After the third running of the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS, Stand 1183) this past January was hailed as a success by its organizers, preparations are already being made for the next event in 2016. Hopes are high that it can surpass commercial deals of around $2.1 billion–the 2014 figure that was more than double that of 2012.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association’s efforts to help regulators take the initiative on pressing business aviation issues in the region, such as oversight and the gray-charter market, have helped to create debate in the Gulf, a market that is one of the most important to aircraft manufacturers.
Airbus- and Boeing-approved completion center Aeria Luxury Interiors of San Antonio, a subsidiary of ST Aerospace, highlighted its recent cabin refurbishment of a Boeing 767-200, and plans for its first BBJ green cabin completion. The BBJ is scheduled to arrive at Aeria from Boeing this December. Its interior will incorporate a humidification and zonal drying system to enhance passenger comfort, said Ron Soret, v-p and general manager for completions. Delivery to the customer is expected in October next year.
ExecuJet Aviation Group’s Middle East joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s NasJet at the private aviation terminal at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, which opened less than a year ago, is benefitting from robust levels of business in the Saudi capital, and is likely to continue to see higher levels of aircraft movements than regional hub Dubai, a company official said last month at MEBAC in Riyadh.
The Saudi market accounts for almost half of the 550 business jets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and is growing at 10 percent a year, the head of a leading Saudi Arabian aviation company said in Riyadh at last month’s Middle East Business Aviation Conference.
Saudi Arabia saw almost 30,000 business jet movements last year, including 10,737 in Riyadh, 9,740 at Dammam and 9,392 in Jeddah (a total of 29,869 movements), according to data compiled by WingX for the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) show. Boeing has the strongest OEM presence in the kingdom, with 38 aircraft in 10 Middle East countries; since 2000, Airbus has sold 13 new aircraft in the region, Embraer eight and Bombardier five.
Long hindered by political and economic sanctions, Myanmar has emerged as one of the remaining frontier markets in Southeast Asia. Since the 2012 elections, the Thein Sein Administration has taken great strides to unlock the country’s economic and tourism potential. A highly competitive market has developed in just two years.
Requests for charter flight price quotes, a bellwether of business aviation activity, have been growing in China by more than 20 percent annually over the past three years, according to data released this week at ABACE 2014 by Avinode. Quote requests for flights to and from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan grew from 9,701 in 2011 to 11,684 in 2012 (up around 20.5 percent), and to 14,369 last year (up around 23 percent).
Dubai-based UAS International Trip Support said this week at ABACE 2014 that it is enhancing its aircraft handling services to bridge a trip-support gap between China and Africa. UAS already has a strong presence in China, handling 25 to 50 operations per day into and out of the country. It plans to open a regional office in China next year in response to the strengthening economic ties between what are said to be the two fastest growing business jet markets, China and Africa, the latter linked primarily to the growth of business aviation activity in Nigeria.