Brad Hatt, managing partner of Sojourn Aviation, is heading to Dubai for next week’s Middle East Business Aviation show, or MEBA, where he will have a Bombardier Challenger 604 on static display – and for sale.
Hatt will be one of more than 400 exhibitors at the event. He also has a number of meetings set up during the show.
It’s been a busy time for Hatt, who was with Hawker Beechcraft 17 years, buying and selling used business aircraft for customers and performing aviation consulting.
“It’s been great,” Hatt said.
He also has a partner based in Dubai.
Textron Aviation in Wichita will exhibit at the show as well. The company will display Cessna’s Citation Sovereign Plus and the Citation M2 there for the first time. And it is bringing the Beechcraft Special Mission King Air 350ER and the King Air 250.
Textron bought Beechcraft earlier this year.
Greenwich AeroGroup, based in Wichita, is also on MEBA’s list of exhibitors. Greenwich operates a network of aviation-related companies.
The show, which runs Monday through Wednesday, is expected to draw more than 8,000 visitors and 50 aircraft on static display.
Exhibitors are expected from 45 countries, including the U.S., and from Europe and Asia, organizers say. More than 70 percent are from outside the Middle East.
The market for business aviation in the Middle East has been growing.
The sector is on track to grow 13 to 15 percent this year from more aircraft orders and charter requests, organizers say. They expect 1,200 business aircraft to be registered in the region by 2020.
At current growth rates, the sector is expected to be worth $1.3 billion by 2020. That includes compound annual growth rate of more than 9.4 percent over the next two years.
“The desire for new aircraft – particularly the new breed of ultra-luxurious, wider-bodied, faster and more fuel-efficient craft – is clearly there,” organizers said.
One thing Sojourn has been doing is taking used business aircraft based internationally, such as in the Dubai area, India, China and Europe, and selling them to customers in the U.S. and Mexico, Hatt said.
“There’s a lot of airplanes coming out of those markets,” he said. “They’re older airplanes.”
The owners are either trading up to new or bigger jets or getting out of the airplane business, Hatt said.
“Dubai is typically all a larger aircraft market because of the range and the wealth of the people over there,” he said. “Most of those people want to have an airplane that goes nonstop to London for personal or business reasons. That’s one of the major flights that they do. And/or they’re doing business in Europe, throughout the Middle East or Africa.”
The Middle East Business Aviation show is organized by F&E Aerospace on behalf of the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association, or MEBAA.
“MEBAA is looking forward to welcoming some of the world’s most influential players, in this purpose-built environment which underlines the importance of the business aviation sector to the regional economy,” Ali Al Naqbi, MEBAA founding director, said in a statement.
Officials from Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer, Gulfstream, Textron Aviation, Etihad Airways, Emirates Executive, Qatar Executive and Saudia Private Aviation are expected to attend the show, Al Naqbi said.