The need for qualified people is about the only constraint to growth in the booming air transport markets of the Middle East and Asia, and the fact that DAE University was the first of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise’s six business units to get a chief executive reflects that reality.
Emirates Airline launched a new era in air travel last month when it flew its first Boeing 777-200LR from Dubai to São Paulo, Brazil. The trip marked the first time any carrier has linked all the world’s permanently inhabited continents with nonstop service from one hub.
Having run the airline since its first day of operations in 1985, Emirates executive vice chairman Maurice Flanagan has achieved an appropriate measure of fame as the hand that has guided the Dubai carrier to its current position, operating more than 100 jetliners and employing 30,000 people overall.
Christened two years ago during the last Dubai Air Show, ExecuJet Aviation’s Middle East business jet handling and maintenance facility in some ways is a microcosm of the city itself.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise CEO Bob Johnson kicked off what promises to be a hectic week for the show’s sponsor yesterday morning by inking a global cooperation MoU with his GE Aviation counterpart, Scott Donnelly. There was news, too, of a major investment program planned for India and a strategic agreement with Dubai Airports.
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 Arabian Gulf region has experienced an unprecedented period of economic activity over the past decade, especially here in Dubai, which has succeeded in reducing its reliance on oil to a point where its economy does not seem to depend on that sector for survival.
Too few business aircraft are based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Arabian Gulf states to meet rising demand for executive charter flights, according to International Air Charter (IAC), a UK-based charter brokering group that opened an office in Dubai two years ago. The company is urging charter operators to move aircraft into the region to increase capacity and stimulate further demand.