The third annual Abu Dhabi Air Expo, which opened today at Al Bateen Executive Airport, has become a prominent fixture of the Arabian Gulf general aviation sector, with about 13,000 visitors and 170 exhibiting companies at this year’s event. Air Expo is sponsored by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Abu Dhabi Aviation and the UAE Ministry of Transport.
This article contains additional information from the story first published on February 24.
The third annual Abu Dhabi Air Expo opens at Al Bateen Executive Airport on Tuesday. The three-day event (February 25-27), which has become a prominent fixture of the Arabian Gulf general aviation sector, will feature more than 100 aircraft. Around 13,000 visitors are expected by the 170 exhibiting companies.
Abu Dhabi-based charter group Royal Jet has partnered with Air Seychelles to open a new FBO at Mahé International Airport, the archipelago’s main gateway. The partners believe that the new Air Seychelles VIP facility could trigger a spate of FBO developments in other parts of Africa.
Jet Aviation appointed Hardy Bütschi as vice president and general manager of Jet Aviation’s facilities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, effective in January. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing the company’s maintenance and FBO operations at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central/Al Maktoum International Airport, as well as at Al Bateen Executive Airport in nearby Abu Dhabi. Previously, Bütschi oversaw the company’s operations in Saudi Arabia as vice president of Jet Aviation Saudi Arabia.
Royal Jet, the Abu Dhabi-based jet charter company, announced yesterday a decision to completely renew its fleet by 2020. The company has been exploring options with various OEMs for the past 12 months, but is expected to remain a key Boeing Business Jet customer.
Although charter providers form an important part of the Middle East aviation market they have faced tough times in recent years, unlike the region’s royal flights. “Royalty always had money and always will have money,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for Teal Group, of Fairfax, Virginia. “The entrepreneur class that was growing has obviously been hit by the downturn, though,” he added.
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.
Business aviation is set to make a strong showing at next month’s Dubai Airshow, with the sector expected to account for as many as 50 of the 150 aircraft anticipated on the static display and around 220 of the exhibiting companies. In addition to all the main airframers, bizav service providers such as Jet Aviation, ExecuJet Aviation, Royal Jet and Jetex are booked to exhibit at the event.
The Middle East presents plenty of opportunity for business aviation growth, and at last month’s Abu Dhabi Air Expo businesses reported that their investment in the region–and beyond–is paying dividends.
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