I just returned from Dubai where I was attending the Dubai Airshow. The show took place this year at its new venue, Dubai World Central, Al Maktoum International Airport. This airport provided an exceptional venue for an exceptional show. The show is made up of a combination of Military, Commercial and Business Aviation exhibits. It is always interesting to see this combined event. I am sure you all read about the huge orders for the new 777X Boeing aircraft as well as orders for the A380 Airbus aircraft. Those orders were of course from commercial airlines.
From a Business Aviation perspective, all of the OEM’s were there with booths in the exhibit hall and Chalet’s at the static. All of the aircraft at the static display had long lines of people waiting to get into them. There was lots of buzz and positive conversation throughout the show. It seems everyone is starting to feel a renewed activity. There was no disputing the idea that low pricing on the pre-owned aircraft is the reason. No one is mistaking this activity for a return to higher pricing. In fact, if that would occur the renewed activity would come to a grinding halt. Price Price Price! That is the conversation regardless of where in the world you are. The power of the emerging markets that helped fuel the demand and pricing increases between 2004 and 2009 is gone. Demand is softer than those periods and supply abounds.
I am always keen to pay attention to the dealer and broker community that attends these events. Perhaps it was the Commercial and Military component that lightened the attendance of the broker community at this year’s Dubai Airshow, but customer attendance for the Business Aviation component seemed robust and the show was well attended. Exhibitors from the Business Aviation community included all the regional as well as the major International management companies and MRO companies. Refurbishment companies and other services providers for our segment of the industry were also in attendance.
All in all I was very pleased to have attended for my 6th time (combined Dubai Airshow and Middle Eastern Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition attendance) and we will continue to make those shows “must attend” annual events and that market a focus. Next year it will be the Middle East Business Aviation event (MEBA 2014). This show is strictly focused on the Business Aviation segment and will be held in the same location as this event.
I am always available to discuss these emerging markets and specifically this event. See you in Dubai on December 8th, 2014!