Global private-aircraft manufacturers and maintainers are increasingly targeting Africa’s growing economies such as oil-rich Nigeria which is quietly emerging as an important hub in global business aviation. Limitations in commercial airlines routes are pushing the growing number of billionaires to buy their own private jets and that is in turn attracting global airline service providers.
Driven mainly by entrepreneurs and wealthy individuals involved in the oil & gas industry, banking and telecoms sectors, the Nigeria’s burgeoning market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The West African economy will surpass South Africa’s as the continent’s largest by mid this year after rebasing its GDP.
According to Robert Habjanic, sales director at plane manufacturer Bombardier Business Aircraft, they expect Africans to buy at least 810 private business jets over the next two decades.
“Before we came all aircrafts had to be maintained outside Nigeria, either in Europe or the United States, and that is quite a big cost … When we started doing this in Nigeria the owners discovered quickly that they can cheaply do this with us and they don’t has to go abroad,” Peter De Waal, chief executive Execujet Aviation Nigeria, told BBC.