promote business aviation in the region and beyond as members of MEBAA’s board.
Saudia Private Aviation (SPA), the business jet arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines, is seeing increased interest from businesses in the Kingdom in acquiring new aircraft, as it prepared to open the largest FBO in the country, at Jeddah.
Saudia Private Aviation (SPA), the business jet arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines, is seeing increased interest from businesses in the Kingdom in acquiring new aircraft, as it prepared to open the country’s largest FBO in Jeddah. “SPA’s operations will grow 100 percent year-on-year this year,” said SPA CEO Wajdi Al Idrissi. “The government is spending the money and there is no decline in growth. In Saudi Arabia, private aviation is growing at 15 to 20 percent a year.”
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation has postponed until next February a long-awaited decision on which foreign airline it will allow to start operating domestic and international services in the country’s highly restrictive air transport market, the agency confirmed last week. Confusingly, GACA spokesman Khalid Al-Khaibary told Arab News the Saudis will grant startup licenses to whatever airline wins within four to six months, even though authorities say they expect flights to begin in April.
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.
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