The UAE’s requirement for an airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft was another topic bubbling just under the surface at Dubai, [UAE SET TO MAKE AEW&C CHOICE FROM NORTHROP, BOEING OR SAAB] as reported in AIN’s Dubai Air Show Tuesday edition.
The September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. immediately cast doubt on the viability of next month’s Dubai Air Show in the United Arab Emirates (November 4 to 8). However, at press time show organizer Fairs & Exhibitions said no consideration had yet been given to postponing or canceling the event.
Airbus and Boeing took center stage at the Dubai Airshow this week, with airlines announcing orders worth some $80 billion. However, business aviation had its time in the sun, too. Embraer took orders for 51 business jets (seven Lineage 1000s, seven Legacy 600s, nine Phenom 300s and 28 Phenom 100s). Cessna reported selling 12 Mustangs and five Sovereigns. Dassault Falcon sold four 7Xs and one 900EX.
Next year’s 60th anniversary Farnborough Airshow should be a record-breaker, according to organizers Farnborough International (Stand W106). Sales are at the highest level ever seen at this stage in the biennial cycle, the company said, and exhibitors’ plans are correspondingly ambitious.
JetCraft Trading, a newly formed alliance between business aviation specialist Jet Aviation and broker JetCraft Corporation, is here at the Dubai Airshow introducing its aircraft transaction coordination services to prospective Middle Eastern customers. At Jet Aviation Dubai’s FBO, sales director Hardy Bütschi is now the local point of contact for aircraft sales and acquisition services, the company said.
Buoyed by the 40 percent growth figures for this year’s event, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum is making no secret of Dubai’s ambitions to eventually host the world’s biggest airshow in 20 years’ time.
There is a bit of an ironic twist in the continuing fast-pace growth of business aviation in the Middle East. Many new users of business aircraft in this part of the world are part of the wave of economic diversification sweeping the Arabian Gulf states as they try to reduce their dependence on oil income in anticipation of the depletion of reserves.
With construction under way on the new Dubai World Central airport, the existing Dubai International Airport (DXB) is continuing to grow, as planned, to allow it to be capable of handling 68 million pasengers in 2010, although current projections foresee an actual throughput of 50.8 million at that time (see chart). Here at the Dubai Air Show, the airport authority is unveiling a new logo and name.
The Middle East Business Aviation conference and exhibition (MEBA) has established itself firmly on the industry calendar after a successful inaugural event held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on January 31 and February 1. The show is organized by Fairs & Exhibitions (the UK company that organizes the biennial Dubai Air Show) and has the backing of the new Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA).
It seems inconceivable that next November’s Dubai Airshow, the tenth in a series that began modestly in 1989, will be the last at the new site inaugurated just 10 years ago. But in 2009 the aerospace caravan will be pitching camp at the new Dubai World Central (JXB) Airport in Jebel Ali, 40 kilometers and another huge leap of the imagination away.