Bombardier expands reach in Asia

 - October 2, 2006, 6:04 AM

Bombardier sold four business jets to Asian customers during July and August. At the ABACE show in Shanghai it announced that Japanese operator Global Wings is buying a second Learjet 45XR. The operator will take delivery of the aircraft in January and will base it at its Kansai International Airport headquarters.

At the same time, the Canadian airframer reported that Philippines-based Subic International Air Charter will add a Learjet 45XR to its fleet next month. Meanwhile, an undisclosed East Asian customer has ordered a Challenger 300 for delivery in June next year, and a south Asian-based operator is acquiring a Global Express XRS to enter service during the fourth quarter of 2007. The Challenger 300 will be based in Taiwan and will be operated under a management contract by My-Aviation.

Global Wings already operates a 45XR in the Chinese charter market. This aircraft is based in Beijing and flies under the air operator’s certificate of Air China. Earlier this year, an undisclosed customer from New Zealand ordered a Global 5000.

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Bombardier also told a press conference that it will establish a new parts depot in north Asia and that it will announce the location by year-end. China is among the countries Bombardier is considering. The OEM already has warehouses in Sydney, Australia, and Singapore, where it has just opened a new field service office.

The company also intends to open authorized service centers in China and in India. It is now in talks with prospective partners in both countries and intends to announce its choices by year-end.

Bombardier also announced the appointment of four new sales directors for the Asia-Pacific region. Christophe Chicandard will oversee new aircraft sales for the Global, Challenger and Learjet lines in the southeast part of the region. He operates from the manufacturer’s new office in Singapore. Nalin Jain will cover India from an office in New Delhi, which has also just opened. In the company’s Hong Kong regional headquarters, George Laforme is northern Asia sales director, and Carl McIntosh has been appointed Asia-Pacific sales director.

The Canadian airframer has also boosted its team of full-time field service representatives to five with the appointment of Mark Hudson. It already has authorized service facilities in Sendai (Japan), Singapore and Sydney.

Meanwhile, Bombardier’s Skyjet International fixed-rate charter program has now sold 1,000 hours to Asian customers. According to Mike Fahey, executive vice president for Asia Pacific and Latin America sales, the company is about to sign a Malaysian customer who wants a block of charter hours to use in Skyjet’s worldwide fleet.

Skyjet, which offers charter flights in Bombardier aircraft flown by partner operators, has grown by 25 percent during the first half of this year. The average level of customer commitment is 100 hours per year.

Bombardier’s business aircraft have significant manufacturing content from the Asia-Pacific region, with the wings for both the Global 5000 and the Challenger 300 coming from Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Taiwan’s Aerospace Industries Development makes the Challenger 300 empennage, and Australia’s Hawker de Havilland provides its tailcone.