Private aviation on the rise in Saudi Arabia

July 1, 2014 4:59 pm

The Kingdom is home to 35 per cent of all registered business jets in the Middle East, says a joint report by Middle East Business Aviation Association and aviation business intelligence firm WINGX.

At least 45 of the fleet have been added since 2000. Bombardier, Airbus and Embraer had sold the most jet engine aircrafts since 2000. However, Boeing still maintains the strongest presence, with 38 jets registered across 10 countries in the Middle East.

The report says Gulfstream V, Hawker Beechcraft 700-800 and the Bombardier Global Express are the popular choices among Saudi Arabia’s charter customers, and the majority of them are flying to Le Bourget, Geneva and Istanbul.

Richard Koe, managing director of Wingx, said in a statement: “Having the largest installed fleet of business jets in the Middle East points to the importance for MROs [maintenance, repair and overhauls] and operators to be based in Saudi Arabia.

Likewise, the average age for aircraft in Saudi Arabia is 13.5 years and therefore there is also a tremendous opportunity for OEMs to tap into the 12 per cent year-on-year increase for business aviation in the Kingdom.”

The report further says that the MENA region today accounts for four per cent of the entire global fleet. It also indicated that this market share is expected to remain stable across the region for the near term, due to operator purchasing plans.