The Wisła (“Shield of Poland”) air and missile defense (AMD) program is the largest and most far-reaching defense procurement ever in the post-Communist history of this NATO border nation. The program has immense implications for Poland’s national security even under normal circumstances, but the invasion and occupation of the Ukrainian region of the Crimea by Russia, and an escalating Russian-backed incursion in the eastern regions of Ukraine, has upped the stakes in this program.
Foreign companies can now own 49 percent of Indian defense companies, following a change announced as part of the country’s budget statement on July 10. The budget was presented by Finance and Defense Minister Arun Jaitley, a member of the newly elected government. It includes an allocation of $38.17 billion for defense, a gain of 12.44 percent. Some $15.76 billion of this (up from $13.15 billion last year) is capital expenditure, used primarily for procurement.
Fiduciary services specialist Equiom, based in the Isle of Man with offices in Jersey and Malta, is at EBACE (Booth 625) to highlight its range of services for aviation clients and its new customs warehousing service. Equiom’s offerings include ownership structuring and multi-jurisdictional VAT, tax and registration services. The company said it specializes in creating bespoke solutions to meet exact client needs, and EBACE provides an excellent face-to-face meeting point.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has designated Reina Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad, Aruba, as the second international authorized pre-clearance location for general aviation aircraft transporting up to 19 passengers and crew. Ireland’s Shannon Airport was the first to receive the approval, in March 2010.
With the recovery of business aviation in the mature Western markets of Europe and North America still sketchy, Africa has emerged as one of the bright spots of growth, and the jewel in the crown is Nigeria, where oil and gas production has been the principal driver behind a massive growth in business traffic. The rise of the sector in Nigeria has been phenomenal, and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. That was the abiding message from the second Nigerian Business Aviation Conference, which was held in Lagos at the end of March.
Requests for charter flight price quotes, a bellwether of business aviation activity, have been growing in China by more than 20 percent annually over the past three years, according to data released this week at ABACE 2014 by Avinode. Quote requests for flights to and from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan grew from 9,701 in 2011 to 11,684 in 2012 (up around 20.5 percent), and to 14,369 last year (up around 23 percent).
As the U.S. expressed “concern” on Tuesday over the devaluation of China’s currency, making its exports cheaper but reducing the buying power of Chinese consumers, Chinese airlines continued to feel the pain of a weaker yuan as the value of their foreign debt rose with the relative strengthening of the U.S. dollar. China Southern Airlines, for one, on Tuesday issued a profit warning report estimating a first-quarter net loss resulting from negative foreign exchange fluctuations.
At a meeting today at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai, members of key business aviation associations updated attendees on the core Statement of Principles for Business Aviation approved by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministers in September.
“There has been an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm here in Shanghai at ABACE, despite the change in weather from sunny skies on the opening day to rain yesterday,” National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) president and CEO Ed Bolen told AIN as he summed up the show so far.
Two years ago, explained Kurt Edwards, director general of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), the idea was floated that the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which has the mission of improving economic growth in Pacific Rim countries, could also “improve the way that the economies facilitate the movement of business aviation within the region, because business aviation contributes to economic growth.”
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