North Africa’s business aircraft fleet is growing at almost twice the rate of the global average, according to a study by German data research consultancy Wingx Advance, on behalf of the Middle East Business Aviation Association.
The report is the first of its kind to examine the size of the business aviation market in North Africa and break it down according to activity and aircraft category.
Wingx reveals that North Africa saw a 6.3% rise in inventory last year to over 130 business jet and turboprops – compared to a global average increase of 3.7%. This hike is attributable to the region’s thriving economies – notably Morocco – and an expanding wealthy elite using business aircraft in increasing numbers, says Wingx.
However, despite the increase flight activity throughout the region dipped by nearly 5% between January and October, compared to the same period last year. According to the report there were just over 14,800 business aircraft movements across the region. This decline in take-offs and landings is a reflection, it says, of the “significant political instability” in a number of countries – notably Egypt, Libya and Somalia.
Private flights accounted for 33% of business aircraft activity and charter flights for over 50%. Wingx reveals that large-cabin jets and turboprops accounted for 20% and 28% of flight hours, respectively. In the charter market, more than 60% of flight hours were flown by top-end business jets and VIP airliners.
The growing fleet and increased activity has also spawned a thriving maintenance, repair and overhaul services sector, mainly centred in Morocco, Egypt and Algeria. According to the report, North Africa's MRO industry currently accounts for €16.5 million ($22.3 million) in revenues – a growth of 30% over five years. This figure is expected to climb to over €18.2 million in 2018, says Wingx.