The three-day Middle East Business Aviation (Meba) Show opened yesterday on a positive note with orders worth more than $ 1.2 billion being placed, beating the global slowdown. The show in 2007 recorded a total sales of $ 907 million.
The largest order was by the Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group which revealed its intention to become the newest VIP charter operator with a fleet of 21 aircraft from Embraer and Airbus.
"Business aviation traffic in the UAE is witnessing steady and healthy growth and is estimated at 1,300 movements monthly. The regional private jet industry is expected to grow from $ 500 million to $ n800m annually by 2012," said Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman, General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).