Bahrain Executive Air Services (Bexair) is launching its own Islamic financing company for private aircraft in the Middle East as it takes two more new Cessna Citations into its fleet, writes Aimee Turner.

The Bahrain-based company has set up its own aircraft leasing company, Arabian Aircraft & Equipment Leasing (AAELCO), to provide finance options for customers who observe Islamic banking rules, which prohibit profit from interest payments.

“These kinds of asset-based financing transactions are particularly well-suited to Sharia-compliant investing,” says Mansour Al-Tassan, chief executive of Bexair and AAELCO.

Speaking to Flight International at the Middle East & North African Air Finance conference in Dubai earlier 
this year, Al-Tassan said the Middle East boom in general aviation would put pressure on operators, manufacturers and service providers to create regional alliances and boost the need for aircraft financing services.

“The Middle East aviation market is developing quite rapidly, despite regional crises,” said Al Tassan. “Commercial airlines, high net-worth individuals and businessmen are all investing in new aircraft. This is a clear indication that the region is expecting tremendous growth in the next 10 years.”

The company revealed its expansion strategy at the recent Dubai air show, where it announced an order for an additional two Citation XLS business jets in a deal worth about $24 million.

The executive charter company, launched in April 2002, plans to move into new sites across the Middle East and launch specialised cargo and shuttle services.

Source: Flight International