"Al Salam invited us to look. We looked. And were impressed," says Mohammed Al Zeer, chairman of Maz Consultants. What he beheld was a 30-year-old Lockheed L100 (civilian version of the C-130 Hercules) that had been reborn as a VIP transport under the caring hand of Al Salam. Al Zeer says the aircraft was signed over to the customer on Tuesday.
The two-year project, for an unnamed customer, resulted in 12 supplemental type certificates spanning Saudi, European and US aviation authorities.
In addition to a new six-display CMC glass cockpit, which itself required more than 40 certification flights, the L100 now has multiple seating zones, a galley and a full bathroom, says Mohammed Fallatah, president and chief executive of Al Salam.
Under the terms of a new partnership agreement between the two companies, signed here at the show on Wednesday, Maz will market Al Salam as one of its preferred completion centres for customers in the market for conversions.
"This agreement represents a turning point and an important development in the Saudi aviation industry, where for the first time, there is co-operation between two Saudi companies with the aim to attract business to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia," says Al Zeer.