Inaugurated by President Hosni Mubarak, who is, himself, an aviator, the first edition of aeronautical fair Avex took place between the 23rd and 25th of February, in the balneary of Sharm El Sheikh, in Egypt.
It was the first international aeronautical exhibit organized by Egypt. The event gathered about 20 Egyptian companies and 43 foreign companies in the civil aviation sector and of aeronautical equipment.
During the fair, about 40 airplanes of various sizes were exhibited at the Sharm El Sheikh airport, varying from small aircrafts for two people, to commercial jets, capable of carrying 70 passengers.
Great companies in the aviation sector were participating at the Avex, such as Bombardier from Canada, the European Airbus and the North American Gulfstream.
Brazil was also present, represented by airplane manufacturer Embraer, which brought its planes to the exhibit.
“The Civil Aviation Minister, Ahmed Shafic, had told me he would like Brazil to participate very much, that is why I asked them to do what was possible to be present,” said the Brazilian ambassador at Cairo, Elim Dutra, who participated in the event.
“So Embraer decided to send a large plane, the Embraer 170, which carries 70 passengers,” stated the diplomat.
According to Dutra, the Embraer 170 “is the kind of airplane that the Egyptian government wants to buy”. The reason for that, according to him, is because the jet is adequate both for domestic transportation of passengers, as for medium distance international flights.
“In other words, it would be perfect for journeys in the Middle East, to go to Greece, for example. It can equally fly to Stockholm (Sweden). It is also an ideal plane for short flights, to go from Cairo to Luxor, Aswan, or Sharm El Sheikh,” stated the ambassador.
Embraer showed the executive jet of the Legacy model too. “President Mubarak, who went to the fair, saw these airplanes and showed great interest in them. He was interested in the characteristics of the aeroplanes and made a series of questions about them,” stated Dutra.
“The Embraer vice president, Luis Fernando Fux, was present and he offered the Egyptian president all the information on the aircrafts. Both planes were visibly very well accepted,” he added.
According to Dutra, the Egyptian government is interested in buying airplanes. “They are examining the possibility and Embraer is an excellent candidate. It is the only company that has an airplane especially made with 70 seats. Ideal for the Egyptian government,” he declared. “In addition, from the price point of view, the Embraer airplanes are also convenient,” he added.
The ambassador recalled that the Egyptian government already knows well the Embraer products, as in the past they bought the military turboprop Tucano.
Some of these aircrafts were even assembled in the Arab country. “Everyone here, amongst them the Minister himself (Ahmed Shafic), knows Embraer very well and think highly of the Brazilian company,” he stated.
“There are, therefore, good purchase possibilities. Also, the trade fair was very important as the airplanes were exhibited not only to the Egyptians, but also to the businessmen and government representatives of the Gulf and other Middle East countries,” concluded Dutra.
Translated by Silvia Lindsey
ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency