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Business Home > Aviation
 
ME key market for corporate jets

Abdul Basit / 12 December 2012

Middle East is most important and stronger market for corporate jets growth despite the fact that itís young, according to top officials of Boeing and Airbus.

Bombardier senior vice-president for sales Bob Horner expects business jet market size will be double in the next 20 years to $648 billion globally. Middle East will also witness 100 per cent increase in fleet size, Horner added.

Top executives of Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) and Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) believe that it started to pick up and there will be more growth next year compared to last two years. The region’s market is mostly for large business jets, they added.

“The Airbus Corporate Jet division continues to see a growing interest from the Middle East,” Francois Chazelle,     vice-president — commercial, ACJ told reporters at a news conference on the first day of Meba in Dubai.

“Airbus Corporate Jets participation at Meba is an excellent platform to celebrate a successful year in the region and internationally.

ACJ is displaying two aircraft at the show, giving visitors an opportunity to see the widest and tallest cabin of any business jet in two elegantly different arrangements.

The aircraft are the backbone of the Airbus corporate jet family and have a strong presence in the Middle East, a key market for wide body aircraft. They comprise of an Airbus ACJ318, operated on VVIP charter flights by Al Jaber Aviation (AJA), and an ACJ319 belonging to a private Middle East customer.

Chazelle said the company has sold 170 corporate jets and there were 110 narrow body and 60 wide body. Most of the wide body ACJ sold are in Middle East 
and Africa region, he added. He said building on ACJ’s ongoing enhancements of aircrafts to match customer growing demand for widebody aircraft in the region, a Gala cabin concept is being introduced on ACJ340 whereby VIP private rooms, dining lounges, bedrooms with king size beds, washrooms and showers are all part of the enhanced interior along with 42” LCD screens in each of the vicinities.

Boeing

At a separate news conference, Boeing said it is extending its market leadership in the Middle East with upcoming deliveries of two BBJ 747-8s for head-of-state customers in the region.

Of the nine BBJ 747-8s that have been ordered to date, all but one are for customers in the Middle East. It is the largest selling region for BBJs, comprising more than 30 per cent of the market.

“Despite the global economic downturn, the Middle East region remains a very strong market for both single-aisle and twin-aisle VIP airplanes,” said Captain Steve Taylor, president, Boeing Business Jets, told reporters.

“Our customers want an aircraft capable of connecting virtually any two cities in the world nonstop,” said Taylor. “Incredible range, along with unmatched comfort, make BBJ the preferred choice for head-of-state customers and private individuals in the Middle East.”

Two months ago, the first BBJ 777-200LR (longer range) for a head-of-state customer in the Middle East entered into service. With a range capability of more than 10,000 nautical miles (18,500km), the BBJ 777-200LR is the longest range business jet in the world.

Attendees of the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) event in Dubai this week will have an opportunity to tour three BBJs, including a very spacious BBJ 767, the largest business jet on display at the show.

Bombardier

The Middle East is incredible and important market for Bombardier, Horner told reporters at a news conference. There are close to 100 aircraft in service which is around 25 per cent market share. “We will continue to maintain growth in the region and more market share,” he added.

abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

 

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