The Dubai Airshow showcased the strong picture of Business Jets as well as for the Urban Air Mobility
Taking flight with its 18th edition, the Dubai Airshow soared from November 13 to November 17, 2023, at the Dubai World Central, Dubai Airshow Site. This prominent international affair not only offered insights into the ever-evolving aerospace domain but also served as a platform for strategic networking, showcasing cutting-edge aircraft, hosting knowledge-building conferences, and more. What began as an airshow has transformed into the multifaceted aviation spectacle that is the Dubai Airshow (DAS), illustrating the trajectory of aviation. This edition saw participation from pavilions representing over 20 countries, each unveiling groundbreaking products and technologies. From civil to business aviation to space and the futuristic advanced air mobility, the Dubai Air Show had it all.
Business aviation had an underlining presence at the Airshow as it has seen a significant growth globally and more so in the Middle East. Backed by corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), with additional support expected from global fleet modernisation initiatives, business aviation remains robust. This trend is set to drive demand for upgraded charter services with enhanced cabin interiors and advanced avionics. Effective pandemic policies in the UAE, including robust testing and swift vaccination, led to increased visitor numbers and revived business activities. In Dubai, a recent S&P Global study showcased a substantial business expansion, marked by the fastest growth in new business intakes in four years. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub recorded over 15,400 business jet movements in 2022, and the first half of 2023 indicated sustained momentum with about 7,300 movements. With strategic government initiatives, Dubai attracted global investors and individuals. Further, Honeywell Aerospace also reported that the Middle East region has experienced more growth in 2023 than any other, projecting it to contribute to six per cent of new jet deliveries over the next five years.
Hence abiding by the strong spirit of business jets in Dubai and focusing on an upswing in the Middle East, many major manufacturers of business jets showcased their products, aircraft and services at the Dubai Airshow’s 2023 edition. Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer, Textron Aviation, and Pilatus were among the prominent exhibitors, aiming to expand their presence in the growing Middle East market.
Alongside BizAV, Middle East especially Dubai has been a promising platform for advanced technology and infrastructure for the future of urban air mobility, and the 2023 Dubai Airshow echoes that sentiment. The new Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) pavilion at Dubai Airshow 2023 was a thrilling addition, showcasing cutting-edge flight technology like eVTOLs, drones, and UAVs. This spotlight on the growing flying taxi market aligned with Dubai’s pioneering role in disruptive aerial transportation. The event served as a platform to explore various aerial transport solutions, including drones, UAVs, UAMs, and eVTOLs, with an exciting eVTOL flying display highlighting their capabilities. Dubai’s ambitious plans for flying taxis by 2026 added an extra layer of excitement to this display. About 20 manufacturers from across the globe exhibited their static or mock-up models at the show.
Gulfstream. Gulfstream Aerospace showcased two of its acclaimed next-generation business jets at the Dubai Airshow: the ultralongrange Gulfstream G700 and the class-leading Gulfstream G500. “Gulfstream has a longstanding history in the Middle East and surrounding regions,” said Scott Neal, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Gulfstream. “Recently, we announced a host of increased capabilities across the fleet, and we look forward to meeting with customers and guests at the Dubai Airshow to showcase The Gulfstream Difference with two of these aircraft, firsthand.”
Gulfstream had recently announced that the G700’s range had increased to 7,750 nautical miles/14,353 kilometers at Mach 0.85 or 6,650 nm/12,316 km at Mach 0.90, gaining 250 nm/463 km at both speeds over original projections. Additionally, the G700’s maximum operating speed increased to Mach 0.935 from Mach 0.925, solidifying its position as the fastest in the Gulfstream fleet.
Bombardier. Bombardier showcased its Global 7500 and Challenger 3500 aircraft during the Dubai Air Show, unraveling the uncompromising attributes of these impressive business jets. Bombardier shared that it had a robust presence on-site, featuring dedicated sales teams from business aircraft. “The Middle East is an important market for Bombardier both for business jet customers as well as growing defence business. We looked forward to showcasing our Challenger and Global platforms to business jets customers, who will benefit from our aircraft cutting-edge innovation, cabin design, performance, reliability and smooth ride,” said Éric Martel, Bombardier’s President and Chief Executive Officer. The Global 7500 aircraft, with a top speed of Mach 0.925 and a range of 7,700 nautical miles (14,260 km), showcased unmatched performance capabilities, offering the smoothest ride in the skies.
Dassault. Dassault Aviation participated in the Dubai Airshow, marking the 50th anniversary of the company’s partnership with the United Arab Emirates. The static display of Dassault included a Falcon 2000LXS business aircraft and a full-scale model of the Falcon 10X cabin. Dassault noted that the Middle East has seen the operation of numerous Falcon aircraft, with their reliability, comfort, and flexibility being highly appreciated. Dubai, a key point in the Falcon support network, witnessed the opening of a new maintenance center at the new Al Maktoum airport (DWC) last summer, managed by Dassault Aviation’s subsidiary ExecuJet MRO Services, replacing the former facilities located at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
Embraer. Embraer presented its Praetor 600, the most technologically advanced executive jet in its category, on the static display along with other commercial capabilities. The Praetor 600, is said to be the farthest-flying super-midsize jet in the world, capable of nonstop flights from Paris to New York or São Paulo to Miami. With four passengers and NBAA IFR Reserves, the Praetor 600 has intercontinental range of 4,018 nautical miles (7,441 km). About a month prior to the Dubai Air Show, Embraer had announced the successful testing of Praetor 600 alongwith the Phenom 300E on 100 per cent neat sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
THE FUTURE SKYSCAPE
Eve Air Mobility, Embraer’s subsidiary, also displayed the full-size model of the electric vertical take-off landing (eVTOL) vehicle cabin in the pavilion dedicated to advanced air mobility, offering visitors a virtual reality experience of the eVTOL cabin. Archer Aviation, a US eVTOL manufacturer, showcased the life-size model of its Midnight eVTOL within the pavilion. Meanwhile, on the static aircraft display, AutoFlight from Shanghai, China, presented its Prosperity One, earlier introduced at the Paris Air Show 2023.
Airbus Urban Air Mobility CEO Balkiz Sarihan nudged towards their unique mission—to develop an electric flying machine with an exceptionally low noise profile. The CityAirbus NextGen, Airbus’ venture into the eVTOL space, is undergoing final assembly in Germany, aiming for its inaugural indoor flight in 2024.
ANRA Technologies has unveiled a Vertiport Management System (VMS), designed to effectively coordinate the safe operations of eVTOLs and vertiports. Specialising in traffic management solutions for unmanned systems, ANRA’s VMS offers real-time data to ensure the secure arrival and departure of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) aircraft.
Lilium garnered significant spotlight at the Dubai Airshow. Following the show, Lilium announced that it had received Design Organization Approval from its primary regulatory authority, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (“EASA”). The award marks a major milestone for Lilium, positioning it at the forefront of the industry as a company authorized to hold a type-certificate for an eVTOL aircraft in Europe.
Some of the futuristic deals at DAS 2023 included:
The strong presence of these business jets as well as the advanced technologies for the future landscape of aviation at the 2023 edition of the Dubai Air Show along with other business aviation players highlighted the industry’s optimistic intentions as well as advancements in the region.