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.
Saudi Arabian Airlines
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.
Business aviation in the Middle East is expected to keep growing at a faster rate than that seen in North America and Europe, but slower than the more dynamic expansion now being seen in the emerging markets of Asia. This is the broad consensus among manufacturers and service providers for a region that is now emerging from a somewhat unsettled two-year period that has seen some fall-out from wider economic problems and the so-called Arab Spring political unrest.
West Star Aviation has named John Hayes general manager at its Dallas Love Field facility. Hayes has more than 33 years’ experience in the aviation industry and was most recently director of maintenance with Business Jet Access in Dallas. Before that he held positions with NJI, Executive Jet International, Net Jets Middle East, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Gulfstream.
Civilian aviation regulation has effectively been removed from the control of the Saudi Arabian defense ministry following the death of former crown prince and defense minister, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, in October.
Calculating the value of business announced during airshows is an inexact science, but as the 2011 Dubai Air Show came to an end last week the combined sales tally for airliners, engines and support contracts looked set to have topped $50 billion. Boeing grabbed the lion’s share of this through a $26 billion deal with Emirates Airline covering 50 of its 777-300ER long-range twinjets and options for 20 more.
Dassault is here at the Dubai Air Show (Stand W310) exhibiting two of its latest models–the Falcon 2000LX and Falcon 7X–the latter equipped with a second-generation enhanced-vision system (EVS).
Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M), the maintenance branch of the airline group, is here at the Dubai Air Show (Stand W420) promoting AMES, its local joint venture with nacelle manufacturer Aircelle, as well as the services it offers in engine and comp
Rolls-Royce has won an order from Saudi Arabian Airlines to provide Trent 700 engines and TotalCare support for four Airbus A330s that the Middle Eastern carrier has on order. It also covers four options, should they be exercised. The deal could be worth up to $500 million.
Oman Air officials may confirm during the Dubai Air Show whether it will still take the six Boeing 787s it is supposed to be leasing from Aviation Lease and Finance Co. (ALFACO). The Arabian Gulf carrier has been in negotiations with Boeing over demands for compensation that it wants for delays in the delivery schedule for the new widebody.