MEBAA Convention News

Gulf Business Boom Driving Interest in Lighter Aircraft, Embraer Says

 - December 8, 2022, 12:19 AM
Stephen Friedrich, chief commercial officer for Embraer Executive Jets. (Photo: David McIntosh)

Embraer is seeing a notable pick up in activity in the Middle East as interest in business aviation expands across numerous sectors and for aircraft of all sizes, according to Stephen Friedrich, chief commercial officer for Embraer Executive Jets (Static A26).

“We view this region as having significant potential,” Friedrich told AIN at the MEBAA Show. “It’s always been a consistent source of revenue and sales for us. But we really do view what's happening—as the economy continues to evolve—as being very positive for the use of business aviation assets. And we see that not just here in the Middle East, but also in the surrounding areas.”

The economic rebound from the pandemic is driven by an uptick in a range of businesses—including financial services, real estate, tourism, along with oil—and that in turn is changing the dynamic for business aviation. “In the past, there's been a lot of ultra-long-range aircraft that have been in demand here. There still is. But we're now seeing light, mid, and super-mid demand here,” he said.

This demand has spread through multiple countries in the Middle East and over into India, he added. As for India, growth still will depend on the regulatory environment, but “we're seeing a strong demand signal come out of there.”

Friedrich noted that Embraer’s Phenom light and midsize Praetor models are particularly suited for the Indian subcontinent because of their robust airframes designed for high utilization. Similarly in Saudi Arabia, these aircraft can get into airports with shorter runways.

“That’s why we brought the Phenom 300E here [to MEBAA] because we saw demand in the region for it,” Friedrich said, adding interest in the Gulf is coming from both individual and fleet buyers.

The growth in business activity in the region has been reflected in the return of the MEBAA Show. While not planning order announcements during the show, Friedrich said the event “has been well attended with quality decision-makers. This has been a positive show.”