Cannes AirShow Draws Business Aviation

 - August 2, 2012, 1:55 AM
Dassault and Hawker Beechcraft were in the vanguard of a strong business aviation presence at the Cannes airshow.

The Sixth Annual Cannes Airshow, held in early June, drew nearly 8,500 visitors and provided a venue for a number of pleasant surprises.

Despite its billing as a general aviation gathering, the event now fields a strong showing by business aviation exhibitors. Dassault was there with a Falcon 2000LX and Hawker Beechcraft with a King Air 350i and C90GTx. Several other manufacturers brought light-to-medium jets and turboprop business aircraft to Cannes, including Cessna, Daher-Socata, Embraer, Hawker Beechcraft, Piaggio Aero and Pilatus. Also present and a long way from home was California-based Robinson Helicopter, aware that the Cote d’Azur is home to half a dozen helicopter charter operators.

According to show organizer Adone Events, the 150 exhibitors this year equaled the number at the 2011 event, and Cannes-Mandelieu Airport recorded an average of more than 300 movements a day throughout the three-day schedule.

Among the visitors was a large delegation from Africa, “supporting the fact that this is a rapidly growing region for the aviation market, and reflecting the strong ties between northern Africa and France,” said Adone Events managing director Didier Mary.

Yousif Al Hammadi, acting general manager of Al Bateen Executive Airport, the Middle East’s only dedicated business aviation airport, took advantage of the international stage to announce that the Abu Dhabi Air Expo 2013, also organized by Adone Events, will be held from March 5 to 7 in the United Arab Emirates.

Next year’s Cannes Airshow Salon International de l’Aviation Générale will be held from June 6 to 8, and Mary said that more than 80 percent of participants and exhibitors, including Cessna, have already confirmed they will return.