Embraer Executive Jets (Chalet A7) is enjoying strong sales with a cumulative total of more than 630 sold in 50 countries to date, according to Colin Steven, the unit’s vice president of sales and marketing, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We delivered 99 jets in both 2011 and 2012, despite the total market deliveries having dropped 6 percent in the same period,” he said.
Charter operator Gainjet (Stand 2306) recently expanded its fleet with the addition of a 68-seat VIP-configured Boeing 737-400. The Greece-based group has made a specialty of operating former Boeing airliners, with two other 737s already in service (one with 48 seats and the other with 60 seats). The fleet also includes a very spacious 62-seat 757-200.
The company’s XPR program provides performance upgrades for Hawker 400 and 800 series jets, with options for new avionics and upgraded engines. Purchase of an already upgraded Hawker 400XPR or 800XPR, at around half the price of a similar new aircraft, is another option for cost-conscious buyers.
“The African continent has great potential to become a business aviation hub, which led to us opening our facility in Lagos in October 2012,” said Ettore Poggi, ExecuJet Africa’s managing director. “Traditionally, Africa has mainly been a turboprop market, popular with mining companies and the tourist industry.
While the business aviation world cautiously waits to see if the signs of recovery in the traditional markets of Europe and North America bear fruit, the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are looking elsewhere to satisfy demand for growth. While the Far East and Latin America offer encouragement, it is Africa that offers the best opportunities for increased sales, but the continent also has its own unique set of challenges.
Dubai-based aircraft sales and aircraft management specialist and operator of the region’s largest fleet of business jets,Empire Aviation Group, which has been a subsidiary of Air Works India Engineering since 2012, is looking to expand support to the booming Southeast Asia market. A strategic tie-up is to be announced in the first quarter of 2014, Paras Dhamecha, executive director at Empire Aviation, told AIN.
Dassault Aviation launched its long-awaited, all-new Falcon 5X at last month’s NBAA show in Las Vegas. The long-range, advanced technology model should provoke strong interest among the growing Middle Eastern jet set.
Abu Dhabi’s Royal Jet, the commercial luxury private-jet operator, is to issue an RFP for the replacement of six Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) aircraft within the next two months, as it seeks to expand regional charter operations in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
According to the latest business jet market update from J.P.Morgan, recent data shows further weakness in the pre-owned business jet market. Used inventory rose to its highest level since late last year, while pricing showed another sequential decline, the firm said. Business jet flying bounced back, however, providing a glimmer of hope.
Hamburg, Germany-based aviation data research firm WingX Advance said there is “little to cheer about” in October’s business aviation activity in Europe, which dropped 2.1 percent year-over-year and posted the fewest number of flight hours in any October since 2006. Charter flying fell 3.5 percent last month year-over-year, with the biggest declines in business jet activity–some 800 business jet charter flights fewer, it said.