China Business Aviation Group (CBAG, Booth H420), founded in 2010 by business aviation veteran Jason Liao, chairman and CEO, is continuing its efforts to boost the region’s business aviation industry and become its leading services provider. Here at ABACE yesterday it announced agreements with engine-care specialists Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI, Booth H418), flight crew employment agency ACASS (Booth H217) and business aircraft sales and charter company China Hongly Aviation Group.
Beijing-based CBAG’s strategic cooperation agreement with China Hongly Aviation Group, signed here at the show, aims at promoting business jet sales in China. Hong Li, chairwoman of China Hongly Aviation Group, noted that she and Liao have previously worked together on business aviation projects. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Mr. Liao and his team again,” said Hong Li. “Whether our clients prefer new or pre-owned aircraft, or a particular brand, we can quickly obtain the earliest delivery position with the most attractive pricing.”
CBAG’s agreement with JSSI makes CBAG the its exclusive representative in the Asian marketplace. JSSI provides “power-by-the-hour” long-term engine maintenance programs. JSSI has some 3,000 engines under its coverage.
“The Chinese market and Asia in general are among the largest growth markets that we see,” said Neil Book, president of Chicago-based JSSI. “Most of the aircraft in China are flying unprotected or ‘naked,’ as we refer to it. Whether you are a business or an individual with a business jet, no one likes to be surprised by the significant cost of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.”
Meanwhile, the agreement with ACASS makes CBAG the exclusive representative in mainland China for the contract flight-crew provider.
“There’s a reason why ACASS is the world’s largest and most successful provider of business jet pilots and engineers,” said Liao. “CBA’s clients have very precise requirements.”
Montreal, Canada-based ACASS has a global network of more than 10,500 pilots and flight engineers available for short- and long-term, or permanent employment. “We have been looking for right partner in China,” said David Dorrance, ACASS executive vice president.
CBAG also released a survey of business aviation in Greater China. According to the survey, the business aviation fleet, which has been growing at an annual rate of 50 percent since 2008, now comprises some 350 business jets worth $10.5 billion. With an emphasis on long-range and large-cabin jets, the average aircraft value in the fleet is $30 million, three times the world’s average value for business aircraft.
Going forward, the industry can and will support an average of 25 percent annual growth over the next decade, said Liao. Among the factors that will contribute to growth: China’s continuing strong economy; expanding aircraft access through jet cards and fractional ownership; and the acceptance of the importance of business aviation by corporations, the government and the general public.
Conversely, issues clouding business aviation’s expansion include high taxes (a 17-percent VAT and 4- to 5-percent import duties), a severe pilot shortage and the complex aircraft certification process. But CBAG believes these impediments cannot stop business aviation’s growth in China. Said Liao, “This is just the beginning of a long growth cycle.”o