- December 23, 2009, 6:34 AM
Research firm Frost & Sullivan said recently that the Middle East is one of the few world regions where the business jet market has registered growth, adding that the air-taxi segment is expected to be a major driver for this market. According to the company’s data, the Middle East logged 93,000 business jet movements in 2008, and that number was projected to reach 103,000 last year. “This growth is expected to continue and reach 160,000 in 2018. The compound annual growth rate of business jet movements [in the Middle East] will be about 6.21 percent from 2008 to 2018,” Frost & Sullivan said. Specifically, the company believes there is “significant potential” for the very light jet market in the region, which bodes well for Cessna and Embraer. Frost & Sullivan forecasts that 458 business jets will be delivered in the Middle East by 2018, with Saudi Arabia alone accounting for about 154 of these. The market with the most potential for business jets within the Middle East is Saudi Arabia, which holds about 37 percent of the market potential in the long term, Frost & Sullivan predicts, followed by the UAE with nearly 24 percent of the market potential. The forecaster also notes that airport infrastructure and structured aviation regulations in the Middle East will need to be advanced to handle this growing traffic.