Gama Aviation has expanded its aircraft management fleet with the addition of a Cessna Citation CJ2+, Global XRS and Falcon 2000, all of which will be available on the European charter fleet. A brand new type which the company hopes to confirm next week, will take the overall global fleet to over 80 aircraft and the number of manufacturers represented to 11.
In the USA Gama Aviation Inc is adding a number of new aircraft including a Hawker 800 XP, a Gulfstream 450 and a Global 5000. A Citation Excel will be based at Teterboro, and a further Gulfstream 450 and Challenger 300 owned by Latin American clients will be added later this year. All the new arrivals will be available for third party charter through its direct air carrier, Gama Charters, Inc.
In the Middle Eastern region Gama Aviation FZE becomes a subsidiary of the growing Gama Group MENA FZC. The new company structure has been introduced in readiness for the commencement of maintenance services at its new 12,000 sqm hangar facility at Sharjah which provides hangarage and maintenance facilities for business jet aircraft. Gama is now actively in the process of securing its UAE GCAA CAR 145 maintenance approval which it hopes to receive in Autumn 2011. Initially, the approval will allow the company to undertake line maintenance support on its growing fleet of aircraft, thereby mirroring its capabilities in Europe and the USA, as well as base maintenance for number of business jet types.
The UAE fleet currently offers three aircraft for charter including the Challenger 850. Added in December 2010, the 850 is already demonstrating its suitability for the region through regular charters, particularly between the UAE and other GCC states. A sixth aircraft is expected to join imminently and will add a third manufacturer type to the fleet.
Significantly across the bases in Europe, Americas and Middle East, Gama is now Wyvern-approved for its commitment to improving aviation safety. In the USA it has just been accredited with Level 3 SMS, becoming only the second Part 135 business jet operator to be afforded such status.
Participating at EBACE this week (Stand No 354) Gama reports an upward trend since the back end of 2010. “Business clients have not fallen out of love with private aviation, but with a lack of business to chase last year they had no reason to fly. We’ve witnessed a gradual trend in the right direction, with large cabin aircraft still the most requested,” said Gama’s CEO Marwan Khalek. “Aircraft owners’ activity has increased by 20-30% year on year and this can be an indicator of an improving economic climate,” he continued. “Encouragingly, there seems to be renewed interest from the M&A community, which has also started booking road-shows again.”
“We are seeing an increased level of enquiries which bodes well for the recent decision for increased movements at Farnborough Airport. This reinforces our position as one of the largest operators at the airport,” he said. (The airport will be allowed to cater for 50,000 flights every year, progressively through to 2016, almost twice the 28,000 current limit. Weekend and Bank Holiday flights will increase to 8,900 – up from the current 5,000 cap.)
Gama CEO new chairman of BBGA
Marwan Khalek has been elected chairman of the BBGA, (British Business and General Aviation Association) following the retirement of David Antrobus. With 28 years in the industry Marwan is an ardent campaigner for private jet usage as a time-saving, valuable business tool. The BBGA represents, informs, promotes and campaigns on behalf of its 170-strong member companies of the UK business and general aviation industry, ensuring that legislation and trading conditions match the aspirations of the membership.
About Gama Group
Gama is an international business aviation services organization, founded in 1983 in the UK by Marwan Khalek and Stephen Wright. The group employs over 300 at bases across Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and operates over 80 business aircraft. The group’s companies and affiliates hold EU-OPS, FAA Part 135 and UAE GCAA Charter Certificates, FAA Part 145 Maintenance Approvals, Part 21 Design and Manufacture Approvals and offer business aircraft charter, management, FBO, maintenance, vale ting and aviation software services. The Group is headquartered at Farnborough Airport in the UK, with its Americas headquarters in Stratford, CT and its UAE headquarters at Sharjah in the UAE (Gama Aviation FZE). All three bases are Wyvern approved. The group operates aircraft throughout the world and has over 30 worldwide operating bases.