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Nigeria Beats South Africa, No. 1 For Business Aircraft In Africa

Nigeria has Africa’s largest fleet of business aircraft, according to Tarek Ragheb, founder and chairman of the African Business Aviation Association.
More new and pre-owned business aircraft were delivered to Nigeria than to South Africa in 2014, an African Business Aviation Association board member said in an AviationWeek report.
One of the biggest obstacles in African aviation right now is the difficulty obtaining financing for African business aviation companies, according to Ragheb. “One of the things we’re working on is to make sure that we put finance in place so that African companies can purchase foreign-manufactured aircraft using extra guarantees from overseas and administered by African banks.
Celebrating its second anniversary this month, the African Business Aviation Association has made extraordinary progress since its launch, the report said.
Ragheb spends his time lobbying and liaising with committees from the 54 African Union countries, and is concentrating on widening the nucleus of successful business aviation clusters in countries that are already performing well.
“We want to focus on Nigeria to make sure best practices are in place here as we expand our mission,” he told Show News in Cairo before the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition.
Aviation authorities from Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda and Mali are among the 60 members of the African Business Aviation Association. The association is courting South Africa, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Expanding membership is a priority, Ragheb said.
“One of the most important things we need to do now is establish a very robust link between us and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA),” Ragheb said. “That’s very clearly in our best interests and I would think, although I can’t speak for the EBAA, it would also be in their best interests.”
The African Business Aviation Association is working with the Republic of San Marino and Dalia Air of Morocco to establish the Moroccan company as the first African
business jet operator to hold a European air operator’s certificate (AOC.) “This should speak volumes about the quality, the safety record and service levels that
Dalia Air supplies in Africa,” Ragheb said. “This is a big plus and will build a bridge between Africa and Europe.” Dalia Air operates Embraer Legacy 600 and Lineage 1000 aircraft, AviationWeek reports.
“We hope to name the bank, the country and the export guarantee agency as well as the aircraft manufacturer very soon,” Ragheb said.

By Dana Sanchez

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