The GCC’s private jet fleet is likely to expand by 20% in the coming 12 months as the Middle East emerges as a key market for executive aviation.
This was the observation of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation, and chairman of the Emirates Group, in his keynote address at the inaugural Middle East Business Aviation conference held at Le Meridien Dubai.
He said: “Currently it is estimated that around 250 private jets are operated in the GCC – and our forecasts are that this should reach 300 by the end of next year.”
Growth was estimated to be as much as 22% in some months, he said. Demand would fuel change and enhance competition in the local business aviation scene.
“Joint ventures and partnerships will be the order of the day in the coming years.
“As the industry grows, so will the competition – but that’s something we in the Middle East thrive on, believing it develops the market more quickly – and it is interesting to note that key regional banks are now becoming more open to the financing of private jets.”
Sheikh Ahmed warned business aviation operators that scheduled carriers would also be eyeing parts of their business.
“I expect the established carriers will also compete in this sector. I suspect you will see further investment in premium product development by scheduled carriers as they strive to secure customer loyalty and win increasing numbers of executive travellers.”
Source: Flight Daily News