The latest fleet data from UK-based consultancy Ascend clearly charts the impressive growth in Middle Eastern business aviation over the past few years. The number of business jets registered in Middle East countries has increased by almost 71 percent in the 10 years since October 1998, rising from 120 to 205 (see Fleet Growth chart below). Many more aircraft are effectively based in the region but are registered in other parts of the world, such as the U.S. and offshore registries such as Bermuda.
The most dramatic growth has occurred over the last four years with the total number of locally registered jets increasing by 32 percent from 139 in October 2004. The past 12 months saw a hike of just less than 14 percent from 180 to 205, after the previous year’s 11-percent increase.
The Ascend data also illustrates how Bombardier, Hawker Beechcraft and Cessna have been challenging Gulfstream’s dominance in the Middle Eastern market but have still to catch up with the Savannah, Georgia-based manufacturer. Bombardier has increased its share of the locally registered jets by 114 percent since October 2003, boosting it from 21 to 45 aircraft. Over the same period Hawker Beechcraft and Cessna achieved roughly equivalent sales growth, rising to respective totals of 33 and 24 jets. But Dassault Aviation suffered a reversal with a 3-percent dip in its share of the total from 31 jets in 2004 to 30 today.
Ascend provides aviation data and specialist consultancy services covering areas such as fleet registration, aircraft valuations and appraisals, technical and commercial solutions, market analysis, airport economics and space analysis. For more information, visit www.ascend worldwide.com.