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  • Show news - Middle East charter firms lay down expansion plans

    News | 16 Dec 2003 00:00

    <p>Ambitions range from operating 48-seat shuttle to offering 200h block contracts</p> <p>Three of the Middle East's fast-growing business aircraft charter companies have unveiled expansion plans, with a series of orders confirmed at the show.</p> <p>Saudi Arabia's National Air Services announced deals for three Gulfstream 300s and two Raytheon Hawker 800XPs and plans to acquire a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) or Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) for a 48-seat domestic VIP shuttle service aimed at businessmen, sports teams and the leisure charter market.</p> <p>The service, called Al-Khayala (roughly translated as "knight in shining armour"), will not be able under Saudi law to offer scheduled flights, but chief financial officer Rob DiCastri says it will fill a niche between national airline Saudi Arabian Airlines' first-class service and smaller business jet charter. The Jeddah-based company operates or manages 23 aircraft, including 12 on the NetJets fractional ownership programme.</p> <p>