Market research suggests the global business plane market could be worth more than 33 Billion dollars by 2020 and customers pacing orders here on the ground at the Expo are paying skywards of 4.5 million dollars for their luxury jets And for that hefty price tag – they’re not just buying privacy in the air…they’re buying time.
“We see the chairmen, the top executives of the companies flying those machines. Basically, to make them more productive when they travel,” said Claudio Camelier, Vice President of Sales, Embraer Middle East and Asia Pacific.
“And the market is certainly growing.”
At one end of Embraer’s scale there are ‘modest’ four-seaters suited to business meetings at 40,000 ft – and at the very top end there are aircrafts which could comfortably sleep a VIP family of up to ten – given its five cabin zones, queen size beds, fine dining and on-board showers – with bells and whistles – for around 55 million dollars.
“You can pick and choose between very exclusive leathers and veneers, stone flooring in the kitchen and bathroom area of the aeroplane,” said Camelier.
“It’s our home away from home. All of the conveniences that you’d have in a top end hotel.”
Trends in zooped up exec jets include high-speed internet connectivity, top entertainment systems and crystal-clear satellite phone lines, which is handy when calling ahead to reserve a hangar spot at Abu Dhabi Al Bateen Executive Airport — the MENA region’s only dedicated private jet base with capacity for 50 jets .and the 60,000 square metre venue for this year’s Air Expo.
The airport is the lynchpin in the capital’s masterplan to become the number one destination for regional private jets owners to park their planes.
Some analysts predict that the market in the Middle East could triple in the next 10 years, a forecast Abu Dhabi’s General Manager of Aviation Airports Nasser Juma agrees with.
“Otherwise you wouldn’t see the four major manufacturers to come all the way and start exhibiting in an Air Expolike, like we are today here.”
And if you’re wondering whether private jets will forever be the reserve of the super-rich and celebrities…then think again.
“Fortunately, now the concept has changed New players in the market and also new beneficiaries came into this business where we’ve seen private people are travelling on a private jet where they don’t own them, they just charter them.It’s very simple, say 20 people. They want to fly them for any show or any meeting abroad. They have to calculate the ticket cost for the first class. From that, you can make out whether this will be reasonable that I charter a flight and I will depart on my own timing,and I’m sure someone gonna choose that I will go with that private aircraft,” said Juma.
Emirati Women in Aerospace: Building Planes and Breaking Down Barriers
Next time you board a commercial plane to somewhere exotic take a moment to look at the tail fin or spoiler of your Boeing or Airbus jumbo – because there’s every chance they were made right here in the UAE by a dedicated workforce of female Emiratis in Al Ain.
In the traditionally male dominated sector of aerospace engineering women have taken matters into their own hands in the UAE city of Al Ain
They’re assembling and they’re manufacturing vital parts for industry titans like Boeing and Airbus and the Emirati nationals are doing it en masse….meaning that of the 700 employees they make up 51% workforce and 86% of them are female.
For now Junior Supervisor Meera Al Shamsi at Strata, rising up the ranks was a dream come true.
“To be part of this industry, in knowing that the components my team and I manufacture with their own bare hands, are flying around the globe and making a difference in people’s lives makes me so proud,” she said.
Aircraft rudders and wing flaps have for decades been made in cities like Toulouse, and Seattle and that’s why the UAE has taken the industry by surprise.
For on a spot which used to be just sand dunes less than ten years ago there now sits Strata’s gleaming production HQ.
The company has provided a shot in the arm to the local economy – and helped with the UAE’s wider diversification plans delivering a record number of more than 9,700 parts last year – resulting in sales of more than 136 million dollars.
“We have over 2500 aircrafts that carry parts made in Strata, or from Strata – which is quite significant,” said Saif Al Dahbashi, the Head of Production at Strata.