Alper ÇALIK / firstname.lastname@example.org
Eurasia Airshow – Turkey’s first flight demonstration-based aviation exhibition – was held online on 2–6 December last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Delegations from the military and civil aviation institutions of 67 different countries and 343 industrial enterprises participated in the event, which was first held in 2018 to draw attention to the Turkish aviation sector and market in the international arena. Roundtable meetings organised on the sidelines of the event succeeded in bringing together participants at the levels of defence minister, chief of staff and air force commander.
Aviation Sector Grows with Domestic Companies
The event was inaugurated with an online opening ceremony held on 2 December that was broadcast live on YouTube. Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, Chief of Air Staff of the Bangladesh Air Force; Mark Goldsack, Director of DIT DSO (Department for International Trade Defence and Security Organisation, United Kingdom); and M. İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines, delivered speeches at the event.
Speaking first during the ceremony, Aycı said: “Our domestic companies are successfully representing the Turkish aviation sector, with such companies as Turkish Airlines, HAVELSAN, ASELSAN, Alp Aviation and Turkish Aerospace all playing a leading role. As Turkey, we owned only 162 aircraft with a total seat capacity of 27,000 in 2003, while today we operate 546 aircraft with a quadrupled total seat capacity of 103,500. Turkish Airlines have the 10th largest fleet in the world, with 364 modern and energy-efficient aircraft. “
Speaking after Aycı, Goldsack underlined that the capabilities developed jointly by the two countries (Turkey and the United Kingdom) had laid the groundwork for similar collaborations in the future, referring to the UK’s comprehensive cooperation with Turkey in the TF-X National Combat Aircraft project.
Air Chief Marshal Serniabat, after reminding of Turkey’s medical supply aid to many countries since the COVID-19 outbreak, went on to thank Turkey also for repairing the Bangladesh Navy ship that suffered damage in the recent explosion in Beirut.
Defence Ministers and Force Commanders Meet
The event continued with various roundtable meetings attended by participants at various levels, including Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă, Romanian Minister of National Defence; Brigadier General Oscar Chapula, Defence Secretary; Dr. Marcos Rosas Degaut Pontes, Secretary of Defence Products of the Brazilian Ministry of Defence; and representing the Prime Minister of Jordan, Haitham Misto, Chief Commissioner/CEO at Jordanian Civil Aviation.
A roundtable meeting held on the second day of the event brought together the air force commanders of various countries, including Brigadier General Ziad Haykal, Lebanese Air Force Commander and Chief of General Staff; General Abdul Fahim Ramin, Commander of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Air Chief Marshal Serniabat, Chief of Air Staff of the Bangladesh Air Force; Major General Jefson Borges, Commander of the 6th Brazilian Air Force; Brigadier General Zaid Negresh, Commander of the Royal Jordanian Air Force; Brigadier General Luca de Martinis, Chief of the Logistics Department of the Italian Air Force; Colonel Stojko Pejovski, Commander of the Northern Macedonia Air Force; and Colonel Janko Petrusic, Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Brigade Commander.
Date of the Next Event Announced
Among the companies participating in the event were such key players in the sector as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Sukhoi, UAC, Antonov, BAE Systems, Saab, Qatar Airways, Thales, Honeywell, GE Aviation, Pratt-Whitney, Goodrich and IRKUT. Official delegations from United Kingdom, Iran, Qatar, Poland, Russia and Ukraine made various contacts.
Immediately after the event, on 9 December, the Eurasia Airshow organisers announced the date of the next event as 23–27 March, 2022, to be hosted at Antalya Airport.