The 2009 Dubai Airshow will seek to buck the aerospace industry’s downward trend when it opens its doors this morning. But it seems highly unlikely that this will manifest itself in announcements of significant new aircraft orders, even though Middle East airlines are themselves outperforming the stagnant traffic levels in other parts of the world.
United Arab Emirates
Canada-based Skyplan, a flight-services provider, plans to open an office in Dubai in February to complement its existing Sharjah office, which opened a year ago, and to better serve clients operating out of Dubai International Airport and elsewhere in the region.
Until about a year ago, the Dubai economy laid a fair claim to being the mother of all modern property booms with new skyscrapers appearing on its skyline at a breathtaking rate. However, once ripples from the global financial crisis started to hit Dubai’s shores, it appeared that many of the developments may figuratively have been built on sand without the firm foundation of sustainable demand.
The world’s aerospace industry could use a morale boost, and it might just get it at the 2009 Dubai Air Show (November 15 to 19) at the end of a year that has brought little but austerity and uncertainty. The Middle East has been a strong generator of growth over the past decade, and the market’s potential to revive otherwise sluggish sales in the aerospace sector is more important now than ever before.
Aviall Services’ new customer service center in Dubai, UAE, officially opened last Thursday. The new aircraft parts facility, located in the Dubai Airport Free Zone and approved by the General Civil Aviation Authority, will serve airline, military and business aviation customers in the Middle East and eventually in Northern Africa.
Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) will take a central role in maintaining General Electric engines–including those ordered by Etihad Airways here at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday. ADAT, which is part of the Mubadala group, has also entered into an agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE) to become the first IAE-approved shop for V2500-A5 and V2500 SelectOne engines.
The organizers of this year’s Dubai Airshow (November 15 to 19) expect to break all existing exhibition space records with the addition of a fourth hall, sponsored and hosted by Dubai-based Emirates. The biennial airshow will feature a new Emirates Hall, which will cover 75,616 sq ft, including 53,820 sq ft for exhibition stands. The additions will raise the total airshow area to 3.5 million square feet.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) here yesterday signed memorandums of understanding with three German companies for the establishment of production facilities at the Aerospace Cluster at Al Ain, in the eastern region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate.
Arab Wings has stepped up its expansion plans by taking delivery of a new Bombardier Challenger 605 just before the EBACE show opened. The Jordanian charter operator is also applying for an aircraft operator’s certificate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where it is about to launch a sister company called Gulf Wings from a base in Sharjah.
Business aviation is set to have a high profile at the next Dubai Airshow later this year (November 15-19). The Middle East has not been immune from the global economic crisis but remains a major prospective growth market for an industry that has seen a significant slowdown in both North America and Europe.