UAE buyers drive Middle East aircraft sales for Empire Aviation Group

Published November 17th, 2009 - 01:35 GMT

Despite the economic conditions, or because of them, new aircraft sales in the Middle East continue to drive growth for Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group, with UAE buyers proving to be especially active.

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A total of eight aircraft - jets and turbo props - have been sold this year to UAE buyers, who are showing particular interest in models from Hawker Beechcraft (the world's leading business, special mission and trainer aircraft manufacturer) for whom Empire Aviation Group is a GCC regional distributor, with exclusivity in some countries, including the UAE.

Six aircraft including two Beechcraft King Air 350 turboprops and a Hawker 4000 have been sold and will be delivered to their UAE owners, this year. According to the company, the new aircraft sales pipeline for 2010 is already very encouraging, following a very active sales year in 2009.The company has sold six of the new Beechcraft Premier II jets in the UAE for deliveries starting in 2011.

The Beechcraft Premier II is a new light business jet and is the successor to the very successful Premier 1A. It features higher cruise speeds, 20% longer range with four passengers and increased payload, while still offering the largest cabin and most technologically advanced single-pilot business jet in the world. The Premier II's performance, cabin and technology provide an attractive light jet option for pilot owners and business operators.

The Premier II is a twin turbofan, swept wing, light jet aircraft featuring a high-strength, advanced composite fuselage that allows for a medium-jet sized cabin at light jet costs. New winglets and the new powerful and highly efficient Williams International FJ44-3AP engines, each producing 3,000 pounds of thrust, allows the Premier II to climb unrestricted to 45,000 feet and fly a 1,500 nm (2,778 km) mission with one pilot and four passengers (800 lbs payload). Additionally, the higher thrust engines increases maximum cruise speed to 465 knots (861 km/hr) at 33,000 feet and improve high/hot take-off operations.

Steve Hartley, Executive Director of Empire Aviation Group, says:

"2009 saw some of the best buying opportunities for private aircraft that we have ever seen. And the level of interest is continuing into 2010 with a very strong sales pipeline."

Hartley added, "We have been working actively all year with smart buyers who have recognised this unique buying opportunity and we continue to source new aircraft on behalf of clients in the region, and especially those in the UAE who are looking for niche products such as the Beechcraft Premier II and Beechcraft King Air 350, which are ideally suited to the region, in terms of range and performance, and offer outstanding value for money."

He stated, "There are still a lot of buyers for new business aircraft in the market. For EAG, 2009 will be an outstanding year for our aircraft sales division, with at least eight new aircraft in the order book for delivery this year, in addition to the pre-owned aircraft sales in the pipeline, which now extends into 2010."

"It's a buyers' market right now and with aviation fuel prices at less than half their peak levels in 2008, and charter prices adjusted accordingly, private aviation continues to hold its own. As a result, we expect 2009 to be the company's best year since we began operations," says Steve Hartley.

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