Morocco is actively targeting and attracting the aerospace and business aviation industry to the country through its Vision 2020, which aims to place the country in the top twenty destinations globally through sustained growth. The country, bolstered by low operating costs and a stable government, will become the ideal business aviation hub leveraging its proximity to the second largest business aviation market, Europe, and the two great emerging markets, the Middle East and Africa.
In 2018, Global Jet Capital, business jet financier, estimated the sales of business jets to Africa would increase by 160 units by 2025, a total expenditure of USD $3.9bn. Bombardier was more optimistic predicting the delivery of 200 units to the continent representing a CAGR of 3.2%.
“MEBAA Show Morocco launched in 2015 in response to market demand and at the request of the Moroccan government,” says Ali Alnaqbi, Founding & Executive Chairman of the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA). “Since then we have seen a growing interest, not just from exhibitors but also visitors, to be part of this burgeoning industry. It’s really a fantastic opportunity and I look forward to the MEBAA Show Morocco 2019 bringing the industry together to drive business aviation in North Africa forward.”
The JSSI Business Aviation Index report showed business jet utilisation in Africa was 17.4% up in 2018 on the previous year, significantly larger than any other region. In the absence of Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), business jet operators benefit from more agility than their commercial counterparts. Rather than personal use or tourism, it is commerce and gaps from the commercial sector driving the African business aviation market.
The National Airports Authority (ONDA) in Morocco reports that the country’s airports manage 50% of North Africa’s business jet movements. Given 1,200 business aircraft are expected to make 175,000 individual aircraft movements by 2020 in MENA, the Moroccan government’s strategy to attract the industry has significant forethought.
Industry leaders will converge on Morocco for the event, with companies such as award winning Swissport Executive Aviation committing to sponsor the event, alongside first time exhibitors AMAC, Dassault Aviation and returning exhibitors XJet, Milano Prime and Bell, among many others.
The MEBAA Conference will take place the day before the show opens, the 24 September, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, with the show itself running from 25-26 September at Marrakech Menara Airport.