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Charter fleet launches and corporate aircraft demand fuels rising tide of Middle East orders
Charter operators and manufacturers confirm Honeywell Aerospace's Business Aviation Outlook assessment that purchases of private aircraft in the Middle East will be among the highest in the world in 2007 and 2008.

Charter operators and manufacturers confirm Honeywell Aerospace's Business Aviation Outlook assessment that purchases of private aircraft in the Middle East will be among the highest in the world in 2007 and 2008.

Cessna and Dassault were among manufacturers that enjoyed orders placed at the Dubai Airshow. Dassault reports the sale of up to seven Falcon 7X tri-jets - four firm orders and an option for another three - to an unnamed customer in Saudi Arabia. Delivery of the first aircraft is expected to be at the end of 2009, followed by two aircraft per year, thereafter. The Falcon 7X is Dassault's best selling aircraft in the Middle East, along with the twin-engine Falcon 2000LX.

Dassault is setting up Dassault Falcon Middle East, a new regional office in Dubai and has established a Falcon spare parts distribution centre in the emirate. "The Middle East market has been growing faster than other regions of the world and after a great 2006 we expect to double our sales here this year," says John Rosanvallon, president and ceo of Dassault Falcon. "Increased income from higher oil prices is certainly a factor but we see countless examples of companies here broadening their interests to other areas of commerce and trade throughout the world." Dassault claims about one third of the large cabin market share in the region.

Cessna vp international sales Trevor Esling says the Middle East is entering a new era of sales and support. "Cessna is well placed to meet this rising tide of demand," he adds. The ExecuJet Middle East Dubai FBO which formally opened on 28 March this year, is enjoying the private aircraft boom. "Since we opened, handling has doubled on the back of an increasingly buoyant economic outlook for corporate aviation business in many countries in the region, especially Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Dubai," reports ExecuJet md Mike Berry.

The facility is currently handling up to 80 movements a month and works alongside its ground handling partner, Executive Flight Services, located at Dubai airport free zone. ExecuJet Middle East has progressively expanded its range of aviation services since the facility opened this spring to include: overflight and landing clearances, full suite ground handling (in co-operation with Executive Flight Services), customs and immigration, car hire, fuel services, inflight catering, weather and flight planning (in co-operation with Universal Weather). "We have built a strong regional business springboard in Dubai, are strategically committed to developing business aviation in the region, and are expanding our professional workforce to accommodate rapid growth. We are here for the long haul," Berry says.

The Middle East, Europe and Russia are regions fuelling global growth. Forecast International predicts that 14,978 business jets, worth some US $192 billion, will be produced from 2007 through 2016. It believes that 5,783 VLJs will be built during the 2007-2016 timeframe, accounting for nearly 39 per cent (based on unit production) of the overall business jet forecast. It also projects that the total value of production for the light commercial helicopter market during this time will reach US$30.46 billion.

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