Eurocopter’s presence in China goes back more than 40 years to the first sale of an Alouette III helicopter in the country in 1967. But since then, the European manufacturer has set down much deeper roots in China and the new twin-engine EC175 (or Z15, as the Chinese version is known) represents the latest stage in a wide-ranging cooperation with China’s Avicopter (see box) through the Shanghai-based joint venture Eurocopter China.
Bangkok, Thailand-based charter group OrientSkys recently announced a new strategic business alliance with Beijing Airlines (formerly Air China Business Jet). Beijing Airlines, which Air China established in 2003 as the state-owned airline’s private charter arm, operates a Bombardier Challenger 605 and a Global Express XRS, as well as a Gulfstream G450 and a 28-seat Boeing Business Jet for charter.
Though business aviation is still young in China, the country has been quick to make clear its intention not just to be a consumer of imported business aircraft, but to be active as a manufacturer of them too. So far, partnerships with foreign airframers have been the main path to this goal, but now China’s Avic group has started work on its own design for what it calls the China New Generation Business Jet.
Beijing-based Deer Jet launched the first fractional aircraft program in China today in Shanghai at ABACE 2013. Deer Jet, which has 30 business jets spanning 13 types in its charter and management fleet, is currently selling shares in a Gulfstream G450 and G550, the latter of which it has on static display this week at the show.
The Deer Jet “Time Share” program is customized for the Chinese market and is targeted to customers who fly between 100 and 300 hours per year. There are two distinct products under Time Share: fractional aircraft shares and block charter.
The general theme of all the speakers at the ABACE opening session this morning was one of cooperation of efforts to bring a vibrant and viable business aviation industry to China. “Business aviation generates jobs, allows companies to be productive and efficient and helps the country in times of natural disaster,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
The China Corporate Jet Alliance, founded last year at ABACE as the “China Business Jet Shanghai Alliance” to promote the sustainable growth of the business aviation market in China, inducted four new members today at ABACE 2013.
While already known as Asia’s biggest business jet leasing firm, Minsheng Financial Leasing (MSFL) quietly launched its own aircraft operating unit today at ABACE. The company recently purchased Beijing-based charter provider Citic General Aviation, which operated a small fleet consisting of a Dassault Falcon 900DX, 2000 and 7X, and is in the process of rebranding it into a new subsidiary known as Minsheng International Jet.
Hong Kong-based business aviation consultancy Jetsolution International Services announced a partnership with Switzerland’s Global Jet today at ABACE. Under the agreement, Global Jet will support Jetsolution in providing its clients with aircraft-acquisition assistance and associated services, such as registration, compliance and operational services. Jetsolution will also use the services of Global Jet’s sister company, Pegasus Design, to assist its customers with cabin completion and refurbishment needs.
Hong Kong-based Metrojet has teamed with Zhuhai Hanxing General Aviation Co. to expand its business jet maintenance business into mainland China, the companies announced today at ABACE 2013. Located in a newly built 15,000-sq-ft hangar at Zhuhai Airport, Metrojet Hanxing now offers the same full range of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services–in addition to authorizations for the same list of OEMs–as that at Metrojet’s facility at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport.
Lufthansa Technik has signed a two-year contract with an undisclosed VIP customer in Asia to provide comprehensive technical support for two Airbus ACJ319s, the Hamburg, Germany-based company announced today. The support contract extends from line maintenance to full provisioning with components and materials, including logistics, maintenance management and CAMO services. The company will provide maintenance support out of its worldwide service network.