Canada’s Bombardier will set up a new maintenance, repair and operations centre at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The hub, which is expected to become operational in 2025, will be able to handle up to four of Bombardier’s Global 7500 aircraft and can service the new Global 8000, the plane maker’s latest ultra-long-range model, Abu Dhabi Airports said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Middle East is an important market for Bombardier with close to 150 aircraft, and we are pleased to be establishing a highly efficient facility in the UAE for our customers in the market and for those visiting from around the world,” said Eric Martel, chief executive of Bombardier.
“Abu Dhabi is a dynamic financial hub for business and commerce in the UAE and this service facility will provide significant benefits [and] quick aircraft turnarounds.”
The MRO centre will feature a hangar, a comprehensive parts depot and a suite of maintenance services, the airports operator said.
The demand for private travel remained strong throughout the coronavirus pandemic as wealthy clients sought alternatives to commercial flights.
A record for global business jet demand was set in the first half of this year and although the rebound is slowing, the gains on 2019 have held steady at about 20 per cent, according to a report by data research and consulting company WingX Advance.
The global business jet market will be valued at $26.77 billion in 2028, compared to $20.03 billion this year, Mordor Intelligence forecasts.
“We look forward to supporting Bombardier in the years ahead to witness the company’s contributions to business travel in the UAE and the region, as well as the aviation sector and economy,” said Jamal Al Dhaheri, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports.
“The presence of Bombardier underlines Abu Dhabi Airports' commitment to general aviation and is a major step forward to make Abu Dhabi the hub for general aviation in the region.”
Abu Dhabi Airports owns and operates Abu Dhabi International, Al Ain International, Al Bateen Executive, Delma Island and Sir Bani Yas Island airports.
The group recently raised its passenger forecast for the full year after a strong performance in the third quarter, as the aviation industry continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Passenger traffic across Abu Dhabi's five airports is expected to reach more than 15 million people this year, up from an August forecast of at least 13 million and a February estimate of 10.7 million.
A total of 4.7 million passengers travelled through Abu Dhabi's five hubs in the third quarter, up from 1.3 million passengers in the same quarter of last year, as the UAE capital attracted more airline customers and launched new routes.
Last month, Abu Dhabi Airports signed an agreement with French airport operator Groupe ADP to explore developing ground infrastructure for air taxis in the UAE capital.
“As the premium business aviation original equipment manufacturer in the industry, Bombardier is the perfect partner for Abu Dhabi Airports as it seeks to position itself as a key player in this dynamic and growing market,” said Mr Al Dhaheri.