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328 Support signs contract for Two Dornier 328 Jet 10-seat VIP Conversions

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328 Support Services has confirmed it is to place two VIP Dornier 328s in Dubai. Arriving in Geneva for EBACE this week, the Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany-based company confirmed the signing of a contract with a private individual who is arranging for the aircraft to be operated in the Middle East and Africa - solely for VIP use.

Through trading company HYSSOP Global, based in Nigeria, the customer has acquired two 31-seat airliner-configured 328 Jets – serial numbers msn 3120 and 3141, previously operated by oil company Shell of the Netherlands. Both are low time aircraft, with 6,000 hours logged. They will be modified by 328 Support into 10-seat VIP aircraft, replicating the 10-seat VIP layout the organisation showcased at the MEBA business aviation show in Dubai last November.

“The ratification of this deal came about as a direct result of that fortuitous visit to our 328 Jet on the static park. The customer came on board and simply said I want an aircraft like this. MEBA turned out to be a great showcase for us,” said 328 Support Services Chief Executive Dave Jackson.

 This latest contract follows hard on the heels of 328 Support’s deal with Aviando Services from Miami, Florida. It is taking an ex Atlantic Coast Airlines N-registered 31-seater which 328 Support is converting to a 12-seat VIP Envoy.

Work will start on the first of the two aircraft immediately with the second following in September this year.

 The owner is also discussing the possibility of taking a third aircraft – msn 3151.

The newly converted 328 Jets will complement the long range Gulfstream 300 operated by Infinity out of its Dubai International Airport base. Infinity is to set up an MRO facility to support the new type and 328 Support will provide spares and stock inventory in readiness for delivery in the fourth quarter of this year. The second aircraft will follow in the first quarter of 2010.

Special interior features will include an all new inflight entertainment system, De Crane soft leather seats. 328 Support Services’ engineering team will also fit long range fuel tanks to the aircraft, enabling a 2,000 nm range – for example, Dubai to Cairo. 328 Support will also carry out a series of heavy maintenance checks and other modifications prior to delivery.

“We are delighted to have won this business, especially in the face of immensely tough competition in the Middle East which has flattened off and become a buyer’s market,” said Dave Jackson.

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