20/01/2011 HAWKER BEECHCRAFT SEES GROWTH IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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Hawker Beechcraft believes there will be strong growth in the private aviation sector in the Middle East over the next few years. The company says one of its largest growth areas in the region is its special mission applications, which range from maritime patrol and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance to commercial applications such as photographic, air ambulance, flight inspection, weather modifications and transportation for government officials.

We have made a number of strides in our Middle Eastern market “ most notably with delivery of special mission aircraft, said Sean McGeough, Hawker Beechcraft president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. In addition to special mission aircraft deliveries, we have a large number of Hawker Beechcraft products in the region already performing a wide variety of special missions every day.

Hawker Beechcraft, which over the past three years has delivered the largest share of business turbines and turboprops in the region with approximately 34 percent and 88 percent respectively, believes there are several factors fueling the growth in the region. These include the increasing economic strength of the region; a heightened focus on privacy and security; an influx of companies that offer corporate jet services to their senior executives; and a growing number of secondary airports in less populated areas in the region making travel to remote areas easier “ a benefit especially valued by oil and gas companies.

To succeed in the Middle East market, you also need a world class customer service organization, McGeough said. It is not sufficient to just provide the aircraft; you also need strong aftermarket sales support and a robust parts infrastructure. As part of our commitment to this, we have recently placed dedicated sales and support personnel in the region and signed a new contract with ExecuJet to provide service for Hawker products in Dubai and other locations around the world.

This week, Hawker Beechcraft is sponsoring the Emirates Airline Invitational Pro-Am Golf Tournament in Abu Dhabi, a charity event teaming European Tour professionals and amateur players. The one-day tournament, which is held at the Yas Links Golf Club, is hosted each year by Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah.