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

April 14, 2014 11:17 am

A new report on business aviation in Saudi Arabia was revealed at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC) in Riyadh by the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) and WINGX.

The insights highlighted 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.

The report, which was presented to over 200 delegates, 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 10 countries in the Middle East.

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 amongst customers, the majority of whom are flying to Le Bourget, Geneva, and Istanbul.

Speaking on the side-lines of MEBAC Riyadh, Ali Al Naqbi, Founding Chairman of MEBAA said; “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.”

Richard Koe, Managing Director of WINGX added; “Having the largest installed fleet of business jets in the Middle East 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% year on year increase that MEBAA is forecasting for business aviation in Saudi Arabia.”

At MEBAC Riyadh, Ali 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 MENA region today accounts for 3 to 4% 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.

The day also included keynote speeches delivered by Capt. Mohammad Ali Jamjoom, Vice President Safety & Economic Regulation of GACA, Mr Sulaiman Al Hamdan, CEO of NAS and Bryan Moss, President Emeritus at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.

Moving through the day, the conference held panel discussions that debated topics on risk management, illegal charter, ground handling and regulation. Participating organisations included GACA, GCAA, IBAC, NasJet, Jetex and Nexus to name a few.

MEBAC Riyadh was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Riyadh.