Deer Jet, which owns four of the six FBOs currently in operation on the Chinese mainland, expects to at least double that number by the end of this year, according to Peng Zhang, company vice president.
“We are talking with several different airport authorities [who] want to cooperate with Deer Jet (Booth P424) to have an FBO facility on their field,” Zhang told AIN. This includes Beijing Capital Airport, where the company is awaiting permission to begin operations from a facility that was last used for the 2008 Olympics and would be the second FBO on the airport.
Deer Jet, part of the HNA Group (that also owns several Chinese airlines), will celebrate its 20th year in business next year. It currently accounts for 70 percent of all private jet movements in Mainland China. The company’s fleet of 80 business jets, which logged more than 20,000 flight hours last year, consists of Gulfstreams, Bombardier Global family aircraft, Dassault Falcon 7Xs, Hawkers and Boeing Business Jets. Deer Jet expects to add more aircraft this year with deliveries of an additional Falcon 7X, another BBJ and an Airbus A320 VIP version. In fact, the company is the world’s largest operator of Airbus Corporate Jets, with six already in its fleet.
Over the past year Deer Jet has expanded its operations beyond the region, basing aircraft in the Middle East and Russia. Toward that end, the company signed a joint venture agreement with Jetex Flight Support at its FBO at Dubai World Central Airport. Last year, Deer Jet had more than 200 movements in the Middle East, a 30-percent increase over the previous year. This year the company also launched Deer Jet Air Rescue, an intensive care, medical-transport service, flying a pair of Hawker jets.
Zhang also serves as chairman of the Gulfstream Beijing service facility, a joint venture 51-percent owned by Deer Jet and the remainder owned by Gulfstream. In operation since 2012, the facility is the only private jet MRO capable of performing heavy maintenance on the mainland.
Over the past year the Deer Jet has changed its focus from being an solely an aviation services provider to becoming a luxury-lifestyle provider when its parent company added yachts, helicopters and more services to its portfolio. Toward that end the company has forged an alliance with Medical Health International to create the Deer Jet Health Club, which will provide medical services to customers.
Air BP Deal
At its ABACE 2014 press conference, the company announced it has signed a letter of agreement with fuel supplier Air BP to further expand the companies’ cooperation. Under an agreement signed last year Air BP was designated as Deer Jet’s fuel supplier at 27 airports in 14 European countries. Now two companies will also work to introduce Air BP service for general aviation at Chinese airports.