Sopa Targets Bizav in Middle East-Europe Border States
The Central Europe Private Aviation (Cepa) group has formed an affiliated organization called Southeast Europe Private Aviation (Sopa). This new group will focus initially on representing the interests of the business aviation industry in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. According to Cepa chairman Dagmar Grossmann, these countries are positioned in the heart of expected, and significant, business aviation growth in the region. The Mediterranean island of Cyprus could very well serve as a gateway to the Middle East and has attracted more than 45,000 international businesses as a result of its favorable tax regimen. Its economy is currently growing by around 4 percent, which is well above current rates for European states. Turkey’s economy is also developing as the country prepares for eventual membership in the European Union. There are currently around 71 business jets and 18 turboprops registered in Turkey. Greece has about 22 business jets and 15 turboprops on its national register, and for Cyprus the figures are three and two, respectively. There is no available data for business aircraft registered in Lebanon. Sopa, headquartered in Cyprus, will focus on lobbying governments in the region and also helping companies to expand business aviation in the region.