Mid East Aviation Growth Opening Up Aircraft Interiors Market

F&E Aerospace, the company behind many of the region's top aerospace exhibitions, has launched its hosted buyer programme for Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) - the dedicated event serving the aircraft interiors sector which debuts this June. Designed to foster an increased B2B setting for the industry's key decision makers and suppliers, the programme is being implemented in response to exhibitor feedback and is being touted by organisers as an important initiative in establishing the new event as a must-attend for the regional aviation market.

"Through this programme, exhibitors get to meet the highest level of decision makers in a tailored business setting, something that could take months, if not years, to achieve. Utilising our global contact base, which has been developed over the last 18 years through the Dubai Airshow and the Middle East Business Aviation Exhibition, we are in a unique position to identify core needs and pair up industry leaders and exhibitors, to maximise their involvement and time at AIME, " said Alison Weller, Aerospace Director, F&E Aerospace.

"The global aviation market is expanding at never before seen rates with recent industry research predicting that commercial airlines in the Middle East alone will buy an additional 870 aircraft by 2027. The scope for the regional aircraft interiors market is, as a result, massive and is diversifying consistently.

"Demand for innovative interiors, including state-of-the-art entertainment systems, is rising to unprecedented levels with Middle Eastern carriers leading the charge in interiors advancements and specification."

To date, carriers that have signed up for the hosted buyer programme include Afriqiyah Airlines, Air Maroc and Kuwait Airways, with further slots being allocated to potential companies. In addition, many of the region's biggest names have already confirmed their attendance such as award winning Emirates airlines; Etihad, the UAE's national carrier; Bahrain-based Gulf Air; Royal Jet, the international luxury flight services company headquartered in Abu Dhabi; and the UAE's Amiri Flight.

And with industry experts forecasting that close to 15,000 business jets worth a total of US$192 billion will be purchased over the next decade, the regional business aviation market's massive potential, which is achieving 18 percent year-on-year growth, will be a further focus for AIME's exhibitors and visitors.

"The business jet market is growing at an exponential rate with many purchases now coming from the booming Middle East, Indian and Chinese markets. This opens up the aircraft interiors market considerably as many buyers expect to custom fit their cabins to individual needs. Through our hosted buyer programme, we are actively pairing up the right partners in this lucrative sector to help facilitate an increased business-orientated environment, " added Weller.

Helping further boost the show's visitor demographics, the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA), which is supporting the show, is also actively inviting key VIP buyers from throughout the Middle East and beyond.

"Through MEBAA, we open up an entire new market segment and have the ability to attract a greatly enhanced visitor profile to the show which will be a major pull for exhibitors, " said Weller.

AIME, which will run on June 16 and 17 2008 at the Dubai Airport Expo, will focus on aircraft and VIP interiors, airline cabin systems and in-flight entertainment. Its exhibitor profile spans design, seating, textiles, finishes, lighting, flooring, galleys and galley equipment, waste management, safety equipment, power supply, lavatory products, laminates, food service equipment, upgrades, replacement parts, cabin systems integration, touch screens, seat interfaces, food products, comfort products, amenity kits, refrigeration, completion centres, security products, biometrics, cockpit doors, medical equipment, air quality products, catering facilities and electrical systems.

The exhibition is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Government of Dubai and President and CEO of the Emirates Group. To date, 50 exhibitors from 12 countries, including three country pavilions from France, Germany and the USA, have signed on for AIME.

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