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BAN's World GazetteerFrance
Charter operators in the maturing European and evolving Middle East markets are targeting the luxury and long range client while broadening and deepening their short and medium range appeal.
These include the Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) which was formed in early 2006 after HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan launched an initiative to fill a "significant gap" in the UAE and Arab Gulf private aviation market. At EBACE, FAS confirmed plans to expand its helicopter fleet, placed an order for four Grob spns, and detailed plans to launch a maintenance centre with Eurocopter.
ImperialJet, headquartered in Germany, plans to make Beirut a substantial charter and FBO base with the delivery of four Challenger 850s scheduled in 2008, says Martin Spiegl, flight operations manager.
The fleet already includes a Falcon 2000, a Citation Sovereign, two Challenger 601s and a 604, a Learjet 60 and a commercial Boeing 737. "Challenger 850s with extended range, a Boeing Business Jet and an additional 604 will be important additions to our fleet," Spiegl adds.
The jets will be handled at Rafic Hariri airport by the recently opened Universal/ImperialJet Ste en Participation, a joint venture between Universal Weather and Aviation and ImperialJet s.a.l., formerly known as Cirrus Middle East s.a.l.
Switzerland's Comlux Aviation reports strong demand for its recently arrived 18 passenger configured A318 Elite. "There are four more on order to be delivered by 2010,"says ceo Ettore Rodaro. "People want to buy more space and time." Eric Weisskopf, cco, special projects, adds: "We are focusing on the long range - the A319 and the ACJ."
Austria's JetAlliance is taking delivery of around 40 aircraft as it expands its charter activities in central and eastern Europe. Lukas Lichtner-Hoyer, ceo, says the order includes a CJ1+, six CJ2+, five CJ3, three XLS+, one Sovereign, two Citation X and up to 20 Mustangs. A major business thrust will be to develop Austrian Business Jet. This will ferry clients locally and regionally by private charter to board convenient Austrian Airlines long haul flights. Lichtner-Hoyer says that the first Mustang will be delivered this year.
And London Executive Aviation (LEA) says it will introduce the first G450 to the U.K. in the third quarter of 2009. The G450 was ordered direct from the factory by property entrepreneur Andreas Panayiotou. He says: " It will bring a lot of value to my business as we expand internationally but it will be important to ensure a high level of third party charter income."