Saudi Arabia host to largest fleet of private jets in Gulf

Updated 30 June 2014

Saudi Arabia host to largest fleet of private jets in Gulf

With a total of 164 business jets, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has 35 percent of all the registered planes in the Middle East, it was disclosed in a recent report on business aviation in Saudi Arabia presented at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC) in Riyadh by the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) and WINGX.
At least 45 of the fleet have been added since the year 2000.
The insights highlighted flight patterns, purchase preferences and charter trends from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam King Fahd Airports, which all contributed to 29,869 aircraft movements in 2013.
Bombardier, Airbus and Embraer, the report says, had sold the most jet engine aircrafts since the year 2000. However, Boeing still maintains the strongest presence with 38 jets registered across 10 countries in the Middle East.
Within the Saudi Arabian charter market the results are very different with the Gulfstream V, Hawker Beechcraft 700-800 and the Bombardier Global Express being the most popular choice amongst customers, the majority of whom are flying to Le Bourget, Geneva, and Istanbul.
Speaking on the side-lines of MEBAC Riyadh, Ali Al Naqbi, MEBAA’s founding chairman, said: “In order for the association to lobby and promote business aviation amongst local officialdom in Saudi Arabia, we must have reliable data that illustrates its contribution to the aviation economy. Our partnership with WINGX has provided us with the necessary intelligence and emphasized the need for CAA support that will help sustain such impressive growth in the market.”
Richard Koe, managing director of WINGX, said: “Having the largest installed fleet of business jets in the Middle East points to the importance for MROs and operators to be based in Saudi Arabia. Likewise the average age for aircraft in Saudi Arabia is 13.5 years and therefore there is also a tremendous opportunity for OEMs to tap into the 12% year on year increase that MEBAA is forecasting for business aviation in Saudi Arabia.”
At MEBAC Riyadh, Ali Al Naqbi also revealed Honeywell data from a recent report especially prepared for MEBAC Riyadh revealing some of the latest insights for the business aviation market in the MENA region. The report revealed that the MENA region today accounts for percent of the entire global fleet.
It also indicated that this market share is expected to remain stable across the region for the near term, due to operator purchasing plans. The Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (“MEBAA”) is the official representative of the business aviation industry in the Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) region and is a member of the International Business Aviation Council (“IBAC”).
MEBAA is a non-profit association established in 2006 with the mission to provide a platform for members of the business aviation industry in the MENA region to gather, understand and communicate the needs and benefits of the industry. As part of its current growth strategy, MEBAA seeks to implement operational safety and efficiency by providing best in-practice training, lectures and conferences, establishing codes of conduct, and providing industry data.
Today, MEBAA represents over 220 companies within the MENA region and provides a number of products and services to its members, including the MAIS (MEBAA Aviation Insurance Scheme) insurance scheme for operators. In addition to various networking events, MEBAA hosts the MEBA Show, which ranks as the third largest business aviation show in the world.


Israeli Cabinet postpones vote on West Bank annexation

Updated 13 min 58 sec ago

Israeli Cabinet postpones vote on West Bank annexation

  • A Cabinet vote on annexing territories on Sunday was not technically feasible because of various preparations
  • Hard-line Israeli nationalists have called for the immediate annexation of West Bank settlements

JERUSALEM: A senior Israeli minister said on Wednesday that a Cabinet vote to endorse annexation of parts of the West Bank will not take place early next week, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge a day earlier to act quickly after the US released a peace plan rejected by the Palestinians.
Netanyahu said he would ask the Cabinet to advance the extension of Israeli sovereignty over most Jewish settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley, a move that would likely spark international outrage and complicate the White House’s efforts to build support for the plan.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin told Israel Radio that a Cabinet vote on annexing territories on Sunday was not technically feasible because of various preparations, including “bringing the proposal before the attorney general and letting him consider the matter.”
Hard-line Israeli nationalists have called for the immediate annexation of West Bank settlements ahead of the country’s third parliamentary elections in under a year, scheduled for March 2.
They have eagerly embraced the part of President Donald Trump’s peace plan that would allow Israel to annex territory but have rejected its call for a Palestinian state in parts of the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinians angrily rejected the Trump plan which largely adopts the Israeli position on all the thorniest issues of the decades-old conflict, from borders and the status of Jerusalem to security measures and the fate of Palestinian refugees.
Levin, a senior member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, said the Palestinian state envisioned by the Trump peace plan is “roughly the same Palestinian Authority that exists today, with authority to manage civil affairs,” but lacking “substantive powers” like border control or a military.
Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel, has warned against any Israeli “annexation of Palestinian lands,” reaffirming its commitment to an independent Palestinian state formed on the basis of the pre-1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital.
The Palestinians seek the West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war, as part of a future independent state. Most of the international community considers Israel’s West Bank settlements illegal under international law.
Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted Wednesday that “that which is postponed to after the elections will never happen.”
“If we postpone or reduce the extension of sovereignty (in the West Bank), then the opportunity of the century will turn into the loss of the century,” said Bennett, a hawkish Netanyahu ally with the New Right party.
Nahum Barnea, a veteran Israeli columnist, stridently criticized the Trump plan in Wednesday’s Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth, saying it would create a Palestinian state “more meager than Andorra, more fractured than the Virgin Islands.”
He cautioned that annexation would lead to “a reality of two legal systems for two populations in the same territory — one ruling, the second occupied. In other words, an Apartheid state.”