Middle Eastern operators continued to buck the trend in the sector by taking on business jets for new ventures.

Saudi Arabian Airlines advanced its ambitious private jet programme when it received its first of four Dassault 7X long-range business jets. Two more are due this year and the fourth in 2011.

The Dassault 7X will be operated on a global basis, to exploit range that allows it to reach New York and Rio from Jeddah.

Jordan's Arab Wings meanwhile revealed plans to scale up, signing an order for an Embraer Legacy 650 jet on behalf of an undisclosed Jordanian owner. Arab Wings will manage and operate the aircraft, due in the second half of 2010. A Phenom 100 is also joining Arab Wings' fleet this year.

EBACE also hosted the unveiling of a CRJ ExecLiner jets that Middle Eastern operator Emerald Jets has bought from Portland, Maine-based MAC Aircraft Sales. The CRJ200 was converted to executive format by Canadian completions specialist Flying Colours.

Emerald Jets - which has bases in Beirut and Riyadh - was formerly known as Easyfly but has rebranded in line with expansion of its service range to include passenger charter operations as well as VIP flying.

Source: Flight International