Business aviation show opens with new launches, new aircraft, renewed optimism
The MEBAA Show 2018 opened its doors today to a host of new exhibitors, exciting new aircraft and ground-breaking new technology solutions.
Taking place every two years, The MEBAA Show is the largest business aviation event in the Middle East, with this year’s edition attracting more than 450 exhibitors and 34 stunning business jets on static display.
The three-day event began with a royal tour by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman, Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, who took the time to visit with a number of exhibitors, including Click Aviation, Pratt & Witney, Honeywell, XJet and Aloft AeroArchitects.
Sheikh Ahmed unveiled the Aviation One office complex, Dubai South’s flagship commercial property during his visit to the Dubai South Chalet, at MEBAA 2018. Sheikh Ahmed was updated on the development by Tahnoon Saif, CEO of the Aviation District at Dubai South, who said: “Aviation one is a premium, one-stop shop business facility…. located next to the VIP Terminal at the heart of the General Aviation District at Dubai South, the world’s first real aviation eco-system.”
Day One opened to the global launch of a ground-breaking new aircraft from Boeing Business Jets (BBJ), the BBJ 777X, vaunted as the longest-range business jet ever, with an astonishing range of 11,645 nautical miles – that’s 21,570 kilometres. The aircraft heralds a new era in business aviation as it can fly from and to anywhere in the world, without stopping to refuel.
Greg Laxton, Head of Boeing Business Jets, said his company had chosen to launch the aircraft – which flies at a lower altitude, features the most fuel-efficient engine on the market (the 2020 GE9X) and offers the widest, tallest cabin in the world – in the Middle East as this region is the company’s biggest market for its wide-body aircraft.
“We are launching the business jet version of the 777 here at The MEBAA Show as 52 per cent of our global twin aisle [aircraft] business comes from this region. We enjoy a 12 per cent market share in this region, which we hope to maintain looking ahead.”
Laxton revealed that the first BBJ – squarely aimed at the VVIP, HNWI and Heads of State sector – will roll off the production lines in Q1 2021, with sales expected to be in line with those witnessed for the BBJ 747. Boeing predicts overall demand for 2,990 new aircraft in the Middle East by 2037, with a value of $754 billion. Currently, 70 per cent of the world’s wide-bodied business jets are based in the Middle East.
Ali Alnaqbi, Founding & Executive Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), says: “Everyone is looking to the MEBAA Show as a barometer of what the next few years hold for the sector. Boeing Business Jets choosing the event to reveal its ground-breaking new offering underlines the positivity we all hold for the region’s business jet sector. The market has been healthy, despite all the challenges of the last few years, and the MEBAA Show continues to record growth in terms of exhibitors, aircraft on our static display and the number of visitors.”
Meanwhile Online Global Trip Support chose the MEBAA Show to launch a combined suite of new products aimed at helping industry operators save time, money and hassle.
OGTS’ Founder, Chairman and CEO, Munir Khalifa, has brought together the state-of-the-art digital products which aim to streamline workflow for complete operations.
“OGTS takes care of operations in one convenient dashboard environment,” explained the industry veteran, who also serves as President of the International Aviation Services Organisation (IASO), “providing all you need to create a service request, identify flights, fleet information and schedule flights. We have created a simple user interface that pulls all the strands of flight operation under one umbrella – such as licences, permits, fuelling and handling, thanks to our global team of highly experienced staff, all of whom come from a flight operations background.”
On top of OGTS, the company offers an online travel booking service, Traviators, providing a full range of travel services for staff, employees and crew, with the ability to create a one-time company profile detailing budgetary allowances for different staff level, and hotel preferences for example.
The third arm of the OGTS triumvirate of show launches is Fusion – an online integrated management system designed to enable SMEs to achieve international regulations and standards.
The MEBAA Show runs until Wednesday 12 December at the purpose-built DWC, Airshow Site.
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