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Growth in UAE private aviation set to accelerate in response to Expo 2020

Empire Aviation Group’s corporate charter business increases 10% The UAE’s private aviation sector is set to enjoy the windfall benefits presented by the successful bid for Expo 2020, according to Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group, which operates the Middle East’s largest managed fleet of business jets. The company has seen its business jet charter traffic increasing, with growth in corporate charters as a result of the rapidly growing economies of the GCC and the business re-building opportunities in Iraq. EAG’s corporate charter business is running 10% higher than the previous (2012-2013) winter charter season, in terms of the number of missions flown, with typical missions comprising corporate roadshows to several destinations in the region in a condensed and intensive itinerary. EAG is currently operating an average of two corporate roadshows, with international business people around the region, every month. Regional industry indicators remain encouraging with industry commentators suggesting that the regional business jet fleet size has grown seven per cent per annum over the last five years and aircraft purchasing plans are signaling robust demand and a preference for larger cabin, longer range aircraft. The UAE’s aviation infrastructure is expanding rapidly with the opening of Dubai World Central, complementing Dubai International and Sharjah International Airport; the UAE’s only dedicated executive airport – Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi – has registered around 18% growth in visiting private aircraft over the last 12 months. Paras Dhamecha, Executive Director at Empire Aviation Group, comments: “We are certainly seeing an increase in corporate charters compared to last year due to the healthier business climate in the region and the boost of the Expo 2020 success. We also see a more regional approach to corporate charters with companies undertaking roadshows to multiple destinations around the entire GCC region, including Doha, Kuwait, Riyadh and Jeddah, which can only be achieved efficiently through private charter, which offers the speed, convenience and flexibility for demanding business travel itineraries.”