Chinese charter provider Deer Jet (Booth No. C10450) and Dallas-based charter/management and maintenance provider Starbase signed a historic strategic alliance on October 22 during NBAA 2013. The alliance will allow Starbase (Booth No. C10450) to operate Deer Jet-owned N-registered aircraft under Starbase’s charter certificate in the U.S. and around the world.
“The North American business jet charter market is the biggest in the world,” said Deer Jet chairman Xie Xin. “Strategically this is the best step for both Deer Jet and Starbase to grow. We’ve had requests from our Deer Jet clients in China to open this partnership with an American company to improve the service we can offer in the U.S.,” he continued. “For our Chinese clients it will cost much less to make a flight to the U.S. with this strategic alliance. We will ask Starbase to handle our flights, saving clients money,” he said.
Randall Reed, CEO of Starbase, explained that the Deer Jet-owned aircraft are being imported to the U.S. from China and registered as U.S. aircraft. Starbase has so far refurbished one Gulfstream G200, which is ready for conforming tests and awaiting registration paperwork before it can be flown for charter. “We hope to have that completed and have it on our line in November,” said Reed. The aircraft is 100 percent dry leased from Deer Jet. “We will co-brand the marketing, but Starbase will handle both the marketing and management of the N-registered Deer Jet aircraft,” he explained.
Xin told AIN that he expects to import six aircraft under the arrangement with Starbase, including a Gulfstream GIV and G550, within the next year. The aircraft will fly under Starbase’s charter certificate. Starbase has facilities in both Dallas and Singapore and could base Deer Jet N-registered aircraft at the latter location in the future, said Xin. Deer Jet is headquartered in Beijing and is a subsidiary of the Hainan Group, which owns Hainan Airlines. At the ABACE event in Shanghai in April this year, the company launched a “time share” program, the first of its kind in the fledgling Chinese market.