Mideast Bizjets Run on More Than Oil
The strength of the Middle Eastern business jet market is no longer based solely on oil production, according to industry analyst Brian Foley. Speaking before the start of the Middle East Business Aviation (MEBA) show in Dubai, he said that despite the recent increase in the price of oil, there are more factors at play than in the past. “Certainly oil still plays a role, but today its influence is much less direct,” he noted. “Just look at the investment and financial front, the need to work with partners in Europe, Asia and the Americas. That alone requires a well developed business aviation fleet and infrastructure.” Of the approximately 550 Middle East-based business jets, nearly 90 percent are in the medium or large cabin categories, compared with a worldwide average of 60 percent. Foley believes the higher incidence of larger aircraft speaks not just to luxury and prestige but to the utility of the longer range that these aircraft offer in support of banking, real estate, construction and other industries. “These entities rely on jets to support their business activities internationally, many of which are oil-independent,” he said.