10 June 2024

Sustainable Aviation Remains High Priority in the Middle East

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By PETER SHAW-SMITH • Contributor - Middle East
May 26, 2024
While the Middle East business aviation community has traditionally made luxury and comfort a top priority, the industry there is increasingly committed to environmental sustainability, according to Mohammed Al Husary, executive president of UAS International Trip Support. The outcome of the COP28 conference in Dubai late last year demonstrated serious intent to decarbonize, he explained.
The UAE alone committed more than $840 million in investments for renewable energy, he said. His colleague and UAS CEO Omar Hosari attended the third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAFF/3) as an observer with the International Business Aviation Council delegation.
“There has never been more active interest and action among private and business aviation stakeholders in the region in their efforts to propel us forward, Al Husary said. "Sustainable aviation will remain a high priority, and not just for the region, but globally too. Hopefully, we will be seeing more investment in biofuels production and carbon offsetting programs.” 
Generally, the global aviation industry is looking to Middle East companies to spur developments in the production and distribution of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and particularly in Saudi Arabia.
“People care about the environment, regardless of where in the world they are living. But attitudes towards the level of aviation’s culpability change depending on region," Al Husary maintained. "I think in the Middle East, private aviation is seen more as an economic booster than an environmental drain. It supports multiple jobs and auxiliary service providers. Our industry is investing so much in sustainability that it could be argued that the business aviation community is leading the vanguard for eco-friendly travel.” 
According to the UAS executive, there is unanimity on the need for the production and distribution of SAF around the world. He would like to see regional oil companies undertake the investment in research and development required to produce SAF on a major scale, making it as affordable as possible for the end user.
“Although this is a big undertaking, they can be guaranteed that if there is accessibility and affordability, there will be massive demand. And of course, the business community will continue to make significant efforts to achieve carbon-neutral growth,” he told AIN
More Airport Infrastructure Coming
Al Husary believes that new airport infrastructure will be an enduring theme in 2024. The Corporate Jet Investor Dubai conference last month was abuzz with rumors about how the Dubai government’s plans for a $35 billion expansion of scheduled aviation facilities at Al Maktoum International Airport could impact business aviation. The Middle East Business Aviation Association's founding chairman Ali Alnaqbi said that the local business aviation hub might ultimately relocate to Dubai International Airport in future years.
“As the Middle East is a hub for business and tourism, it makes logical sense that investment in airport infrastructure and facilities is high on the agenda," commented Al Husary. "This could even stretch as far as the introduction of artificial intelligence solutions for travel needs. With all the airports in the UAE, competition is fierce, and people will go where there is the most value for money, quality, and excellent customer service. It’s all about efficiency and connectivity.” 
UAS has spent the past several years investing in its ground network across the Middle East, Africa, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Australia, the UK, mainland Europe, the U.S., and Latin America, as part of efforts to refine the service standards that it provides to clients all over the world.
“When it comes to ground presence in trip support solution provision, we are unrivaled globally and have plans to continue to invest in more pivotal travel and economic hubs to best support our growing international clientele,” he concluded. “We are currently focusing on making our travel offering even more dynamic. Our support doesn’t stop in the air; it continues throughout our clients’ journeys. Whatever our clients’ priorities, demands, or desires, we’re here to solve their problems and make travel simpler. We have cultivated the mindset that challenges are opportunities.”
Source : AINOnline

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