The Gama Group is participating at next week´s Middle East Business Aviation Association Show (MEBA) in Dubai (Stand E205) during 7 to 9 December with the satisfaction that its regional company, Gama Aviation FZC, has met its planned targets for its first year of operation in the region. In addition, a fifth wide-bodied business jet - a privately owned Bombardier Global XRS - is coming on line this month under management. The Global follows hard on the heels of a new Embraer Legacy 600, privately owned and available for third party charter, which joins the fleet just after the MEBA show. The two latest aircraft join a Challenger 604, 605 and 850 on the regional fleet.
"Gama Aviation FZC only obtained its UAE GCAA Air Operator´s Certificate in February this year, so we are pleased that this development is very much in line with our first year aims, especially in view of the fact that it typically takes many months for clients to determine an aircraft management partner in the region and it remains a very competitive market." Said Managing Director Dave Edwards. Dave moved from Gama´s Farnborough UK headquarters in summer 2009 to concentrate on establishing the new Middle East business. The operation has since grown to support 21 full-time positions, including pilots. More jobs will be created next year as work progresses on the new hangar and a complementary Fixed Based Operation (FBO) the company is creating at Sharjah International Airport.
Gama is in the process of applying for its UAE GCAA CAR 145 maintenance approval which it hopes to achieve in the first half of 2011 and is working to complete the new 12,000 sqm hangar facility at Sharjah which will provide hangarage and maintenance facilities for business jet aircraft in the region. Initially, the approval will allow the company to undertake base maintenance support on light jets and business turboprops, such as the Learjet 45 and Beechcraft King Air, thereby mirroring its capabilities in Europe and the USA, as well as line maintenance for all various aircraft types it operates.
After a worldwide downturn, the charter market in the region is starting to slowly pick up again, acknowledges Edwards. Aircraft types such as the Legacy, Challenger and mid-size Hawker are proving popular, while the bigger jets (ACJ and BBJ) tend still to be the preserve of the ruling families, he notes.
´We are increasingly finding that our broad range of services, including our worldwide maintenance and technical support capabilities, are major contributory factors in helping us win business here," says Edwards. Gama´s Middle East business builds on 27 years of experience as a charter operator with some 75 aircraft operating by the group´s companies.
"We are in the Middle East for the long term and are pleased with the growth opportunities we have realized to date. This is a market where supply exceeds demand, but we see tremendous potential for expansion and we have a great team here leading that drive," added Marwan Abdel Khalek, Group CEO.