Saudi Arabia is host to largest fleet of business jets in the Middle East

April 14, 2014 3:38 pm

A new report by the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) and WINGX reveals that a total of 164 business jets are based in Saudi Arabia, 45 of which have been added since the year 2000. Compared with the Middle East, Saudi Arabia currently represents 35 per cent of all registered jets in the region.

The report on business aviation in Saudi Arabia was revealed at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC) in Riyadh, highlighting flight patterns, purchase preferences and charter trends from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam King Fahd Airports, which all contributed to 29,869 aircraft movements in 2013.

It also revealed that Bombardier, Airbus and Embraer had sold the most jet engine aircrafts since the year 2000. However, Boeing still maintains the strongest presence with 38 jets registered across ten Middle Eastern countries.

Within the Saudi Arabian charter market the results are very different with the Gulfstream V, Hawker Beechcraft 700-800 and the Bombardier Global Express being the most popular choice among customers, the majority of whom are flying to Le Bourget, Geneva and Istanbul.

“In order for the association to lobby and promote business aviation amongst local officialdom in Saudi Arabia, we must have reliable data that illustrates its contribution to the aviation economy. Our partnership with WINGX has provided us with the necessary intelligence and emphasised the need for CAA support that will help sustain such impressive growth in the market,” says Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the MEBAA.

“Having the largest installed fleet of business jets in the Middle East region points to the importance for MROs 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 that the MEBAA is forecasting for business aviation in Saudi Arabia,” says Richard Koe, Managing Director of WINGX.

Al Naqbi also revealed Honeywell data from a recent report especially prepared for MEBAC Riyadh revealing some of the latest insights for the business aviation market in the Mena region. The report revealed that the region today accounts for three to four per cent of the entire global fleet. It also indicates that this market share is expected to remain stable across the region for the near term, due to operator purchasing plans.