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 BlueSky Business Aviation News | 8th December 2016 | Issue #395
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Deer Jet and UAS conclude share acquisition agreement

Synergy of leading industry players to boost business and yield significant benefits for international clients.

Global business aviation company Deer Jet has concluded the acquisition of major shares of UAS International Trip Support (UAS). Deer Jet has become the major shareholder of the global flight support solutions provider.

The agreement was completed ahead of MEBAA Show 2016 on Monday, December 5 by UAS’ existing shareholders and Deer Jet Chairman and President Zhang Peng. UAS Group executive management continues under the leadership of both Co-Owners/Founders Mr. Mohammed Husary as Executive President alongside Mr. Omar Hosari as Chief Executive Officer.

First announced at NBAA-BACE 2016 in October with a view to finalizing by the end of 2016, the strategic alliance is set to massively benefit the two industry heavy-weights and their clients by significantly improving their capabilities and accelerating strategic goals to enhance international business aviation flights and user experience.

read more

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GI Aviation obtains GCAA Air Operator’s Certificate

GI Aviation’s pledge to bring a more affordable private air charter service to the Gulf Region has been realised.

The company announced at MEBAA this week that it has obtained its Air Operator’s Certificate [AOC] from the GCAA (UAE General Civil Aviation Authority), enabling the start of commercial flights with its fleet of Pilatus PC-12NG aircraft.

“We are delighted to obtain this approval from the GCAA. Our team have been working hard this past year to deliver a brand new entry level service for business aviation in this region, which has until now been dominated by larger business jets. We have received significant interest from a number of parties who are keen to fly with us. We are focused on the value proposition we offer our clients” said Her Excellency Hafsa Al Ulama, Managing Director of GI Aviation’s parent company, Global Ideas.

GI Aviation accepted its first eight-seat PC-12NG aircraft this spring. Featuring a spacious BMW DesignWorks interior, it will be the first aircraft of this type to commercially operate in the GCC region, bringing with it unique operating characteristics inherent to the PC-12NG.

read more

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Jetex opens its largest FBO terminal in Dubai

Jetex Flight Support has opened its newly-built FBO terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport in the recently rebranded Dubai South Aviation District (previously known as Dubai World Central).

The addition of the 1,500m² terminal and dedicated ramp parking space of 50,000m² makes the facility the largest FBO in Jetex’s worldwide portfolio.

“Dubai World Central marks the next chapter in Dubai’s development as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs,” says Adel Mardini, President & CEO of Jetex Flight Support. “It makes absolute sense for us to be present here, and the new general aviation terminal that is being built now will feature highly luxurious facilities that will set a new standard of excellence for our global customers.”

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How Does Your Website Score?

Jordan Walker, digital director at Greteman Group, a marketing communications agency based in Wichita, KS, the Air Capital.

s you wade through all that obligatory end-of-year budgeting, no doubt you’re
giving extra thought to your website and its increasingly vital role.

Help’s arrived. Our agency’s created a free online tool that lets you score your site on five key areas: search-engine optimization (SEO), analytics, content, functionality and digital marketing.

You can access it here

We understand that you’re busy. So we’ve kept this very high level. We haven’t tried to bamboozle you with tech talk. We’ve narrowed down our questions and simplified them to serve as a helpful guide. You ought to be able to zip through the scorecard in 10 to 15 minutes.

Each of the five areas has you answer five questions, then scores you on that area. It could be an interesting exercise to do with your team, too, prompting discussions that could lead to valuable insights.

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United States

TRAXXALL Technologies opens office in Jacksonville, Florida

Montreal-headquartered TRAXXALL Technologies, providers of an innovative aircraft maintenance tracking and inventory management system, has announced that it will open a new office in Jacksonville, Florida.

A significant increase in clients and aircraft has provided the opportunity for TRAXXALL’s management team to hire some of the best aircraft maintenance tracking experts in North America.

read more


Vertis Aviation forms strategic partnership with JetSmarter

Vertis Aviation, the specialist large-cabin, long-range, boutique Charter Company has formed a strategic partnership with leading private jet company, JetSmarter.

The relationship will see Vertis Aviation’s Dubai office using its local knowledge and extensive network of contacts to support the development of JetSmarter’s new Dubai-London shuttle service, and future business in the region.

Vertis was integral in sourcing JetSmarter’s first operated aircraft in the region, an Embraer Legacy 650, and will provide continued support as the business grows.

read more

U.S. Aviation Fuel Prices


Down-Route to open head office in Dubai

Down-Route, the unique App that revolutionises crew expense management and hotel bookings for the business aviation industry, has announced that it is to move its head office to the Dubai World Central Airport (DWC) in the first quarter of 2017.

The company, which launches its App this month, will have a 24 hour call centre, sales and marketing team as well as part of the senior management team based at the DWC office. Down-Route will continue to have an operations office in central London as well as running part of its technical department from the USA.

Down Route CEO, Andy Hudson

Down Route CEO, Andy Hudson commented: “Down-Route is very quickly growing into a global organisation so we needed to add to our UK and USA offices with a new, centrally located head office. "We have decided to make this considerable investment in Dubai as, in addition to DWC laying at the centre of an entire airport city, Dubai itself is in a perfect location for Down-Route to easily reach its growing customer base and to develop its product.”

See also: Down-Route ready to launch bizav crew hotel and expense management app


Vertis Aviation


Catherine Buchanan

Vertis Aviation has announced the promotion of Dubai-based Catherine Buchanan to Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), effective immediately.

In her new role Catherine, who is currently General Manager of the company’s Dubai office, will steer commercial development of the business, with a particular focus on the EMEA region. Her responsibilities will include international sales and business development, budget planning, managing relationships with aircraft owners, and advising on putting aircraft into service.

Catherine’s Dubai location at the epicentre of the EMEA makes her perfectly positioned for her new role. She will report directly to the company’s Board at its Zug, Switzerland headquarters.

Catherine has worked in the Middle Eastern aviation market for over eight years including three years at Vertis Aviation. She previously worked with leading international business aviation companies. She holds a degree in Aviation Technology and a private pilot’s licence.


Couldn't make it to MEBAA?

All eyes were on Dubai this week as the business aviation industry descended on the UAE for the seventh biennial MEBAA event, taking place at the new Al Maktoum International Airport.

MEBAA Founding Chairman, Ali Alnaqbi

Join Liz Moscrop and GearUp TV for the sights and sounds of MEBAA - plus interviews with MEBAA Founding Chairman, Ali Alnaqbi; a tour of the new G650 with Gulfstream's Steve Cass - and Eric Gillespie
discusses Flying Colours Corp's recent installation of a Satcom Direct router on a Global 5000.

United Arab Emirates

Gama Aviation unveils Sharjah FBO concept

Gama Aviation Plc has released the architectural concept for its proposed business aviation facility in Sharjah.

The facility, the first purpose built location of its type in Sharjah, will replace its existing facility and is a cornerstone to the company's continued expansion in the region.

Once completed, mid-2018, the facility will comprise world class passenger and crew facilities; one 100 metre hangar with an option to add a second in due course, plus hangars able to accommodate all business aircraft including Airbus ACJ & Boeing BBJ aircraft.

read more

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Airbus Corporate Jets exhibited an ACJ318 operated by Nasjet at the MEBAA show this week.

The aircraft's cabin has several lounge areas, an office that converts to a bedroom, bathrooms and extensive stowage space. Delivering intercontinental range, the ACJ318 can fly nonstop Middle East- urope, and is certificated to carry 19 passengers.

Jet Aviation Dubai joins ACJ service centre network

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New Daher video provides 'pilot’s-eye' view of TBM ferry flights across the North Atlantic Ocean

From takeoff in southwestern France to touchdown in the U.S. state of Florida, the experience of ferrying Daher’s TBM very fast turboprop aircraft over the North Atlantic Ocean for customer deliveries is highlighted in a new video available on YouTube.

With the Americas accounting for nearly 80 percent of all TBMs ordered, ferry flights of new production aircraft across the North Atlantic is a regular part of the delivery process, which routinely is completed with an arrival at

Daher’s operation in Pompano Beach, Florida.

watch the video

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Flight Planning

Rockwell Collins is integrating regional sand and dust storm forecast information into the company’s ARINCDirect flight planning tools, enabling business aviation operators in those areas to improve safety and on-time performance.

"Over the past 15 years, a number of factors have resulted in an increase in the frequency, intensity and operational impact of sand and dust storms in the Middle East and surrounding areas,” said Bob Richard, senior director, ARINCDirect for Rockwell Collins. “Integrating high- resolution forecast information into our flight and international trip support services will provide safety and performance benefits for business aviation operators in the region.”

The data used by ARINCDirect is sourced and exclusively licensed from the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, host of the first World Meteorological Organization’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Center with activity specialization on Atmospheric Sand and Dust Forecast, the Barcelona Dust Forecast Center for the EuMEA region. The data has been used by government authorities for air quality monitoring, as well as industrial and aviation interests.

click for more information

United Arab Emirates

ExecuJet celebrates success of new FBO at Al Maktoum International

ExecuJet Middle East is celebrating a successful first six months for its new FBO at Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC).

Since the new site opened in June 2016, ExecuJet Middle East has been appointed as the preferred ground handler at the airport for Universal Weather & Aviation and the FBO has introduced a range of new services for visiting crew including massage chairs and food and beverage treats in the crew lounges. read more

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Comlux teams with top industry designers for nextgen VIP aircraft concepts

Comlux America, the Completion and Service Center of Comlux, based in Indianapolis, IN, has teamed with 4 key industry designers to develop multiple interior design and floorplan concepts for the next generation narrow body interiors; specifically the Airbus ACJ neo and the BBJ MAX 8 aircraft.

The design companies participating include Alberto Pinto Design, DesignQ, Unique Aircraft and Winch Design.

Comlux America’s goal in this initiative has been to obtain designer perspectives and concepts to capture the different cultures, styles and tastes of potential VIP customers. read more

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Middle East

New research from Global Jet Capital, a provider of financing solutions for large-cabin, long-range private jets, reveals that 293 mid to large private jets were delivered to the Middle East between 2006 and 2015, with an estimated combined value of over $14.65bn.

Global Jet Capital says these aircraft typically cost between $25m and $75m each, and up to 80% of the funding used to purchase these is sourced through external financing. The largest number of deliveries were to Turkey (77), followed by the United Arab Emirates (63) and Saudi Arabia (58). read more

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GAMA welcomes major step toward new EASA mandate

Transport Ministers from across the European Union’s Member States have reached agreement on a new mandate for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The agreement opens the door for final negotiations among the European Parliament, EU Member States, and the European Commission to agree on a final text. This step followed a 10 November vote in the European Parliament, where Members of the Transport & Tourism Committee overwhelmingly approved to open negotiations with the other EU institutions in order to update EASA’s existing ‘Basic Regulation.’ read more

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Sluggish overall, but business jet charter on the increase

There were 58,111 business aviation departures in Europe in November 2016, according to WINGX`s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor. The figure represents a 0.8% growth in YOY activity.

In six of 11 months so far this year there has been some YOY growth, although the YTD trend is still trailing 2015 by 0.2%.

The YOY trend in November was offset by declines in Turboprop and Piston activity; Business Jet flights were up 3% in November and now have a positive 12 month rolling average, with Small Jet activity providing most of the growth.

Business aviation flights from Western Europe were up in November, bolstered by growth in UK, France and Italy, which outweighed declines in Germany, Switzerland and Spain. Southern Europe was flat this month, and Eastern Europe slightly down.

full report

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United Kingdom

Signature Flight Support inaugurates luxurious FBO facility at London Luton Airport

Signature Flight Support officially opened its luxurious, state-of-the art FBO facility at London Luton Airport with an elegant, Great Gatsby themed evening.

Guests toured the new FBO and were invited to take part in a charity mock-casino with proceeds going to benefit Age Concern Luton which provides care and support to the elderly in the Luton community.

Commenting on the evening, Maria A. Sastre, President and Chief Operating Officer noted, “This stunning facility has been many years in the making. We are delighted to officially open the new Signature Luton facility, which is ready to welcome customers from around the world.

"Our relationship with London Luton Airport is exemplary and their support of this project was essential to its success."

read more

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World Fuel Services Network welcomes TAG Farnborough Airport

TAG Farnborough Airport (EGLF/FAB) in Hampshire, United Kingdom, recently joined the World Fuel Services Network of FBOs.

Conveniently located less than an hour’s drive from the capital city’s central business district, the award-winning facility is known as the Business Aviation Gateway to London. TAG will leverage World Fuel Services’ reliable bulk jet fuel supply and technical support of local professionals during their 5-year supply agreement.

The Airport has a rich history in UK aviation. It was the UK’s first airfield and home to the country’s first powered flight in 1908. The airport is tower controlled, with radar approach facilities and is free of slot restrictions.

read more

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Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering.

Holiday Pitfalls

ave you ever had catering go wrong? I think everyone has-and it's not something
you want to live through more than once if possible.

As the holidays approach, you must be attuned to some difficulties you may encounter. You are responsible for providing what your clients want to be served on board for their flight and what your crews are going to require no matter what the circumstances.

Am I right? You order sushi and sashimi because they want it, and you work with the catering source to make sure the food has ice packs on it so that it remains very cold during transportation and holding (at least I hope you do!). You are the magician, the miracle worker, when it comes to sourcing what each flight requires.

As we enter into one of the longest and most varied holiday seasons the world celebrates, with cultural differences galore, let me take a minute to mention some of the Holiday Catering challenges you may encounter during December and into the first week of January.

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On Board

DDA marks thirty years of Middle Eastern business at MEBAA

Dahlgren Duck & Associates (DDA), experts at detailing the cabin environment through the addition of the world’s finest crystal, china, flatware, linens and luxury amenities, celebrated thirty years of business in the Middle East at MEBAA2016 in Dubai this week.

DDA has developed a strong and loyal client base in the region to whom, under the guidance of CEO Scott Ritter, it continues to advise on the latest trends, styles and must haves, to enhance the cabin experience.

Since its first commission with the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi, DDA has worked with hundreds of Middle Eastern clients, created countless tailor-made dining, flatware and crystal sets, and fashioned several individually designed works of art. DDA has styled a variety of jet types from small business jets to large wide body aircraft, providing each with its own look and feel.

read more

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United Kingdom

Centreline Air Charter and Bristol Flying Centre Group rebrand as Centreline

Bristol Flying Centre Ltd, the parent of Centreline Air Charter, has undergone a total brand review and today unveils its new identity and website.

The company, now named Centreline, has rebranded to support its growth and continuing evolution as a leading European full service private jet management organisation.

The extensive rebranding exercise incudes a new website encompassing the company’s board range of aviation services and a total corporate identity change which has been aligned across Aircraft Management, Charter, FBO, Engineering and ATO.

In addition to the website, a new pilot uniform, aircraft branding, marketing material and signage has been created.

read more

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Middle East

Rising demand in B2C space is key driver for bizav in Middle East, says Avinode

Positive growth in the Middle East region is being driven by long-haul, leisure travellers and an increased interest in B2C business aviation technology, according to Avinode, the world’s leading online marketplace for buying and selling air charter.

“It is clear from our comprehensive Avinode Marketplace data that the past 12 months have seen a healthy increase in both domestic and international flight requests for the Middle East region” says Oliver King, managing director, Avinode.

“The market is being led by confident leisure and long-haul family travel which is also driving an increase in heavy jets and VIP/ultra-long-range aircraft.

“Brokers are also becoming more confident in embracing new B2C technology. They are looking for mobile apps and web apps to expand their business."

read more

United Kingdom

London School of Economics survey reveals pilots feel fatigue ‘not taken seriously’ by airlines

A study of 7,200 pilots across Europe on safety culture, the largest ever conducted, has shown more than half of pilots lack confidence in the safety culture within their airline.

In reaction to the study, the British Airline Pilots’ Association says it is ‘not surprised’ by the findings and that fatigue remain top of their members’ concerns across all types of airlines.

BALPA is already working with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to improve fatigue reporting, particularly following the introduction of EASA flight time limitations in February this year, which can legally allow a pilot to be rostered for shifts of up to 20 hours.

The study also shows that less than 20% agreed their company cares about their wellbeing.

read more


JetSmarter’s inaugural Dubai- ondon JetShuttle flight takes off read

Innovation takes centre stage at AfBAC 2016 read

Activate Your Website Analytics. Jordan Walker, digital director at Greteman Group. read

What’s in a name? Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA- ased Tastefully Yours Catering. read

More stories in our

Industry Supplements

see tabs at top of page.

Air Synapsis awarded milestone heliport project under new GCAA regulations

Following the implementation of new GCAA regulations relating to helipad certification in the UAE, Air Synapsis has introduced a range of compliance services including helipad design, certification, equipment supplies as well as auditing and training.

Air Synapsis is currently designing the world second largest elevated heliport to be located at a central location in Dubai. The facility is designed to accommodate 2 helicopters and is expected to become operational end of 2017 following the issuance of its GCAA Landing Area Acceptance Certificate.

The heliport will be the first in UAE to be equipped with touchdown and identification marking lighting systems.

“The new regulation is significantly enhancing operational safety while being a real catalyst for the development of helicopter infrastructures across the county. We clearly see solid basis for the growth of point to point helicopter shuttle services.” says Managing Director Karim Hijazi.

Karim Hijazi

In 2016 Air Synapsis has been awarded 12 heliport projects, including the design of several elevated hospital helipads. Hijazi added: “The dozen of new hospital heliports currently in development in the UAE will significantly improve Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operations over the next few years.”

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