ABU DHABI, Feb. 26– Executive business jet buyers in the Middle East will continue to hold significant purchasing power in 2014 as traditional markets in Europe and North America look to bounce back.

Brazil’s Embrarer have reshuffled regional operations in a bid to focus on the key market. The Middle East used to be combined with Europe and Africa. It is now placed alongside Asia-Pacific.

Sales in Europe and North America slowed, business jet executives have said, in the fallout of the financial crisis that hit the global market in 2008. Since then the importance of Middle Eastern buying power has increased.

“The target for that particular region (Middle East & Asia Pacific) numbers well into the 25 plus units across the range,” said Peter Walker, Embrarers Middle East & Asia Pacific Vice-President for Sales & Marketing.

Embrarer is forecasting 11 of these units to come from the Middle East. “We have forecast for 2 lineages [1000e’s] in the region and the rest would be the 650, which go for the $33 million dollar mark,” Walker said speaking to media on the side lines of Abu Dhabi Air Expo.

Embrarers lineage 1000e is valued at $55 million including options. It is their largest executive jet and can carry up to 19 passengers.

Walker said Embrarer is also in talks with a number of training institutions in the region that are interested in purchasing some of its smaller aircraft each valued between $4.5 and $9 million.

Beyond the UAE, Walker said Oman is a “burgeoning” market and that there is “signs of interest and recovery” in Pakistan.

France’s Dassault Aviation sold 10 aircraft in the Middle East last year, a market that contributed 5 per cent to the company’s overall bottom line in 2013.

The business jet manufacturer is seeing significant interest in its flagship 7x Falcon, valued at $50 million, said Renaud Cloatre Dassault Aviation’s Regional Sales & Marketing Director the Middle East.

Cloatre was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Air Expo. “The region is underdeveloped. It is really a rising market,” he said.

The Abu Dhabi Air Expo attracts a different type of visitor than that of the larger, commercial orientated air shows Farnborough, Paris- Le Bourget, and Dubai.

The show targets “a completely different sector within aviation, it’s the kind of super high-end,” said Tony Douglas, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) Chief Executive Officer.

More than 17,000 people are expected to visit the 175 exhibition stands on show at the Abu Dhabi Air Expo, which runs until Thursday.


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