- 24 February, 2006
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) used Asian Aerospace to announce its plans to become the third largest wide-body aircraft leasing company in the world.
Dr Mohammed Al Zarouni, managing director, underlined DAE’s boundless ambition to become a world-force in aerospace by saying it would be looking to supply aircraft to the burgeoning Chinese, Indian and Middle East airlines.
“We plan to become the third-largest wide-body aircraft leasing company in the world within the next few years. We expect the Middle East and Asia’s requirement for new aircraft orders to be at least 60% of the market during that time – and we want to service that requirement,” said Al Zarouni.
“Our geographical position in the middle of the world is ideal. The market for long-haul carriers between the West and the Asia-Pacific region will increase and we will be there to benefit,” he said.
The move will rival the two largest aircraft lessors, International Lease Finance Corp and GE Commercial Aviation Services.
Middle East governments including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar have ordered as many as 300 aircraft for delivery during the next five years. Dubai owns the airline Emirates, which itself has ordered 45 Airbus A380s. There has been speculation for several years about whether the aircraft would be required immediately.
Al Zarouni refused to comment on which airlines DAE is in talks with, but confirmed negotiations were “ongoing.”
The news came at a scheduled press conference to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between DAE’s airport subsidiary company, Airport Development and Operations (ADO) and a six-strong consortium representing the elite of emirate’s businesses.
The consortium partners – Emaar, Dnata, Mercator, Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), Amlak finance and Dubai Airports Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) – are looking to drive the business from the massive airport infrastructure boom in Asia and the Middle East. Analysts say this will grow between 8-9% over the next decade.
Al Zarouni said China alone offered huge potential, with more than 200 airports expected to be developed in the coming years. “We see a potential of around $1.2bn per annum in an $84bn market. We plan to invest $6bn over the next ten years to make this happen. Wherever there are open doors and opportunities to invest, we will be there.”
DAE will today announce an MoU with Cranfield University to establish a dedicated aerospace university.
The airport business will focus on greenfield development as well as expanding existing airport infrastructure and management. DAE has a war chest of $15bn over the next decade to make its aspirations a reality