Africa: Emerging Hub In Global Business Aviation?

Africa: Emerging Hub In Global Business Aviation?

From Aviation International News.

Since its launch in 2012, the African Business Aviation Association says it has experienced enough growth to warrant a business aviation expo of its own, which is planned for next April in Marrakech.

“Things have evolved very, very fast,” said Tarek Ragheb, the association’s founding chairman, in an Aviation International News report. “The association’s commitment to launch a dedicated show (in Africa) demonstrates (its) pledge to bring together African aviation companies from a wide variety of sectors.”

Entrepreneurs and wealthy individuals are increasingly taking to the skies over Africa in private jets, according to a report in November by CNN.

“In a continent where commercial routes are often limited, a growing number of smaller, privately owned planes are now … creating new connections in and out of Africa,” the CNN report said. Many of its aviators are in businesses relating to natural resources, banking and telecommunications.

Robert Habjanic, sales director at Kansas-based plane manufacturer Bombardier Business Aircraft told CNN that in the next 20 years, his company forecasts selling 810 business jets in Africa.

“If you have a requirement for an…entrepreneur or a government agency to be able to conduct its business, the options of using rail or a good highway are simply not there (in Africa),” Ragheb told CNN.”For the growth of the continent there must be an ultra-efficient means of travel and that is where business aviation could come in.”

The African Union granted AfBAA official observer status, making it the first association to be given such a seat, said Ragheb, speaking at the 2013 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, now underway in Geneva. “For the first time, the association will have the tools at its fingertips to be able to influence the regulatory environment in 56 states,” he said. “We’ll have the opportunity to be in a forum where (governmental) decisions are made,” according to Aviation International News.

The annual European Business Aviation Convention is hosted jointly by the National Business Aviation Association, the leading voice for the business aviation industry in the U.S., according to EBACE.

AfBAA represents Africa’s business aircraft owners, operators and suppliers, and promotes the understanding of benefits that business aviation provides to Africa, according to the report.

Read more at Aviation International News.