A view of the jet assembly line at a Cessna manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kansas.
DUBAI, Dec. 6 — Providers of executive jets in the Middle East Business Aviation Association (Mebaa) show expected rise in demand for business jets in the Middle East due to the recent oil production cut deal.
Speaking to Xinhua at the ongoing 10th edition of Mebaa show at Dubai’s Al-Maktoum International Airport, Manal Obeid, Head of Sales and Marketing at Jordanian business aviation provider Arab Wings, said “the last two years were challenging as the rout in oil prices weighed on the business sentiment in the region.”
However, following the agreement by the 13 oil exporting states of the OPEC cartel last Wednesday, oil prices climbed from 45 U.S. dollars per barrel last week to nearly 55 dollars per barrel earlier Tuesday.
“Therefore we are optimistic for 2017. We expect the Gulf Arab economies to recover by next year, hence demand for executive jet services will pick up, too.”
According to Japan‘s Honda Aircraft, whose new HA-420 HondaJet made its debut at the Mebaa, the bizav sector in the region is a 4.85 billion dollar market.
UBS, the largest Swiss bank UBS, said “The energy sector is set to remain an important source of wealth in the years ahead,” as diversification in the Gulf states remains “a long road ahead.”
Mike Berry, Vice President Middle East at global bizav provider ExecuJet from Switzerland, said while he also expects a recovery, “we see 2017 as a rather flat year as the economic recovery will take time.” Therefore, he would see rising demand among the “happy few” from 2018 onward.
David Chang, Director Customer Flight Support at China’s Saint Royal Aviation, which is specialized in private jet service in China, said “demand for business jet flights from Mainland China to the Gulf is not so dependent on oil because bilateral trade between China and the Gulf. Since 2014, China is the biggest trade partner of Dubai.
“We do a lot of bizav flights from Beijing to Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” said Chang.
Statistics show trade between the UAE and China is expected to hit 60 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2016, up from 54.8 billion dollars in 2014.
The Mebaa show 2016 which attracted 460 exhibitors from 45 countries along with 50 aircraft on display runs from Tuesday to Thursday.