Air International 1999-11
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D.Birch - Desert Classics /Commercial aviation/
A most prestigious contract was awarded to GAMCO in 1997 by the Royal Air Force when it signed a five-year deal, worth US$47 million, with the Abu Dhabi MRO provider for it to undertake unscheduled maintenance on the RAF Lockheed L-1011 TriStar fleet.
Gulf Air was the first airline in the Middle East to fly the A340 and currently has a fleet of five A340-312s. Originally intended for use on services to the USA, the withdrawal of these schedules has made the aircraft redundant.
In 1995 Emirates ordered the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 for its Boeing 777 fleet, thus beginning a process that would make it the first airline in the Middle East to operate a fully Rolls-Royce powered fleet. Boeing 777-21H A6-EMD is seen on approach to London Heathrow Airport in January 1997.
Distinctive triple domes of Sharjah International Airport with a Tajikistan Airlines Tu-154 at the terminal to the left and an Indian Airlines A320 just visible behind. Originating as a remote stopover for Imperial Airways in the 1930s, the airport has seen fluctuating fortunes, although since construction of the new terminal in 1974 there has been steady expansion. Today Sharjah is a major Middle Eastern cargo crossroads for both CIS and Western operators, while there is also considerable passenger traffic from the CIS countries to take advantage of the cheap duty free goods.
Boeing 767-3P6 (ER) A40-GU is seen with its undercarriage retracting as it climbs out from London Heathrow Airport. This is one of the few Boeing types still operated by the UAE airlines. Airbus Industrie having gained the lion’s share of the market.
Distinctive triple domes of Sharjah International Airport with a Tajikistan Airlines Tu-154 at the terminal to the left and an Indian Airlines A320 just visible behind. Originating as a remote stopover for Imperial Airways in the 1930s, the airport has seen fluctuating fortunes, although since construction of the new terminal in 1974 there has been steady expansion. Today Sharjah is a major Middle Eastern cargo crossroads for both CIS and Western operators, while there is also considerable passenger traffic from the CIS countries to take advantage of the cheap duty free goods.
Gulf Air's distinctive Golden Falcon motif is proudly sported on the fins and engine nacelles of all its aircraft, including Airbus A320-212 A40-EH illustrated here.
Airliners from the same production line are like peas from the proverbial pod. However, there are many customising differences, such as the external paintwork detail as shown here on Airbus A320s in service with United Airlines, Gulf Air and Air Canada.
One of four Airbus A320-232s leased from Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise to bridge the gap until delivery of new aircraft from Airbus Industrie in 2001. Seen here with its pre-delivery registration F-WWIG, it is now in service with Qatar as A7-ABS.
De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8Q, A6-ADA, was the first of two of the type acquired by Ahu Dhabi Aviation, primarily for transferring oil industry personnel between onshore bases.
Airbus A310-308, A6-EKI, entered service with Emirates in July 1992. The A310 fleet was instrumental in the successful development of the airline’s medium- and long-haul routes.
One of the recent changes to the fleet was the replacement of Boeing 747-100SRs with three A300-600Rs leased from Ansell Worldwide Aviation Services. A300-622R, A7-ABO, is seen on approach to London Heathrow in August 1999.
Two ATR 42-500s were delivered to Oman Air in December to supplant the A320s operating the regional network. The airline has a further four options which, if taken up, will replace the F27s and Twin Otter on oil support operations.
Emirates was the first airline in the Middle East to take delivery of the Airbus A330-200, it has an order for 17 of the type to replace the current fleet of ten General Electric CF6-80-powered Airbus A310-300s and six A300-600Rs.
GAMCO offers the most extensive total technical service in the Middle East, an example being the work carried out on Airbus A321, TC-ALL, of Turkish operator Alfa.