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MEBA2012: Changes announced at MEBAA General Assembly

Posted 12 December 2012 · Add Comment

At the MEBA event today MEBAA hosted the association's General Assembly for its 194 members, revealing two new board members and announcing positive changes that will enhance the coverage of its insurance scheme at a workshop, which followed official proceedings.

The two new board members were confirmed as Wajdi Alidrissi, managing director of Saudi Private Aviation and Richard Gaona, president & CEO of Comlux Management, who join other industry leaders who collectively help promote the value of business aviation to all stakeholders in the business aviation industry

Alidrissi's inclusion on the board illustrates the importance of Saudi Arabian business aviation, which is dovetailing the Kingdom’s development in construction thanks to international contractors turning towards business aviation to conduct operations.

In this regard, global data indicates a steady 5% year-over-year growth for the Middle East and North Africa but Alidrissi believes KSA is growing at a rate of 10%. However, with such growth, comes a greater need to ensure the various factors that impact business aviation are understood by regulators, as Alidrissi explained at the General Assembly upon his appointment: “Regulations which are imposed upon business aviation but were designed for commercial operators are not effective. Despite sharing the same airspace, the two have such different ways of working that regulation is becoming counter-productive to operational efficiency for business aviation operators and in the worst cases - its bringing safety standards into question. And because every country has its own regulations it is important that Saudi Arabia has a decision making involvement with MEBAA - which is promoting best practice and encouraging dialogue with local governments for the benefit of our industry. So on behalf of SPA I look forward to contributing to the great work MEBAA is doing.”

Likewise Gaona represents a global operator that has VIP charter services with a large presence in Bahrain and operations throughout the MENA region. As CEO of a global company of such breadth and scale, Gaona can help MEBAA understand global trends and international standards.

Having previously worked with Airbus, Gaona moved from the aircraft manufacturer to the operator, allowing him to gain a solid experience to better face the challenges of business aviation and find solutions for both the clients and the community. 

Chairman of MEBAA Ali Al Naqbi said: “Richard is a passionate person and a visionary. He is fully committed to business aviation development and is regarded as a key leader in the industry. Not only does he think globally but his expertise spreads across the whole value chain within business aviation, as evidenced by the growth and diversification of Comlux under his leadership. As the Middle East and North Africa develops into an international gateway for business aviation, Richard’s input on the MEBAA board is invaluable.”

Following the General Assembly, MEBAA held a workshop for its business Aviation Insurance Scheme (MAIS), which was launched at the latest Dubai Airshow in collaboration with Willis Aerospace, the Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) and Chartis Insurance.

The workshop served as an opportunity for members to gain insight into the MAIS product. The structure of the scheme as set up by MEBAA, ADNIC, Willis, and Chartis guarantees operators a coverage that is comprehensive, cost-effective, and tailored to their individual needs by pooling an operator’s risk. At its launch, the scheme was limited to aircraft with a maximum hull value of $80 million and maximum liability limit of $550 million and to all business jets of members up to and including Airbus A318/A319 and Boeing BBJ aircraft.  At the workshop however, Willis confirmed its market leverage to ensure the scheme can accommodate hulls up to $350 million and liability up to $1 billion through its partner carriers.

Henry Adair, regional practice leader at Willis, said: “MAIS now provides all MEBAA members with the opportunity to benefit from economies of scale characterised by fleet rates, as well as significant coverage benefits. As such the scheme is proving an extremely attractive solution to their insurance buying requirements.  With Chartis and ADNIC ensuring that individual members are not penalised in terms of pricing by the claims of other members, this has been a significant and positive change to previous attempts at this type of concept.”

Falcon Aviation in Abu Dhabi was the scheme's launch customer and it has recently added two corporate aircraft operators: Smart Aviation, which is based in Egypt, and partly owned by EgyptAir and Executive Aircraft Services, based in Lebanon. 

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