By Andy Sambidge
New report says air taxi industry set to drive aviation growth in region.
The Middle East business jets sector is predicted to see annual growth of more than six percent over the next 10 years, a new report has said.
Despite the global economic slowdown that adversely affected the commercial aviation industry worldwide, the air taxi business is expected to be a major driver for the Middle East market to 2018.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, called Middle East Business Jets Market Assessment, found that the market earned revenues of $493.9 million in 2008.
The business jets aircraft movement was 93,000 in 2008 and has grown to 103,000 this year with growth expected to continue.
The report said business jets aircraft movements would reach 160,000 in 2018, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 6.21 percent.
"There is significant potential for the very light jets market in the Middle East," said Frost & Sullivan team leader John Siddharth.
The expected number of business jets to be delivered in the Middle East will be approximately 458 by 2018 and the number of jets expected to be delivered in Saudi Arabia alone will be about 154, the report added.
"In 2005, the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) was around 0.25 million in the Middle East, accounting for nearly 3 per cent of the global HNWI population," added Siddharth.
"This is anticipated to become 5 per cent or approximately 0.7 million by 2012, positively impacting the market's prospects."
The report said the most potential market for business jets within the Middle East was Saudi Arabia, which held about 37 percent of the market potential in the long term, followed by the UAE with nearly 24 percent of the market potential.