Airbus to Maintain Corporate Jet Sales

DUBAI — Airbus, the European plane maker, expects to maintain sales volume in the Middle East for its corporate jets as the region contributes half of its total sales in this segment, a top executive of the aircraft maker said.

By Abdul Basit

Published: Fri 13 Nov 2009, 11:47 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:24 AM

The company delivers one executive or private jet a month on average globally while the Middle East contributes almost 50 per cent of the total orders, according to Francois Chazelle, vice president, Airbus executive and private aviation.

“The Middle East has been a traditional market for us and I expect to maintain its share,” Chazelle said, adding: “The UAE is good market and Saudi Arabia is the biggest market in the region.”

Chazelle said that there is growing demand in Saudi Arabia as “more royal families want their own jets.” He also mentioned China as a key market in Asia.

The company sold 20 corporate and private jets to Saudi Arabia following by the UAE and Qatar 10 each. Airbus has sold about 160 corporate and private jets so far worldwide, he added.

Airbus hopes to get some orders during the forthcoming Dubai Airshow, the third-largest event of its kind in the world. The biennial show will run from November 15-19, 2009 at DubaiAirport Expo.

Two years ago, the event was a record breaker with some massive orders placed by Middle Eastern airlines. Emirates announced an order for 120 A350XWBs and 11 A380s. Dubai-government owned Aerospace Enterprise announced it will buy 100 Airbus planes while Air Arabia said it would buy up to 49 Airbus A320 aircraft. Airbus marketing director for the private and executive aviation division David Velupillai said that most of 25 Boeing 747 business jets are in the Middle East and many clients may be looking to upgrade them.

Customers and operators of Airbus jets include Al Jaber Aviation, the Al Kharafi group/Twinjet, ADI/Blue Moon Aviation, BAA Jet Management, C Jet Ltd, China Sonangol, Comlux, DaimlerChrysler, Eurofly, Globaljet, Hong Kong Airlines, Jetalliance, MAZ Aviation, National Air Services, Omni Aviaçao, Pharmair, PrivatAir, Qatar Airways, SAAD Air, Skytraders, the Stumpf Group, Triple Alpha, the UB Group and VistaJet.

Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Aviation, or AJA, a private air charter company, which started operations in June this year, is the single largest buyer of Airbus corporate planes in the Middle East.

“Our Airbus ACJ Family aircraft will bring greater comfort and space to a broader Middle East market through VVIP charters,” Dr. Mark Peirotti, Chief Operating Officer AJA said, which will begin flying the first of these aircraft, an A318 Elite, in the coming months.

“Whether you want a cost-effective way to fly family or executives, to move a larger delegation than traditional business jets can handle, or just the comfort and peace of mind that you get in your own aircraft, AJA can provide it,” he added.

Next year will be a big year for transport in Dubai with the first flight scheduled to take off from Al Maktoum International Airport, part of Dubai World Central.

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