ME’s business aviation sector to grow at 40pc in next five years

ABU DHABI - The Middle East’s booming business aviation sector will continue to record annual double-digit growth over the next five years, according to the President & CEO of Royal Jet.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 8 Mar 2008, 8:45 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:17 PM

Contributing to a panel discussion on the future of business aviation at the Middle East Aviation Outlook Summit in Abu Dhabi, Shane O’Hare told delegates that an increasing region-wide realisation of the cost-effectiveness of private jet travel is fuelling sector growth.

“Our research points to a 40 per cent annual increase in the Middle East’s business aviation sector for the coming five years with Saudi Arabia and the UAE driving the momentum,” he said in a Press statement yesterday.

“Saudi Arabia is currently leading the surge but the UAE is catching up very fast,” he added.

“In addition, the emerging markets of India and China will record similar growth rates and with the Middle East being central to these markets and Europe, it is well placed to serve their growing requirements.”

O’Hare said the region’s business aviation potential is encouraging new players into the market.

“Six major operators are looking to come into the market in the next few years,” he said. O’Hare added that Royal Jet, currently the Middle East’s largest charter supplier with a 16 per cent market share, is gearing up for major expansion in readiness to service increased demand and counter new competition.

Royal Jet’s five-year plan envisages a fleet of more than 20 aircraft - up from the current 12 - with expansion mainly centred on large-to-mid-range capacity airliners.

During the panel discussion, led by Ammar Balkar, President of the Middle East Business Aviation Association, O’Hare said throughout the Middle East’s expanding corporate sector there is increasing acceptance of the “potent commercial proposition” of business aviation.

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