The GCC business jet market is expected to register a CAGR of over 2% during the forecast period.
- GCC countries have a lucrative market for both the business and private aviation verticals, due to the presence of a large high net worth and ultra-high net worth individual (HNWI/UHNWI) population in the region.
- Due to the aforementioned factor, the onset of an economic downturn, which has now been further triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, is projected to have a smaller impact on the prospects of business aviation in the region, as compared to other regions in the world. Even during the global economic downturn that occurred a decade ago, the market in the region proved to be highly resilient.
Key Market Trends
The >5000 Nm Segment Held the Largest Market Share in 2019
By range, the over 5000 nm segment held the largest market share in 2019. In the GCC countries, the business jet fleet has a large share of long-range jets that fall under this segment. The main reason for this is the higher purchasing power of the customers for large, sophisticated jets and the geographical location of the region, which requires long-range jets for intercontinental travel to countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Long-range business jet models from the Bombardier Global family, the larger Gulfstream aircraft, and Boeing Business Jet aircraft witnessed an increase in sales in the region in the last three years, and the revenues of the MRO providers were also the highest from this segment, due to the presence of a large fleet. Seven business jets were delivered to the GCC countries in 2019, out of which five were long-range business jets, comprising four Gulfstream and one Boeing Business Jet aircraft. Thus, in the region, the demand for long-range business jets is expected to continue, owing to the aforementioned factors.
Government Initiatives and Investments in Airport Infrastructure Supporting the Growth of the Market
Though the market for business jets remained lucrative in the region in the past decade, countries, like Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain, observed relatively lower procurement and flight activities pertaining to private jets, mainly due to the space and infrastructure constraints faced by private operators. However, governments are now formulating several initiatives that are bolstering the infrastructure enhancement activities in these countries. Aviation infrastructure development projects in countries, like Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain, are facilitating more space for private jet FBOs and MRO providers, and charter providers are utilizing this opportunity to add more routes into these countries. The growing opportunities in the aviation sectors of these countries have led to the emergence of several new players. For instance, Oman’s National Aviation Strategy 2030 aims to spur a six-fold increase in the aviation sector’s contribution to GDP in the next decade through various infrastructure developments. The country also witnessed the emergence of business jet charter startups, like Salalah Air (Salalah) and Al Sharqiya Aviation, in the recent past. At the same time, in Saudi Arabia, where the business jet activities are the highest in the GCC, the airport expansion projects at both the Riyadh and Jeddah airports are expected to allow for more space for private jets, thus, helping the local MRO and FBO providers. Therefore, the growth in investments in aviation infrastructure is expected to bolster the market prospects during the forecast period.
The GCC business jet market is fragmented, with several players offering MRO, FBO, and charter services in the region, in addition to the OEMs. Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, The Boeing Company, Bombardier Inc., Embraer SA, and Dassault Aviation SA are some of the prominent OEMs in the market. The GCC is one of the most prospective markets for business aviation. Foreign charter providers, like NetJets Inc., are trying to enter the market, making the market more competitive for the local charter providers. Players are focusing on embracing the technological advancements in areas ranging from aircraft manufacturing to navigation and even flight support and maintenance, which is expected to help their growth during the forecast period. The demand for new business jet models that offer more cabin space and long-range is increasing in the GCC countries. For instance, Qatar Executive is now the largest operator in the world for two new models from Gulfstream, G500 and G650ER. As the customers in the GCC prefer luxurious offerings, business jet manufacturers, like Gulfstream, Bombardier, and Embraer, are taking their flagship offerings to new levels of luxury, technology, and performance, which may help them gain new customers in the market during the forecast period.
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