Jet Aviation Dubai is celebrating its fifth birthday at MEBA with its latest approval - for Dassault Falcon 7X line maintenance. October also marked the facility's busiest month for traffic with 470 aircraft movements, a sure signal of increasing business aviation activity two years after the city's financial implosion.

The operation at Dubai International's Free Zone - on the opposite side of the airport from the show - carries out both fixed-base operations and maintenance on a number of types, including Boeing Business Jets, Embraers, Gulfstreams and Hawkers.

An exception is Bombardier, as its neighbour on the free zone, ExecuJet, specialises in the Canadian brand. "We have really evolved over the past five years from a handling facility to a fully fledged maintenance operation," says general manager Michael Rücker. "Nothing hinders us now from offering maintenance on virtually every aircraft type."

Rücker says the business has spent the past two years preparing for a recovery that is now fully under way. "We had the crisis and what we did was to ramp up. We put a lot of [technicians] through type rating," he says. "From 1 January 2010 the hangar has been at full capacity and we are fully booked into 2011."

In terms of movements, the record month before October had been March 2008, the end of the up-cycle, with just over 260 aircraft arriving or departing.

Jet Aviation is one of a small number of maintenance houses specialising in business aviation in the Gulf. In addition to Dubai, it has two fixed-base operations in Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh and Jeddah, although they cater almost exclusively for the domestic market.

The Dubai facility is "more front end" for manufacturers looking to support fleets throughout the wider Middle East, says Rucker.

Source: Flight Daily News