The Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), which represents more than 230 companies in the MENA region, will host its first business aviation show outside of Dubai next September 1-2 in in Morocco. The two-day MEBAA Morocco Show will be held at Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport under the patronage of HE Abdelaziz Rabbah, the Moroccan minister of equipment and transport. Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of MEBAA, announced the new event here at MEBA 2014 in Dubai yesterday.
“MEBAA covers all the countries in the Middle East and North Africa … [and] current trends predict that business aircraft movements in the region could reach 22,750 by the end of this year,” Al Naqbi explained at the press conference to announce the event. “We realize that Morocco is a very important market and good location, actually the center, for business aircraft coming from Europe and North Africa.” A WingX study commissioned by MEBAA found that Morocco accounts for 50 percent of all North African business aircraft movements.
“Business aviation has been growing in Morocco and my meeting with the government there has resulted in an airport being dedicated to business aviation.” This airport, Ben Slimane (GMMD), lies about halfway between Casablanca and Rabat and was planned to be the new commercial airport for Casablanca, but the airlines apparently balked at the move, so it is now being used only for MRO operations.
In addition, “the government has agreed to issue more licenses for FBOs and for more operators in Morocco,” Al Naqbi said. “So we thought that this would be the right place to a have a presence there, because the market is dynamic and moving in the right direction. Morocco is considered to be one of the top five countries in the region where business aviation is doing very well.”
MEBAA expects the event to attract at least 25 aircraft on static display, 50 exhibitors and 2,000 visitors. “I know we can have more than 50 aircraft, but the other members wanted to be more careful,” he said. A MEBAA conference of two or three hours is also being planned to take place during the event.
Although there will not be an exhibit hall at the event, temporary structures will be erected for each exhibitor and for the MEBAA conference.
The website for the new event is www.mebaamorocco.aero.
Bizav Rallies to Feed & Fly
The Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) and the UN’s World Food Program have released details of how their Fly & Feed program to combat hunger will work in practice. Participating MEBAA operators will donate $20 to the program for every flight they make. They will inform passengers of the initiative and they will then be free to contribute as well if they wish. So far MEBAA has raised $25,000 for the cause.