For the first time, all three of the Gulf’s big airlines are exhibiting at MEBA as they increasingly expand their brands into the top end of premium travel.
Making its debut on the static is Emirates Executive’s Airbus ACJ319. The Dubai airline launched its private jet over a year ago with a single jet. The ACJ319 is divided into two zones, with a dining and executive lounge and 10 private suites, together with a “shower spa”.
Emirates says the jet has flown to 450 destinations since operations began in August 2013. It says the configuration makes it suitable for both individual families and large groups such as government delegations.
Qatar Airways, which has been established in the sector for five years with its Bombardier-based Qatar Executive fleet, is showcasing its Global 5000 Vision on the static display. The aircraft has a two-cabin configuration with separate galley.
Although Etihad Airways has not followed its rivals by establishing a separate private aviation arm, it too is exhibiting for the first time. Its booth in the hall has a mock up of its self-contained Residence first-class suite on board its Airbus A380s, the first of which will enter service between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow on 27 December.
Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association, which hosts MEBA, says the attendance of the major airlines is a sign of the widening appeal of business aviation.
“We are seeing a spike in the growth of the private business aviation market across the region. When big, game-changing players like Emirates and Etihad get involved; you know things are going to get interesting,” he says.
Source: Flight Daily News