Cool jets

The region’s aviation industry is booming, so much so, that business executives are catching up on a new trend and demanding the services of private jets.

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By  Barbara Cockburn Published  November 21, 2006

|~||~||~|The region’s aviation industry is booming, so much so, that business executives are catching up on a new trend and demanding the services of private jets. These “air taxis” are convenient because they can fit around their customer’s busy schedules unlike the schedule of a commercial aircraft. Although businessmen are the biggest users of private jets, wealthy people are using them for trips out hunting or fishing. So there are two segments in the market that is becoming apparent. The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) was formed recently to tap into the growth of this sector and it will host a conference at the end of January. Some of its founding members include Bexair, National Air Services and Royal Jet. MEBAA said that growth in the number of business jets operating in the region, stands at 18%, and is outstripping the rest of Asia – which demonstrates it’s a market that no-one can ignore and it’s here to stay. Many business people are required to travel to internationally and regionally with a surge in inter-regional corporate travel, huge growth in tourism and an influx of international events being staged and hosted regionwide, the market can only continue upwards. But there’s also a new smaller aircraft could make private air travel more available for the less-well-off, very light jets (VLJ). But the industry has quickly become crowded with Brazil's Embraer SA, an alliance by Honda Motor Co. and Piper Aircraft Inc. and some others are seeking certification and deliveries in the next few years. This gives rise two segments in the market, private flyers and air taxis. Cessna is to launch the Citation Mustang, it’s already received its FAA certification to cater to the super-rich private flyers and Eclipse Aviation is to market air taxi services. MEBAA’s debut conference is being held to highlight the importance of the growth of the sector in the Middle East. January 31st – February 1st at the Dubai Expo, home of the Dubai Air Show. So prepare for it because it’s not one to miss out on. ||**||

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