French firms thrive in ME’s aviation sector

Dubai is preparing to host the new edition of AIME & MRO Middle East on March 1-2, and 20 French companies from the aircraft interior and maintenance sector will participate. The event is set to bring together airlines, MRO centres, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and investors from all around the world to enhance the aviation and aircraft manufacturing ecosystem. With a resurgence in global air traffic expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels as early as 2024, the sector is poised for significant growth.

French aviation companies are well positioned in the region with continuous investments and collaborations, including Airbus and Safran’s technical cooperation. France is the second largest supplier of aeronautical equipment to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the aeronautical industry is estimated to be worth EUR47 billion (AED184 billion) with 509 aircraft, accounting for more than 25% of the regional civil MRO market estimated at more than EUR10 billion (AED40 billion). The UAE-France relationship in the aviation sector is strengthened by the close cooperation between Emirates Airlines and Airbus, which is delivering 80 A350 aircraft in 2022.

The trend in the UAE is toward aircraft customisation, and French manufacturers have refined this know-how by focusing on innovation, including differentiation through customisation, optimal use of space, and In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity systems. The French innovation strategy is expressed in new product development and maintenance methods, as well as technological advances using artificial intelligence, Big Data, digital simulation, 3D printing, and predictive maintenance to optimise aviation. The national strategy aims to develop a “CO2-free” aircraft by 2035, for which EUR1.5 billion will be invested.

The Middle East aviation industry is experiencing significant growth and innovation, with a focus on infrastructure development, investment in new technologies, and promoting and exploring sustainable alternatives. The French exhibiting companies at AIME & MRO Middle East are coming to provide new solutions to improve efficiency and safety in the industry. Industry players can interact with experts in aircraft structure and connectivity systems, technical container engineering and GSE, testing and qualification, research and development, cabin interiors, and air traffic management to improve passenger safety and experience. Saudi Arabia, which plans to invest 356 billion SAR (100 billion USD) in the aviation sector over a ten-year period, is also a major source of opportunities for French manufacturers.

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