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Bizav in Asia: Hawker Beechcraft Builds New Asian Team

 - January 31, 2010, 8:24 PM

Hawker Beechcraft is establishing a new sales and customer support team in this part of the world. The U.S. manufacturer has recruited former Asia Jet CEO Justin Firestone as its new president for the AsiaPacific region. Firestone will continue to be based in Hong Kong and will lead a network of staff extending in Beijing, Singapore and Australia.

Prior to his time with Asia Jet, Firestone was a senior executive with block charter and fractional ownership provider Marquis Jet. He reports directly to Hawker Beechcraft executive president Shawn Vick, with a mandate to boost the company’s market share in Asia.
The U.S. manufacturer is supporting its strengthened Asia-Pacific sales force by dispatching three new demonstrator aircraft to the region: a Hawker 4000, a 900, a Premier IA and a King Air 350i will be available to prospective customers for extended periods.

Hawker Beechcraft is set to deliver four of its new Hawker 4000s into China over the next six months. “The important issue is not only having the right product mix, but you need to have the right team dedicated to delivering world-class ownership and operating experience,” Vick told AIN.

As part of a plan to boost the overall customer experience of business aviation, Hawker Beechcraft appointed Hugh Waud as a new field service representative based in New Delhi, India. A former British Royal Air Force maintenance technician, Waud has been transferred from serving Hawker customers in the Middle East and will operate from the manufacturer’s authorized service center InterGlobe General Aviation.

Now the airframer is looking to expand its sales and support presence in the key markets of China and India. It is actively recruiting experienced staff and is likely to add resources in India before year-end.

Hawker Beechcraft’s product support network already spans 13 locations in China, India, Australia, the Philippines, Japan and Singapore. According to the company there are approximately 400 business aircraft in Australia, 200 each in Japan and India, and just 100 (but fast rising) in China.

Since 2004, Hawker Beechcraft has delivered 125 new aircraft to Asia-Pacific customers. A little over half of new units have been King Airs and about 40 percent are Hawkers, with the remaining 10 percent being the smaller Premiers. According to Vick, the customer base here is split evenly between companies and private individuals.