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AfBAA Expo demonstrates a sustainable future for African Business Aviation New fund announced for aircraft financing in Africa.

May 16, 2014 Exhibitions No Comments Email Email

The debut AfBAA Expo which took place from 23 – 26 April at the FRA Military Base at Marrakech Airport clearly demonstrated the potential for Business Aviation growth on the continent as delegates from the business aviation sector, regulators, airport authorities, OEMs, military representative nbi8kffffes, financiers, lawyers and service providers converged during the four day event. Delegates visiting the AfBAA Expo pavilion debated and discussed the growing industry with representatives of the African Business Aviation Association and the associated exhibitors.

During the opening address Tarek Ragheb, Founding Chairman of the Association announced the inception of a new AfBAA initiative that has resulted in a fund valued at $250 million, with a potential to grow to US$500 million. Underwritten by an undisclosed export agency the funding will be used solely for financing aircraft within Africa. Ragheb explained that the fund had been initiated in response to the continual financing challenges experienced by operators and OEMs in Africa. This was highlighted at the AfBAA Symposium held in September 2013. AfBAA took up the challenge and within nine months has successfully created a fund that aims to support continued growth and development of the Business Aviation market at a time when securing finances is still a barrier for aircraft acquisition in many countries. Further details of the fund will be announced at Europe’s premier business aviation event, the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition, EBACE in Geneva beginning May 22nd this year. 

The show was supported by a range of companies and OEMS Beechcraft, Cessna, Dassault, Embraer, and Gulfstream displayed a total of fourteen aircraft on the static. Embraer chose the venue to make the world debut of its Legacy experimental aircraftequipped with its full interior cabin. This was displayed alongside its Lineage 1000E (debuting for the first time in Africa), Legacy 650 and Phenom 300. Peter Griffith, Vice President  Sales & Marketing, Europe, CIS and Africa commented that, “Africa is an important region for us and as a Founding Member it is important we support initiatives such as the AfBAA Expo. It has also given us a chance to showcase the latest version of the Legacy 500 which demonstrates the significance of the region to us.”

AfBAA also arranged a number of successful networking events which included an innovative “AfBAA Military Delegation Luncheon” session held in local aviation company, and Founding AfBAA Member, Dalia Air’s, chalet. “AfBAA undertook a unique initiative that enabled the introduction of some of Africa’s key decision makers in governmental and VVIP transport to our members. Attendees included over 90 of Africa’s key decision makers, including military generals, who discussed areas which require high levels of co-operation between all aviation branches,” explained Rady Fahmy, Executive Director of the Association about the lunch. The meeting also discussed the contribution that Business Aviation can make to support a country’s economic growth.

The exclusive invite only Gala Dinner also proved popular amongst guests as it enabled OEMs, suppliers and aircraft owners and operators to network and meet in the prestigious surroundings of the Royal Mansour hotel. Against the luxurious backdrop attendees were able to make new acquaintances and renew old contacts to further the interests of Business Aviation in the region.

We are extremely pleased with how the first AfBAA Expo panned out. New members joined the Association, we held some great networking events and we know that we now have solid foundations to build on for future events,” said Fahmy about the inaugural show. Plans for the next AfBAA Expo will be made when the board members of AfBAA meet at EBACE.The board will discuss details about when and where the next AfBAA Expo will occur and how the Association can add value for members, delegates and exhibitors.

AfBAA will be exhibiting at this year’s EBACE on booth number 5542. Members EAN Aviation and Dalia Air will also be exhibiting on the same stand.

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