The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) Show 2018 is underway at the purpose-built DWC, Airshow Site in Dubai, UAE. The event is held every two years, this year from December 10-12. The 2018 show features more than 450 exhibitors, and 34 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; and chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group) who took the time to visit with a number of exhibitors, including Click Aviation, Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, XJet and Aloft AeroArchitects.
Day One opened to the global launch of a new aircraft from Boeing Business Jets (BBJ), the BBJ 777X, with a range of 11,645 nautical miles (21,570km). “We are launching the business jet version of the 777 here at the MEBAA Show as 52% of our global twin-aisle aircraft business comes from this region,” said Greg Laxton, head of Boeing Business Jets. “We enjoy a 12% market share in this region, which we hope to maintain looking ahead.”
Laxton revealed that the first BBJ – aimed at the VVIP, HNWI and head-of-state sector – will roll off the production lines in the first quarter of 2021, with sales expected to be in line with those for the BBJ 747. Boeing predicts overall demand for 2,990 new aircraft in the Middle East by 2037, with a value of US$754bn. Currently, 70% of the world’s wide-body business jets are based in the Middle East.
“Everyone is looking to the MEBAA Show as a barometer of what the next few years hold for the sector,” said Ali Alnaqbi, founding and executive chairman of MEBAA. “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.”