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.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise is here with its most recent acquisition, the Landmark Aviation and Standard Aero maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) businesses that it purchased for $1.9 billion last month from private-equity firm Carlyle Group.
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).
Bob Johnson doesn’t just enjoy the game of golf, he’s a golf fanatic who has played in pro-am tournaments alongside the likes of Tiger Woods and other top players. So when he retired from his job as president and CEO of Honeywell Aerospace a little over a year ago, friends and former colleagues figured they knew where they could find him if they ever needed to–on the links of Phoenix’s toughest courses, sharpening his game.