Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group with GE chairman and CEO John Flannery at the inauguration of GE On-Wing Support Facility in Dubai on Tuesday. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: GE Aviation, a provider of commercial jet engines and mechanical systems, on Tuesday launched a support centre in Dubai South that will provide maintenance and repair services to all UAE-based carriers.

The new support centre in Dubai’s Aviation District Aerospace Supply Chain Facility comes as the emirate garners recognition as an aviation hub, John Flannery, chairman and chief executive officer of GE, said.

Speaking at the launch event, Flannery said the region has become a key hub for aviation, an industry that he described as being even more promising over the next 100 years as new technologies are utilised. He added that the support centre will allow for flexibility in repair services to regional customers.

“The provision of more efficient, reliable, and timely maintenance and repair services remains vital to the advancement of the industry. This centre will contribute to the long-term growth vision of Dubai South and support the needs of our partners from across the region,” Flannery said.

GE has been operating its support centre with Emirates Airlines since 2013, providing repair solutions for all GE and CFM engines on the Emirates fleet. With the new facility in Dubai South, GE will serve other carriers such as flydubai, Etihad Airways, and Air Arabia.

GE Aviation’s support centre in Dubai serves over 19 nations.

Tahnoon Saif, vice-president of Dubai South’s Aviation District, said the Middle East is expected to account for 6 per cent of the global aircraft fleet in the next 10 years, up from the current 5 per cent. Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) demand will also increase to from $5 billion (Dh18.36 billion) to $10 billion in the next 10 years.

Emirates to report increased profitability

Dubai: Emirates Airline will report increased profitability year-on-year for the full financial year that ends in March 2018, according to the carrier’s chief.

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, told reporters that financial performance for the year “is going to be better than last year,” but declined to provide further details.

The airline reported Dh1.3 billion in profits for the 2016-2017 financial year, down 82 per cent year-on-year.

The chairman pointed that, operationally, demand for flights to the US has picked up after slowing down earlier due to restrictions from the US — such as the electronics ban and visa restrictions.

He also confirmed that the value of sukuk being issued by Emirates was $1.1 billion (Dh4.04 billion).

Asked about the ongoing dispute between US carriers and Gulf carriers, Shaikh Ahmad said, “When it comes to open books, we are ready as Emirates airline to discuss anything. Nothing to hide. It’s very transparent.”