Despite recent industry forecasts that call for 2011 to look much like 2010, Cessna is experiencing increased activity in new and used aircraft sales, senior vice president of sales and marketing Mark Paolucci said at the Middle East Business Aviation show in Dubai.
“That’s a much better sign than this time last year. We are seeing light at the end of the tunnel.” Cessna has seen “steady growth” in the midsize-cabin sector in the Middle East, with aircraft such as the Citation Sovereign and XLS+, according to Cessna international sales vice president Trevor Esling.
“There is much mileage left in the Sovereign in key territories in Middle East, such as in Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” he said. “Egypt, in fact, is now one of our largest Sovereign markets outside the U.S., with 14 aircraft. We’re still delivering aircraft to Egypt, as well as to parts of North Africa.”
One country in the region that Cessna is watching closely is Iraq. “If you talk to operators here, aircraft continue to be a huge draw to support the Iraqi oil business from all over the world,” Esling added. “Arab Wings has seen a significant increase in movements into and out of Iraq that has caused them to accept additional aircraft.”