The booming mining market in Africa is expected to boost demand for business aircraft in the continent, leading to the region being labelled as one of the best development prospects in the world.
Africa, which holds more than 30% of the world's mineral resources, is attracting more investment from large multinational mining firms, with a 36% rise in mining revenue in 2011.
Air travel is the most convenient, and sometimes the only means of transportation between locations in Africa, because of this the business aviation is expected to play a vital role in the development of region's mining sector.
Hawker Beechcraft Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa president Sean McGeough said that growth in demand for mineral resources from emerging countries had transformed Africa and become a preferred investment destination, with African countries increasingly welcoming foreign investors.
"As the continent continues to develop, we expect demand for business aircraft to grow as they provide access to remote parts of the region, cover huge distances and also help counter the limitations of the transport infrastructure," McGeough said.
"Road and rail networks in many parts of Africa are limited, making travel internally a challenge. Travelling by business aircraft is not only often the quickest way to travel, but sometimes is the only option."
HBC expects huge benefits from the African market as it already has 65% of the turboprop aircraft in the region and its King Airs are well-suited for operations in the continent, offering a maximum range of 1,610nm, while carrying a payload capacity of 2,500lb.
In addition, HBC has recently added a further six facilities in its global customer support network in Africa at Lagos, Nigeria, Lanseria, South Africa and Cape Town, as well as the appointment of Absolute Aviation as an exclusive Beechcraft distributor for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Image: King Air is a twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation. Photo: courtesy of Adrian Pingstone.