Aviation law firm Gates and Partners is eyeing opportunities to strengthen its presence in the Middle East, having closed 25 deals in the region during 2009 and an even bigger number this year as 2010 draws to a close.
“We are seriously investigating opening an office in the Middle East as clients are increasingly requesting presence in the region,” said Partner Aoife O’Sullivan.
Currently G&P deals with a number of Middle Eastern clients ranging from banks financing aircraft destined for the UAE, high net worth individual buyers, and an increased number of corporate buyers making use of business aviation to support their business activity.
There are more established aircraft operators in the region now who are starting to experience growth, she notes. “A real maturity has entered the market over the last 10 years as operators have improved their operating standards. They are very proud of their industry.”
Most of the aircraft sales G&P have advised on have been for mid to heavy jets, “This market is still only interested in the larger aircraft, entry level jets still don’t’ really fit the buyers profiles and requirements” she continues.