With the Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAA) taking place in Dubai during December, Mike Chase reviews the current business aircraft fleet based in the region.
There are currently 534 business jets in operation in Middle Eastern countries, according to JETNET. As shown in Table A, Saudi Arabia has the largest number of business jets within the region (123), closely followed by Turkey (122). United Arab Emirates is third with 102.
Combined, these three countries account for 65% of all the business jets based in the Middle East.
Middle East Fleet, By Manufacturer
Looking at the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of the business jets currently operating in the Middle East, Textron, Bombardier and Gulfstream have a 65% combined share (i.e. 345) of the 534 Middle East-based aircraft fleet, see Table B. Bombardier currently has the largest fleet (121 jets).
Middle East BizJet Deliveries
During the 20-year period since 1999, 451 (or 84%) of the 534 units that comprise the Middle East business jet fleet in operation have been delivered (see Chart A). That represents an average of 23 business jet delivered annually into the region over the last two decades.
Looking at the specific data for each year, however, 2009 represented a peak delivery year at 41 units being delivered into the region. The low-point came in 2003 when just ten units were delivered to the region. So far in 2018, eight units have been delivered (January-October).
The single largest number of business jets (by model) based in the Middle East today are Gulfstream G450s (30 units). Table C shows the ‘Top Ten’ business jet models in the region. All of the Top Ten aircraft represented are from the Large-Cabin/Long Range jet category.
Middle East Used Aircraft Market
During October’s NBAA-BACE in Orlando, it was reported that several new business jet programs are being planned for the future. We expect these announcements will result in new orders being placed during December’s MEBAA. New aircraft orders, however, are linked with the health of the used aircraft market.
Questions about the used aircraft market recovery still linger. In the Middle East region, air transport supports 3.3% of all employment and 4.4% of GDP (as recently noted in a report by IATA).
Fleet for sale percentages worldwide for business jets were down in September compared to the same period in 2017, and represented the lowest percentage (8.9%) seen since the Great Recession began. The used jet marketplace has transitioned into a sellers’ market.
Among the countries comprising the Middle East, there are currently 67 aircraft (12.5%) of the Middle Eastern business jet fleet for sale. Hawker and Citation models account for 37% of the used business jets currently for sale in the region, as represented in Table D.
Middle East Business Jet Fleet Summary
The Middle East region has proven highly resilient through the recent global downturn. This is a good sign for Business Aviation. We expect to see further growth coinciding with the region’s economic expansion and will continue to monitor the Middle East countries’ business aircraft activity through future articles.