Textron Aviation expanded its partnerships with Africair and Absolute Aviation Group for the companies to represent the complete Beechcraft and Cessna product lines in their respective territories in Africa.
Africair has been a Cessna authorized sales representative since 1973, covering central and northern regions of Africa. Under the expanded agreement, Africair will add the Bonanza and Baron piston lines, as well as the King Air turboprop twins to its portfolio.
Absolute Aviation, meanwhile, has been a Beechcraft sales representative since 2011, encompassing Sub-Saharan Africa. Absolute Aviation last year acquired Comair, a long-time Cessna sales representative in Southern Africa. That acquisition added the Cessna pistons, Caravan turboprops and Citations to its portfolio.
“The business aviation market in Africa continues to advance, and Textron Aviation has a great opportunity to meet the continent’s growing transportation needs,” said Textron Aviation senior vice president of sales and marketing Kriya Shortt. “With this enhanced sales structure in Africa, we have two great partners we can rely on to represent the Beechcraft and Cessna brands.”
According to Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer, there were an estimated 420 business jets operating in the continent in 2012, and expected that the number would rise to over 600 by 2022. While still being small compared to other continents, Africa’s private jet charter industry is one of many industries that are on a steady growth path.
Deloitte and Touche’s 2013 report on the rise of Africa’s middle class estimated that the African middle class will grow to 1.1 billion in 2060, making up 42 per cent of the population. Much of the continent’s development is now riding on its thriving middle class, and the private charter jet sector is no exception.
Business aviation growth in the region will be a barometer of economic growth, said Tarek Ragheb, founding chairman of the African Business Aviation Association, in an Aviation Week interview.
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