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Middle East charter predicted to rise at 40 per cent per year
The Middle East charter market is predicted to grow at 40 per cent a year building on rising orders that range from entry-level jets and helicopters to an A380 Flying Palace for HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud.

The Middle East charter market is predicted to grow at 40 per cent a year building on rising orders that range from entry-level jets and helicopters to an A380 Flying Palace for HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud.

Aircraft orders reported at the Dubai Airshow included: an Aerion supersonic business jet for Sheikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Noaimi, head of Ajman municipality and planning department; two spns for ZAS Z-Aviation Services of Egypt; two Airbus A318 Elites for Al Jaber Aviation; five Citation Sovereigns for Egypt's Smart Aviation; 12 Eclipse 500 jets for the Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Flight Academy (DAEFA); a Challenger 605 and a G500 for Rizon Jet of Bahrain; three G450s for Saraya Aviation and the G200 for International Business Centre with two Mustangs headed for Lebanon's Open Sky.

Abu Dhabi's Royal Jet unveiled an ambitious five-year expansion plan aimed at achieving a turnover by 2012 that equals today's total estimated market of U.S. $500 million – a five-fold increase on its current position.

Shane O'Hare, president and ceo, says Royal Jet specially commissioned a 'state-of-the-industry' report, which predicted that the Middle East business aviation sector would achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 per cent, in terms of aircraft movements and fleet growth. "The value of the region's charter market has achieved 23 per cent annual growth over the past two years," O'Hare adds. The report was compiled by an international firm of strategic consultants and collated from intensive research and data supplied by operators, airports and airframe suppliers. "It is the first qualified analysis of the Middle Eastern business aviation market to be produced."

Royal Jet, which has recently added a fifth BBJ to its fleet, says the double-digit CAGR in regional aircraft movements includes Abu Dhabi at 46 per cent and Dubai at 38 per cent recorded between 2003 and 2007; Jeddah at 18 per cent, Riyadh with 12 per cent and Damman with 10 per cent in the three-year period 2004-2006; Amman with 37 per cent from 2000 to 2005; Bahrain at 25 per cent from 2002-2004; and Sharm-El-Sheikh at 11 per cent from 2002-2005.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, whose two biggest emirates are Abu Dhabi and Dubai, dominate the buyers' market. The survey breaks the region's charter fleet down by aircraft size into 40 per cent devoted to the light and mid-sized range; 29 per cent for the super mid-size, heavy and regional range; 27 per cent to vip airlines and four per cent to ultra, long-range airliners. The report says Royal Jet has a 16 per cent market share.

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