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AIME/MRO: AIME/MRO Middle East 2013 closes with record attendance

Posted 28 January 2013 · Add Comment

The fourth running of Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) co-located with the fifth Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) shows closed its two day 2013 edition at their new venue – Dubai World Trade Centre.

The events opened with an industry audience, which soared 25% on 2012 to 3,000 attendees from 70 countries more than the previous show.

Dieter Dhondt, head of sales & marketing, Thales, said: “This is our first time exhibiting in the Middle East. The show went very well - we met with new and existing customers and we noticed in attendance countries such as India, Pakistan and Ethiopia. We anticipate coming back next year.”

The show was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of the Emirates Group and Dubai Airports who spent an hour touring the 6,000sqm show including the new-to-market country pavilions representing the Netherlands and Ireland, joining an already established French Pavilion.

In-flight entertainment is one of the great touch points between an airline and its customers and for the first time AIME showcased an Inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) pavilion where, new to show exhibitor Gogo announced that to date it has been selected to outfit more than 400 aircraft with its Ku-band satellite connectivity services across several major airlines operating in the US and internationally. Dave Skwarek, international marketing communications manager of Gogo, said: “As demand increases, technology evolves.”

Meanwhile, Sabeti Wain Aerospace's director, Paymen Sabeti, said: “We prefer the new venue and the quality of visitors has been outstanding. We tend to exhibit every year as we have many customers in the region – it is vital we take part in AIME to remind them we are still local.”

Exhibitor levels were also up by 15% on 2012 with 226 exhibitors.

Yen-Pu Paul Chen, Aviation Week’s director-forecasts and analytics said: “The average age of Middle East based aircraft is declining from the current 10.8 years to 9.4 years, which already compares well to the rest of the world - but he said the share of the global MRO market will almost double from 3.5% to 6.1%, creating multiple opportunities. This equates to an annual growth of more than 8% annually; but much of this could be done in-house as airlines such as Emirates grow their own facilities and capabilities.”


Meanwhile the established Hosted Buyers programme, which offered an effective and structured way to connect airline buyers with new and existing suppliers and providers was heralded a success by the sixteen Hosted Buyers who were present - first time Hosted Buyer Jayakrishnan, group chief procurement officer, NAS Holding said: “The show is an excellent platform for business interactions and provides us an ideal opportunity to meet up with all the right people, most of them suppliers with whom you interact with on a day to day basis but you don’t get to meet them face to face. As a hosted buyer you have a chartered out programme of meetings - it makes it easier than roaming around trying to catch everyone. It is great to be here and I hope to see more of these events happening in Dubai and the region.”

The MRO Conference was themed ‘Fostering Growth through Innovation and Collaboration,’ and tackled issues surrounding manpower shortages - the closing keynote address of the conference saw Ahmad A. Alzabin, chairman & CEO, ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company, saying: “Our man power requirements as per our business plan is around 9 million man hours per year. If you transfer this to the number of employees it will work out at 7820 workers, our current workforce is dropping very fast mainly due to retirement so for now for us to achieve our business plan we need to hire almost 4500 people and in our part of the world there is no 4500 people that are qualified so we have to hire them, train them, certify them, transfer their experience and keep them motivated - this is a very big job. But we are lucky in Saudi Arabia as the government will help - they will pay for a lot of education as long as we guarantee employment.”

Returning MRO exhibitor Ramco Systems (global aviation software provider) got the opportunity to conclude a master supply agreement with home airline Emirates.  Virender Aggarwal, CEO, Ramco Systems, said: “It’s been a great start to the new year with Ramco adding Emirates to its growing Aviation customers. We have signed the master supply agreement for five years with the Emirates Group. We have been growing our footprint in the global aviation industry and are excited about this undertaking.”


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