A business delegation from Wichita, headed by Mayor Carl Brewer, plans an extensive trip to the People’s Republic of China, and the possible sale of Hawker Beechcraft to Superior Aviation Beijing is likely to be a key subject of discussions there. While examining business relationships and renewal of the sister-city relationship with Kaifeng, Brewer said he expects to meet with Superior Aviation chairman Cheng Shenzong on Sunday.
At stake is Hawker Beechcraft’s continued presence in Wichita should negotiations with Superior prove successful. According to Karyn Page, delegation organizer and president and CEO of Kansas Global Trade Services, Wichita is part of an area designated by the Brookings Institute as “the most export-dependent in the nation.” As a result, said Page, “Our primary interest is in protecting the jobs we have here in Wichita and at Hawker Beechcraft.”
While not officially part of the delegation, Hawker Beechcraft will have a representation at the meeting in Beijing with Superior Aviation, and the group has also requested a meeting with representatives of the city of Beijing.
Hawker Beechcraft is currently involved in bankruptcy protection proceedings and at the same time remains in negotiations for its sale to Superior Aviation for a stated price of $1.79 billion. According to Hawker Beechcraft, Superior intends to maintain the Wichita-based OEM’s existing operations.