On the Ground, Looking Up

Maytag Aircraft Corporation joins forces with Royal Wings Aviation Services in Kuwait at Al Mubarak Air Force Base.

On the military side of the airport, none of the employees are Kuwaiti. Since the "Cole Incident" October 12, 2000, Al Mubarak at Kuwait was categorized by the department of defense as a security risk. Third party nationals were originally allowed to work, but after September 11 the base became 100-percent expatriates.

The USS Cole destroyer was attacked and 17 crew members were killed while 39 others were injured during a scheduled refueling.

The new venture on the commercial side of Al Mubarak International Airport now has four permanent employees as well as a number of part-timers on the payroll.

"As the word is getting out, we're slowly building," Czyzyk says. He sites the two major reasons for companies to come on board. "We have parking available, which is a big thing at that airport. Once the airplane is pushed out of the military side, they may not have a place for it to go for two or three days. They may need to fly in a crew or the existing crew may have to spend 24 hours on the ground. We [also] actually provide the fuel. Customers don't have to deal with KAFCO, the current monopoly company."

The Kuwait Aviation Fuelling Company (KAFCO) was the sole supplier of jet fuel at Kuwait International Airport. The new company will use MercFuels' (also part of the Mercury Group family) supplies to offer the new fueling service.

Toys in the Chest

"At this point it's a pushback tractor," Czyzyk says of the company's small arsenal of ground support equipment. "We have a number of large heavy terrain forklifts; we have a GPU, air start, a variety of towbars." If they ever find themselves a little short on equipment, Maytag Aircraft has a plethora of equipment over on the military side of the field.

Royal Wings also partners with Kuwait Airways for ground support equipment needs. The airline provides all ground handling services including cargo loading, catering, refueling and aircraft pushback.

"What we're hurting for is business. We believe that we'll have significantly more business by this time next year, but it's new and we're just introducing it into a specialized market. Our target market is those companies contracting with the U.S. government."

Starting from the ground and looking up, Maytag Aviation International plans on expanding its operations as a primarily commercial faction in Dubai as well as in Qatar and Doha alongside the U.S. military as it continues to grow its presence in the regions.

"We hope to piggyback with our subsidiary, Maytag Aircraft, which is starting a new contract in January in support of the U.S. Air Force in Al Wadid (a partnership between USAF and a Qatari air force base)," Czyzyk says. "We expect to be providing that same service in Doha in another year. With the (commercial) growth of Dubai, the company would be purely commercial ground support."

Maytag Aviation International is a solutions-oriented company with expertise in both defense contract requirements and commercial aviation. "Maytag's experience as a defense contractor in Kuwait, coupled with the significant business contacts Royal Wings has in the region, enable us to provide any company that wishes to do business in Kuwait, either government or purely commercial, a vast aRay of tools necessary to be successful. We can navigate the required Kuwait government procedures and help a company avoid the pitfalls of operating in Kuwait, prevent false starts and wasted effort. We do this with straight forward administration in a transparent partnership with our clients," Gualtieri attests.

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