Air Works India is evaluating options to establish greenfield maintenance, repair and overhaul centers in the Middle East this year.
“The Middle Eastern countries have a huge fleet of business jets and helicopters. We are examining local partners in stable countries like United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman in this region and we would like to tap the growing market,” Vivek N. Gour, managing director of Air Works, tells Aviation Week.
The combined aircraft fleet of these countries is more than India’s, which has about 450 aircraft in its business and general aviation sector.
The company plans to invest up to $5 million to establish MRO centers in the Middle East. “Initially we will put in $1 million for the purpose,” Gour says.
Air Works has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) to set up an MRO facility at Al Bateen Executive Airport.
“This partnership will be highly beneficial for both parties. It provides Air Works access to world-class infrastructure at the airport to provide high-quality MRO services to business aircraft in the region,” Gour said. “In turn, Al Bateen will be able to add a critical element to its portfolio in its quest to offer a full suite of products and services to its customers.”
ADAC has invested $50 million in turning the 50-year-old airport into a state-of-the-art business aviation facility. Further funding has been committed to new hangars, apron enhancements, utilities and runway work.
In 2010, aircraft movements were up 36% over 2009, to 7,970. By 2014 ADAC is forecasting 12,000 movements at the airport, which can accommodate up toBusiness Jet and -sized aircraft.
“Air Works and Al Bateen are a natural fit. We each share the same philosophy: to offer exceptional products and service to our customers” says Stephen Jones, ADAC’s general manager.
Al Bateen is also the home of the Gulf Center for Aviation Studies (GCAS), a multimillion dollar project for airport and aviation training.