Air Djibouti takes delivery of first aircraft for new commercial operations

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Bruce Dickinson, chairman of Cardiff Aviation, which provides Air Djibouti with operational management.
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The plane will officially go into service on Aug. 16, flying to regional destinations initially.
Updated 11 August 2016
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Air Djibouti takes delivery of first aircraft for new commercial operations

LONDON: Air Djibouti has taken delivery of the first Boeing 737-400 aircraft in Djibouti in preparation for the launch of Air Djibouti’s new commercial operations.
Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of Air Djibouti, along with other dignitaries, met the plane and crew at Djibouti’s International Airport in a ceremony welcoming this important step in Djibouti’s development as a global transport hub.
Bruce Dickinson, chairman of Cardiff Aviation, which provides Air Djibouti with operational management, delivered the Boeing 737-400 personally.
The plane traveled from Cardiff, stopping in Malta for re-fueling.
The plane will officially go into service on Aug. 16, flying to regional destinations initially.
Air Djibouti plans to introduce two BA146-300 aircraft by mid-September and mid-October, and a Boeing 767-200 in December this year, initially operating between Djibouti and London.
Other international destinations are expected to follow soon after, as well as regional freight services.
UK-based aircraft services and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, Cardiff Aviation, is providing technical assistance and management, and secured the European-level Air Operator’s Certificate for Air Djibouti.
The launch of Air Djibouti’s commercial operations is a crucial element of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority’ (DPFZA) strategy for establishing Djibouti as a major logistics center for the region.
With two new airports under construction that are expected to be operational by 2019, the country is building its air transport links to complement its already well established road, rail and maritime transport network.
Bruce Dickinson said: “The arrival of the first aircraft comes at a particularly exciting time for the region as Djibouti leads in spearheading the growth of aviation in East Africa.”
Djibouti is strategically located on the second busiest shipping lane in the world. It is a natural meeting point for the East and West’s global business development.
The DPFZA is working to replicate its success in port logistics in the aviation sector.
Air Djibouti’s commercial operations will further develop the country’s international connections and accessibility.
Djibouti’s current transport and logistics infrastructure program exceeds $15 billion.
Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of Air Djibouti and Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority, said: “Today’s flight shows how Djibouti is opening up to become a major global trade and investment hub.”
The chairman said: “With investment in our port facilities, free trade zones, the upcoming completion of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway and the launch of sea/air cargo transportation, Djibouti is completing the multimodal transport missing link. In doing so, the nation confirms its position as a trade and transport hub. The establishment of a flag carrier is an integral part of the DPFZA’s drive to achieve excellence in logistics.”


Dubai real estate market recovery to be seen as of 2022: S&P

Updated 3 min 48 sec ago
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Dubai real estate market recovery to be seen as of 2022: S&P

DUBAI: S&P Global, the ratings agency, painted a grim picture for the real estate sector in Dubai, with a meaningful recovery in property prices expected only after 2022.
At a presentation to journalists in the Dubai International Financial Center, S&P analyst Sapna Jagtiani said that under the firm’s “base case scenario,” the Dubai real estate market would fall by between 5 and 10 percent this year, roughly the same as the fall in 2018, which would bring property prices to the levels seen at the bottom of the last cycle in 2010, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
“On the real estate side we continue to have a very grim view of the market. While we expect prices to broadly stabilize in 2020, we don’t see a meaningful recovery in 2021. Relative to the previous recovery cycle, we believe it will take longer time for prices to display a meaningful recovery,” she said.
S&P’s verdict adds to several recent pessimistic assessments of the Dubai real estate market. Jagtiani said that conditions in the other big UAE property market, in Abu Dhabi, were not as negative, because “Abu Dhabi never did ramp up as much in 2014 and 2015 as Dubai.” S&P does not rate developers in the capital.
She added that a “stress scenario” could arise if government and royal family related developers — such as Emaar Properties, Meraas, Dubai Properties and Nakheel — which have attractive land banks and economies of scale, continue to launch new developments.
“In such a scenario, we think
residential real estate prices could decline by 10-15 percent in 2019 and a further 5-10 percent in 2020. In this case, we expect no upside for Dubai residential real estate prices in 2021, as we expect it
will take a while for the market to absorb oversupply,” she said.
S&P recently downgraded Damac, one of the biggest Dubai-based developers, to BB- rating, on weak market prospects.
However, Jagtiani said that, despite the “significant oversupply” from existing projects, several factors should held stabilize the market: Few, if any, major product launches; improved affordability and “bargain hunting” by bulk buyers; and a resurgence of Asian, especially Chinese, investor interest in the market.
Jagtiani also said that government measures such as new ownership and visa regulations and reduction in government fees could help prevent prices falling more sharply, as well as “increased economic activity related to Dubai Expo 2020, which is expected to attract about 25 million visitors to the emirate.”
The outlook on property was part of a challenging assessment of the credit-worthiness of the emirate. “In our view, credit conditions deteriorated in Dubai in 2018, reducing the government’s ability to provide extraordinary financial support to its government related entities (GREs) if needed,” S&P said in a report. “The negative outlook on Dubai Electricity and Water
Authority (DEWA) partly reflects our concern that a real estate downturn beyond our base case could out increased pressure on government finances,” the report said.
It pointed out that about 70 percent of government revenues come from non-tax sources, including land transfer and mortgage registration fees, as well as charges for housing and municipality liabilities, as well as dividends from real estate developers it controls, like Emaar and Nakheel.
S&P was generally comfortable with the credit ratings of the emirate’s banking system, which has an estimated 20 percent exposure to real estate. “Banks in the UAE tend to generally display a good level of profitability and capitalization, giving them a good margin to absorb a moderate increase in risks,” the report said.