The MEBAA Morocco Show, an event organised and run by the Dubai-based Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA, Chalet P3, Booth 896), returns to Marrakech in September 2019, as business aviation flights to Africa trend up and Morocco’s extensive airport network serves as a base for business leaders involved in the kingdom’s growing industrial diversification and a hub for technical and other stops, often between Europe and South America.
Business aircraft movements in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are predicted to reach 175,000 by 2020, while the number of registered aircraft is expected to increase to 1,200, according to MEBAA figures. Data from WingX Business Aviation Monitor said business aviation flights to Africa were up 8 percent in September.
“Due to its strategic location between Europe, the Middle East, and the rest of Africa, Morocco is seeing an increasing amount of movements, which also include flights servicing the South American market," according to MEBAA. "A new business airport will open in the country within the next few years, which will complement the new FBOs by Jetex Flight Support and Swissport Executive Aviation opening this year."
The Moroccan government has recognized the potential for economic development offered by aviation and is engaged in the effort to attract high-end industries, especially those based in Europe, to relocate to Morocco, where the cheaper cost-base is an important factor. The MEBAA Morocco Show received government support earlier this year when minister of tourism Mohammed Sajid said that the event played an important part in giving industry access to these opportunities.
The MEBAA Conference Morocco will also take place during the event, set for 25-26 September at Marrakech Menara Airport and giving a platform to Moroccan officials, international FBO operators, and operations and safety experts to update the industry on the progress of business aviation in the region.
“We are pleased to be bringing the MEBAA Show Morocco and MEBAA Conference back to Marrakech for 2019," said Ali Alnaqbi, MEBAA's founding and executive chairman. "As the region sees growth driven by both market forces and government support, we are pleased to have the government acknowledge the importance of MEBAA Show Morocco to the industry."
MEBAA’s work in fostering business aviation in Morocco has already led to the emergence of the UAE’s Jetex Flight Support and Swissport Executive Aviation as major FBO players there, with the development of up to nine FBOs underway. The show changed venue from Casablanca to Marrakech, which is the leading business aviation airport in the kingdom, in 2017. The first-ever MEBAA Morocco event took place in 2015, at Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport. Industry participants say that Marrakech Menara alone accounts for 40 percent, or 4,000 of the 11,000 movements that take place every year in Morocco.