Alan Peaford/DUBAI

A deal worth $170 million for 14 Hawker 800XP business jets broke the drought of sales at Dubai 2000 yesterday.

And the announcement means good news for potential business aircraft users in the region as the Saudi-based National Air Services (NAS) has added the aircraft to the already impressive list of 14 Gulfstream IV SPs and 12 Falcon 2000s recently ordered for the launch of the Netjets Middle East fractional ownership programme.

"This brings our aircraft value to $760 million in the Middle East," says Mohammed Al Zeer, director general of NAS.

NAS was created to provide the sales and marketing expertise for the Netjets concept in the Middle East. Already there have been potential customers in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE. NetJets International Chairman Vincent Santulli was at the show to celebrate the announcement.

"This is tremendously exciting for us. We are now ready to start signing deals," Santulli says. "This is not one of these deals where we announce it, find the customers and then buy the aircraft. These are real orders."

Earlier this week Netjets unveiled a number of restructuring policies that included quadrupling its capital from $16 million to $64 million and a 30% reduction in flying costs and jet response time.

The Hawker 800XP is already in service with Netjets Europe and in the United States. Raytheon, which manufactures the aircraft, will begin delivery in 2000 with five in the first year, and then three delivered each year through 2003.

Source: Flight Daily News