Middle East Growing Market for Private Jets

BEIRUT: The Middle East and North Africa region remains a key market for business jets despite economic slowdown and instability, the vice president of Embraer, the third-largest manufacturer of commercial aircraft, told The Daily Star Friday.

“We have seen a slowdown in the MENA aviation market over the past year as in the rest of the world. But we have started to see signs of resurgence in the market, and we expect significant growth,” Ernest Edwards said.

“Business aircraft are spreading across the region. Decades ago, you could only find this type of aircraft in Saudi Arabia, but now we are seeing them more and more in every country,” he added.

Edwards, who has headed Embraer’s executive jets division since 2005, was in Beirut to visit leading banker Adnan Kassar, who purchased a Legacy 600, one of the company’s private jets, six years ago.

Such visits, he said, are precisely what help the Brazilian aircraft maker stand out against competition and boost its major strength point; optimizing their aircraft to their customers’ requirements.

“We put a lot of emphasis on innovative engineering that is a result of extensive surveys of customer needs,” Edwards explained. “As they say, if you build it they will come. But first you have to know what they want to be able to build it.”

He said his company had been in talks with many businessmen in Lebanon and the region for potential sales of the company’s new line of executive aircraft.

Only 3 Embraer business jets have been sold over the past few years in Lebanon, which is considered a rather small market for this type of aircraft.

However, many Lebanese businessmen opt to register their aircraft offshore, he added.

Nevertheless, Embraer sold some 40 aircraft in the MENA region over the past few years, a healthy market share with a total aircraft value exceeding $1.2 billion, Edwards said.

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Embraer has sold one Legacy 600 in Lebanon

Read more: https://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/Lebanon/2012/Jun-02/175437-middle-east-growing-market-for-private-jets.ashx#ixzz1weXFKPpM
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: https://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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