Winter 2019

Private Aviation & Premium Travel
Saudi Enters Race

The inaugural Saudi International Airshow is expected to showcase more than 100 aircraft and will host a mix of business and commercial aviation and aerospace exhibitors

Saudi Arabia, a major market for aviation and aerospace industries, enters the air show scene with the inaugural Saudi International Airshow in March.

More than 100 aircraft from around the world are expected at Thumamah Airport, Riyadh, for the debut air show from March 12 to 14. The event aims to further connect the aviation and aerospace industries to Saudi Arabia.

The event is being organised by the Saudi Aviation Club under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Space Agency and Founder and Chairman of Saudi Aviation Club.

The air show will host a mix of business and commercial aviation and aerospace exhibitors on a 100,000-sq-m static area that will accommodate more than 100 aircraft ranging in size from single-engine and executive jets to commercial wide-body aircraft.

The show will also offer chalets located next to the runway to enable manufacturers to present their entire range of aircraft and to facilitate demonstration flights. In addition, three exhibition halls will host more than 500 booths and international pavilions where exhibitors will showcase a full range of aviation and aerospace services and products.

The exhibition will bring together major players in the aviation industry. Expected attendees include delegates from within the region, as well as international guests representing aircraft manufacturers; regional business aircraft selling agents; business and general aviation aircraft manufacturers; airlines; terminal operators; ground handlers; MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services; charter, leasing, financing, insurance and brokerage firms; airport equipment suppliers, and more.

The Saudi airshow will be one of the most important new aviation events in the region as the kingdom is a leading country in the aviation industry and has the largest market for aircraft parts in the region.

The air show will focus on four core sectors within the aviation and aerospace industry. They include:

  • Commercial Aviation (commercial aircraft manufacturers, airline companies, airport and ground handling suppliers);
  • Business & General Aviation (private aircraft manufacturers, flight school academies, helicopter manufacturers, helicopter operators, business jets);
  • Aerospace & Defence (helicopters, helicopter manufacturers, helicopter operators, fighters, military transportation); and
  • Airport Infrastructure and Suppliers (airport service providers, airside and passenger side services).

Manufacturers and suppliers from around the globe will present their latest innovations, while political and high-ranking government delegations arriving from the region and abroad will learn about the state-of-the-art solutions and the technologies of tomorrow.

Aviation will play a major role in the diversification and expansion of the Saudi economy through the establishment of new airports and the expansion of existing facilities. The entry of new participants into the market will be an important development in the industry.

Business aviation in the Middle East continues to see strong growth with both movements and the number of aircraft registered increasing steadily. Saudi Arabia represents 30 per cent of the aircraft registered in the Middle East and the kingdom is one of the largest private jet markets in the Middle East. The rapidly growing economies of the GCC are helping cement business aviation as a cornerstone of the Middle East aerospace industry with Middle East’s regional fleet set to triple by 2036, it says.

The Middle East is one of the biggest markets in the defence sector too. The airshow provides a comprehensive Civil and Military Delegations Programme that allows exhibitors to engage with key decision makers and influencers.

Meanwhile, Saudi Aviation Club (SAC) has announced a strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) for the air show.

General Supervisor of the Saudi Aviation Club, Captain Ayed Al-Qasimi, thanked Prince Sultan for his support to the club and for his efforts to increase interest in this growing and vital sector. He also thanked GACA President Abdulhakim Al Tamimi for supporting the event as a Strategic Partner and Platinum Sponsor.

The SAC is one of the most prestigious aviation clubs in the world.  Headquartered in Riyadh, it owns and operates Thumamah Airport, and offers a variety of aviation activities.

SAC was established by the Council of Ministers in December 2000 as an independent, nonprofit entity to promote aeronautical sciences and encourage public participation in aviation. 

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, is the main sponsor of air show.

Saudia will showcase two of its new aircraft at the show. An Airbus A320 aircraft – one of the new retrofits currently flying on European routes – and the Formula E branded Boeing 777-300 will be on static display for guests of the airshow to tour and experience.

The airline will also have a dedicated booth and chalet, welcoming VIPs, global aviation guests and media representatives. 

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