Wings Magazine

FDI soars at the Dubai Airshow

Nov. 20, 2013, Dubai, U.A.E. - On top of the record-breaking multi-billion dollar aircraft deals from local carriers Emirates Airline, Etihad and Qatar Airways at Dubai Airshow, global aviation concerns are investing heavily in the regional aviation sector and the new Dubai World Central aerotropolis.

November 20, 2013  By Carey Fredericks

The eyes of the world are focused on the new venue, Dubai World Central, where this year’s biennial Dubai Airshow has attracted 1,046 exhibitors, 163 aircraft on static display and a record-breaking US$200 billion order book.

UK-based engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce revealed a strategic partnership with the UAE government-owned Mubadala Aerospace to service its Trent XWB engines, the first such Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility in the Middle East, based in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Tony Wood, President, Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, said: "We are delighted to work with Mubadala to establish Abu Dhabi as a key aerospace hub for the support of Trent maintenance, repair and overhaul and for component manufacturing. This is an exciting opportunity which will significantly extend both our aerospace supply chain and aero engine support capabilities in the region."

Rolls-Royce suggests the region will have one of the highest concentrations of Trent engines globally in the next decade, especially after Etihad Airways ordered US$5 billion of Trent XWB engines on Monday at the Dubai Airshow.


As part of the agreement, the engine manufacturer will also source US$500 million of parts over a ten-year period from Mubadala.

Germany’s business jet operator, DC Aviation, has joined regional business powerhouse Al Futtaim in launching the first fully integrated, free-standing hangar and FBO operation, with a private lounge, at Al Maktoum International Airport’s Aviation District at Dubai World Central, which has already received its first flight.

Holger Ostheimer, General Manager of DC Aviation Al-Futtaim sees his business coming from existing customers at Dubai International Airport, highlighting that when the DIA runway is closed for renovation next April, the company will see a surge in business, as business aviation will be re-located to Al Maktoum International Airport.

“We anticipate around 15,000 movements in 2013, with a great volume of business coming from Saudi Arabia,” he said.

As the first FBO operator within Dubai World Central, Ostheimer is keen to take advantage of the company’s early adopter status, and heaped praise on the venue: “Al Maktoum International is the springboard to the future of aviation in the UAE. We will leverage benefits from the fact that Al Futtaim has committed very early to this location. It’s a one-stop solution for customers with customs and immigration on one site,” said Ostheimer.

DC Aviation Al Futtaim has received considerable interest at Dubai Airshow 2013 and will be at MEBA with the same stand in 2014, with Ostheimer declaring his delight at the overwhelming level of interest his new company has received during the event.

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer announced a key order during a Dubai Airshow briefing for its new E2 series from an unnamed Middle East operator within weeks.

The three-variant E2 series, which feature new wings, is thought to be under consideration by Qatar Airways for its proposed domestic operations in Saudi Arabia.

Mathieu Duquesnoy, Embraer VP, Middle East and Africa, said regional customers have shown a great deal of interest in the aircraft. He said Embraer holds a 62 per cent market share of the regional business jet market, and that the E2 is well suited to Middle Eastern skies. Eight carriers operate 54 E-Jets in the region, with an order backlog of 61 further aircraft.

Duquesnoy predicts demand for 305 E-Jets in the next two decades, driven by increasing liberalisation in the regional aviation sector.


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