The private jet market of the Middle East will double in size in a few years’ time, according to a senior industry executive.
“The region will see its private jet sector being valued at approximately $1 billion [Dh3.67bn] by 2020. While the business jet traffic in Dubai alone is recording a 56 per cent growth, the regional charter market has been growing at 10 to 15 per cent over the past two to three years,” Paras P Dhamecha, chief executive officer of Dubai-based private aviation company, Empire Aviation, told Emirates Business.
According to the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), the charter market of the Middle East is currently estimated to be worth about $500 million annually.
The International Air Transport Association (Iata), meanwhile, forecasts that the Middle East will be the fastest growing region for international traffic over the next few years, with increases expected to be about seven per cent annually, well ahead of the world average of 4.8 per cent.
Dnata Travel Services’ recently launched division, Luxury Air Travel by Dnata, yesterday signed an agreement with Empire Aviation Group as a preferred provider of executive jet charter services. Under the terms of the new agreement, Dnata will market and sell the private jet charter services of Empire Aviation Group.
“With our target audience being all those passengers who can afford a first-class ticket, we have already secured 12 bookings for our new service. We expect maximum business to come from markets such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Africa, the Maldives and Mauritius,” Ian Andrew, Dnata’s divisional senior vice-president, told Emirates Business.
The private jet service, according to the companies, would be priced between $4,000 and $7,000 an hour.
Dhamecha said: “The future of private jet business looks promising with a 60-hangar facility for private jets coming up at the new Al-Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali. The existing Dubai Airport has facility for just three hangars.”
Empire Aviation’s fleet would comprise 10 jets by the end of this year, up from the current seven, he said.
“Demand is too high and we are short on supply. There is also a quantum shift in demand towards the corporates, who account for 65 per cent of our business now,” said Dhamecha.