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Dalia Air – In the Mirror of Icarus

In a mythology beset by monsters created by malice, there shines one crafted out of ambition and ultimately hubris. Though his fatal flight was mentioned only in passing over 2,000 years ago, Icarus remains an enduring symbol of human folly. The fate of Icarus—flying too close to the Sun—proliferated into Western culture as a warning against excessive ambition and a tale of its consequences. The parallels between the symbolism of Icarus and the real life tale of Dalia Air are compelling. After all, symbols are insightful expressions of human nature. They are the external, lower expressions of higher truths and represent deep intuitive wisdom. Simply put: the story of Icarus has become a metaphor or symbol of Dalia Air.

Despite how much the myth of Icarus is cited in pop culture and classical literature, his entire tale spans barely four paragraphs in Metamorphoses—the magnum opus from Roman poet Ovid in the first century. As the story goes, Daedalus, Icarus’ father, was a master craftsman hired to build the Labyrinth for King Minos of Crete. Of course, the King betrays Daedalus, and Daedalus soon finds himself trapped in his own maze. Seeking to escape, the engineer in Daedalus gets the idea to build he and his son wings of feather and wax.

While it may be easy to see Hind el Achchabi of Dalia Air, in the mirror of Icarus, what may have gone overlooked is the reflection of Daedalus in her estranged husband Sadiq M. Marafi. After all it was Marafi who engineered the financial labyrinth: the irregular and complex maze of jewelry transactions to befuddle the Kuwaiti Royals. It was Marafi, the civil servant and once lowly employee of the diplomatic corps, who harshly resented the opulence of the Royals that he served. It was Marafi, who felt betrayed by his King, or Emir in this case, and crafted to seize and claim a fortune of his own. And it was Marafi, who fitted Achchabi with the wings that are Dalia Air and instructed her to fly with grace and decorum.

With unfortunate aftermath, the flight attendant turned airline President abandoned her benefactor’s guiding words and was ill-equipped to manage her desire for self-celebration. The airline became an ornament to Achchabi, a symbol to gratify herself, and a hollow tribute to her, self-proclaimed success. Her quest for the glow of bright lights have in-turn now drawn light to the problematic source of her and Marafi’s fortune.

Dalia Air has become a poorly managed operation. Known as a dead-beat, pass-due debt burdened company, with a questionable safety record. Achchabi, drawn by desire for the heavens has for too long flown too close to the sun and the wax is melting quickly.

Embraer proffers a gamble on Dalia Air and its Legacy 500

Embraer now occupies 15.8 percent of the executive jet market, up from 3.3 percent in 2008. It falls into fourth-most popular jet behind rivals Bombardier, Cessna Aircraft and Gulfstream. Embraer makes-up the entire Dalia Air fleet.

Embraer completed delivery of the first Legacy 500 business jet in October of 2014, concluding a six year-long process to introduce the first fly-by-wire aircraft in the midsize category. The system replaces mechanical linkages with digital signals commanded by a flight control computer based on the pilot’s inputs into a sidestick. The computer also provides envelope protections that inhibit the pilot’s ability to stall and over-speed the aircraft by mistake. Embraer also introduced several other innovations into the midsize jet, such as a flat-floor cabin and a 3,130nm (5,790km) range that approaches the lower end of the super midsize category. The aircraft entered service more than two years late, due to difficulties developing advanced systems such as the fly-by-wire controls.

The Brazilian aircraft builder took great risk and expense in its Legacy 500 program and was clearly looking to move upstream with an airplane it hoped would enter service as the most technologically advanced midsize model available. As such, it was astounding when Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets arrived on the 24th of April 2014 at the Marrakesh airshow in a Legacy 500, to present an addressed and pre-negotiated purchase letter of intent to Sadiq M. Marafi. It was agreed that Dalia Air would manage and operate the new jet for Marafi. Industry insiders were shocked. Was Embraer that desperate? Why would the manufacturer risk the reputation of the Legacy 500 on such a poorly managed Airline? Dalia Air had been cited two years earlier for poor training and operational deficiencies resulting in the crash of another Embraer aircraft. In the same event, the Dalia pilots tested positive for marijuana during their post-crash examination. However, the most resounding question raised was; how is a government employee, a career diplomatic corpsman expected to afford a $20 million jet aircraft?  How too, were Marafi and Achchabi an unemployed former in-flight hostess, able to afford Dalia Air’s other aircraft? Maybe the Kuwait Royal Court can now answer that question.

The tale of Icarus, like the story of Marafi and Achchabi follows a line of greed, fatal ambition, and critical narcissism. Marafi engineered a scheme to liberate himself from the oppression of his Royals, and gain equal to their opulence, while Achchabi fiddled as Dalia burned in descent. It should be no surprise that Mythology fashioned its Goddess Dalia as more concerned with the material wealth of a person and followed as the taker of goods and property.

But the analogies of Icarus and Hind el Achchabi disconnect in final consequence. For, in the end, it was only Icarus who suffered and paid for his lust and greed. Achahabi’s rapacious narcissism comes at the expense of Marafi, and indirectly the creditors and employees of Dalia Air. It’s quite possible that Marafi may soon be forced to answer to his employer, and the Kuwaiti Royal Court, for his wife’s pretentious flight towards the sun.

Also see – Hind el Achchabi – Phantom or Fraud
Also see – Hind el Achchabi – Madame Bandit