China bestows certificates upon five Gulfstreams
The General Administration of the Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) has awarded type certification to Gulfstream Aerospace for five of its business jet models–the Gulfstream GV, G350, G450, G500 and G550. The TC allows the registration and operation of all those models within China.
The five newly certified models join the Gulfstream GIV and GIV-SP, which received certification from the CAAC on Sept. 15, 2003. In 2005, the CAAC also granted approval to Gulfstream’s Long Beach, California service center to provide support for Chinese-registered GIIs, GIIIs and GVs.
“There is no question China is one of the most significant emerging markets for business jet aircraft,” said Gulfstream president Joe Lombardo.
In a related development, Gulfstream sold its first large-cabin business jet aircraft in China with a recent multi-aircraft deal for three mid-range G350s and one ultra-long-range G550 to Hainan Airlines Group for use as charter aircraft by Deer Jet.
The charter operator’s current eight-aircraft fleet, which includes a Gulfstream IV and two Gulfstream G200s, reaches more than 125 airports within China and 136 international airports. With nearly 4,000 charter flight hours logged every year, Deer Jet currently serves more than 70 percent of the China business-jet charter market.
“These aircraft will primarily serve our high-end customers, including central government officials, local Chinese and international business leaders, representatives from foreign governments and celebrities,” said chairman Liu Zhiqiang.
Gulfstream has increased its footprint in the Asia Pacific area from 27 aircraft in 2001 to 74 as of last December. Lombardo said that the company has created an international customer advisory board, which he called “very important for customers in this region.”
Lombardo noted that Nicholas Chabraja, chairman and CEO of Gulfstream parent company General Dynamics, said that Gulfstream is evaluating new larger cabin and midsize aircraft. The company has a history of fielding a new model about every seven years.