African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) chairman Tarek Ragheb has launched AfBAA Expo a new event focused solely on the African business aviation sector and run in conjunction with the Marrakech Airshow which takes place 23 – 26 April 2014.
The formal agreement was signed this afternoon at EBACE, by Ragheb (right) and Frédéric Le Hénaff (left), exhibition director of the Marrakech Airshow watched by Hind El Achchabi, the CEO of Morocco's Dahlia Jets who is also the chair of the association's international committee.
The show, which will be located at Marrakech’s FRA Airport, will cover 50,000 square meters and will feature chalets for those wishing to host corporate hospitality and booths for exhibitors to display their products. With an extensive apron space there will also be an expansive static display which situated adjacent to the runway will enable fixed wing and rotary exhibitors to have easy take off and landing capability for demonstration flights for potential customers. As an international airport and also a military base, exhibitors as well as visitors will benefit from the distinct advantages of a high level of security, straightforward logistical operations and excellent access control to the AfBAA Expo area.
The show has been initiated in response to demand from AfBAA members and the African business aviation market in general.
There is no bhow for the sector in Africa and Ragheb said the Expo will provide a lively sales and transaction show room for OEMs that are increasingly optimistic about aircraft sales across the African continent." It will also offer a forum for all African business aviation stakeholders to exchange views, share knowledge and experience. Marrakech was selected as the venue owing to its ease of access from Africa, Europe and the Middle East which will support visitor numbers.
“AfBAA is extremely active on behalf of our members and business aviation in general and the launch of this event will be an historic moment for business aviation in Africa,” Ragheb said. “The Association’s commitment to launch a dedicated show demonstrates AfBAA’s pledge to bring together African aviation companies from a wide variety of sectors. It is an exciting proposition for AfBAA to be collaborating with a prestigious Airshow like Marrakech and we know it will be a great success,” he continued.
The concept was initially suggested in March when AfBAA held its first general meeting of the year in Rabat. “The fact that our Executive Team led by Rady Fahmy was able to transform the idea into an agreement in less than three months shows excellent execution and strong leadership from our Board.
This underlines AfBAA’s capabilities to efficiently and professionally support new ideas on behalf of its members” Ragheb said.
Le Hénaff, exhibition director of Marrakech Airshow added, “Whilst the commercial side of aviation has been struggling on the African continent the business aircraft market in Africa is expanding rapidly. We see African Business Aviation attracting investors and interest from across the globe which is why we’re delighted to work with AfBAA and to host AfBAA Expo in 2014. Business Aviation has not been our main focus for the first three editions and it will certainly add extra value for our regular visitors.”