Middle East Jet Business Booms Despite Low Oil Price
Although the Middle East is currently in the midst of an economic slowdown due to lower oil prices, business jets are still receiving high levels of interest. French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation is a key example of continued growth in the region, and they were one of them largest attendees at the recent Abu Dhabi Air Expo. The company reported that they have continued to receive orders for many of their aircraft lines, and interest has been especially strong for their 7X business jet. Nearly of 300 Falcon 7X aircraft have been produced in the last decade alone.
Dassault’s regional Middle Eastern fleet contains Falcon aircraft from past and present including the aforementioned 7X, the Falcon 900LX, the Falcon 5X, and the Falcon 2000S/LXS. This fleet will soon be joined by the all new Falcon 8X, as Dassualt is looking to roll out its first commercially available 8X by Q3 of this year.
Despite steady growth within the business jet sector, industry insiders are being more cautious on their outlook for helicopter sales. Helicopter production giant Honeywell has decreased it sales forecasts for over the next 5 years by nearly 400 units.
said Carey Smith, president, Defense and Space at Honeywell Aerospace.
"The current global economic situation is causing fleet managers to evaluate new helicopter purchases closely, and that's why we're seeing a more cautious five-year demand projection compared with previous years,"
All in all, the aerospace industry is still experiencing tremendous growth within the Middle East, and this trend will likely continue in the years to come.