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MEBA 2012 private jet event gets underway in Dubai

Today is the first day of MEBA 2012 and all of the key private jet market leaders and business decision makers have made their way to Dubai for the Middle East’s largest business aviation event.

As a precursor to the main show, key private jet industry professionals gathered yesterday to attend the Middle East Business Aviation Conference (MEBAC). The conference is designed to be a platform where key aviation industry players can interact, highlight some of the key issues and develop plans for future private jet market growth.

Twenty of the most prominent leaders in business aviation attended to discuss regulatory issues, safety standards, illegal charter and developments affecting FBOs and OEMs.

Chapman Freeborn was one of only a few business aviation companies invited to attend the exclusive event.  Eliska Mundell, General Manager of Chapman Freeborn UAE and Dimitry Jupalakiany, Charter Sales Manager for the UAE passenger department both attended the conference.

One of the keynote speeches was given by Rob Wilson, President of Business and General Aviation at Honeywell Aerospace. As an exclusive member to MEBAC, Honeywell predicted the future for business aviation in the Middle East and North Africa, echoing Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi by saying that the region, despite not having local manufacturing, accounts for 5% of aircraft demand.

Aside from the keynote speeches, the conference held a series of interactive and open forums, the first focussing on the ‘grey market’, a term used to describe illegal charter activity. In this session, the panellists were unanimous and agreed that it is the single biggest problem affecting the development of business aviation in the Middle East.

Aoife O’ Sullivan of Gates and Partners said that “if a reputable operator leases a business jet for $20,000-$25,000 per hour (Dh73,460-Dh91,825), the grey market will offer it for around $15,000 per hour – that is how bad the problem is.” It was also said that the grey market could account for up to 25% of all movement across the Middle East but because the activity was illegal it was difficult to prove.

Talking on a similar note at last year’s conference, Alex Berry, Group Sales and Marketing Director for Chapman Freeborn mirrored the same areas of concern during the panel session – and highlighted the benefits of working with a professional global air charter company.

Bringing together key market players MEBAC provides a platform which allows market leaders  to connect with the private jet operators, brokers, distributors, FBOs, governments, MROs and manufacturers for a unique opportunity to network, discuss and set common goals.

The Chapman Freeborn private jet charter team at MEBA 2012 will be sending more live updates and photos from the show. You can find out more information about the event here

Photo: MEBA

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