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Very big business in the luxurious world of business aviation in Dubai

December 10, 2016 Headline News No Comments Email Email

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With most travellers thinking that the big business end of aviation is the plethora of commercial airlines around the world, we sometimes forget that many of the world’s wealthy, in particular in the Middle East and the global corporate community often traverse the globe in stunning, luxurious private aircraft.

So, where better to see a mega portfolio of these luxury aircraft than this last week at Dubai’s, Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association [MEBAA] show at Dubai World Centre’s Air Show Site, near Dubai’s new Al Maktoum International Airport, the soon to be successor to the now very crowded Dubai International Airport.

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MEBAA is described as, “the foremost business aviation platform for the Middle East offering unrivalled access to the business aviation market in a highly focused environment, with Mr Ali Ahmed Alnaqbi, the Founding Chairman saying, “Since we first created the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association to support business aviation across the whole MENA region, the MEBAA Show has played a significant role in the market growth as it provided a valuable platform to address the issues affecting the business aviation community across the region and to highlight our continued support for members.”

MEBBA is the largest business aviation event in the Middle East and Africa, with around 460 exhibitors in the purpose-built hall and outside in the static aircraft display area, with this year for the first time attendees from Asia, and nearly a third of exhibitors from the USA.

Mr Ali Ahmed Alnaqbi added, “There remains a strong appetite for business aviation in the Middle East and North Africa, with on the first day alone, a number of public announcements made regarding joint ventures, launches and deals, with the regional business aviation sector clearly facing a strong future, bolstered by the MEBAA Show.”

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With 45 aircraft on static display outside, [check out my images below] His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and Chief Executive and Chairman of Emirates Airline & Group, visited the show on the first day and toured the stands and aircraft displays.

So, what about business being done at the show?  Boeing Business Jets announced the sale of its first BBJ MAX 7 to an undisclosed customer based in the Asia Pacific region, with David Longridge, President, Boeing Business Jets, saying, “The BBJ MAX 7 is an exceptional business jet and we know our customers will be thrilled with the airplane, with the aircraft available in 2022.”

He added, “The 7,000-mile range will connect key city pairings, like Dubai to New York, which were not previously possible in a BBJ, but now the range and increased cabin and cargo space makes this an unbeatable business jet.”

He also said, “The Max 7 is the aircraft the company has wanted to launch for 20 years, but we wanted to ensure the Max 7 not only had the increased range, but could operate with a ‘real world’ interior.”  “Technically, it has taken this long to produce the aircraft which offers greater range without compromise on interior – in fact, the Max 7 is 6ft 4in longer than other BBJs, allowing more living space on board.”

Honda Aircraft chose the MEBAA Show to debut its new HA-420 light jet in the region, featuring a unique over-the-wing engine mount configuration, with Honda Aircraft President and CEO Michimasa Fujino saying that the company’s presence at the event is designed to engage with prospective clients, examine market opportunities and to help identify a regional representative for sales and maintenance of the $4.85 million jet.”

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Middle East Airlines (MEA) confirmed its purchase of a second Embraer Legacy 500 business jet for its private-jet affiliate, Cedar Executive, with the second aircraft expected to enter into service in mid-2017, with Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President and CEO, Embraer Executive Jets and Fouad Fawaz, Cedar Executive CEO promising guests a “world class, blissful experience, and saying, “Cedar Executive has exceeded customer’s expectation with a high-end premium service in its first year of operation.”  “It is a pleasure to be part of this accomplishment by supplying the aircraft that combines the comfort, technology and performance desired for the ultimate travel experience”.

China’s Deer Jet announced the finalisation of its acquisition of major shares in UAS International Trip Support (UAS), with UAS now flight support partner for Deer Jet’s 90 strong aircraft fleet, including the world’s only BBJ 787 in VVIP configuration, the so-called ‘Dream Jet’.  Omar Hosari, UAS Co-owner/founder and CEO, said that the deal is designed to increase both companies’ influence in the international aviation sector., adding, “Our clients can now expect a broadened range of services delivered to the same levels of efficiency, quality and operational excellence they have come to expect from us”.

With business aviation clearly a world away from the more familiar to us world of commercial aviation, it was very refreshing indeed to be able to see and explore some the world leading and most luxurious business jets and for a quick insight into their luxurious world check out the images below.

 

John Alwyn-Jones reporting on location from the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association [MEBAA] show, Dubai.

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