Airbus Corporate Jets (Chalet 290), the VIP aircraft sales division of Airbus, sees big opportunities for executive transport in the China market and throughout the Asia Pacific region. Here at ABACE 2013 it is highlighting the big-cabin solutions it offers with its family of VIP airliners.
Cessna Aircraft (Chalet 190) announced here at ABACE 2013 yesterday that sales are up 50 percent in China from 2011 through 2012, and up in Asia Pacific overall. Meanwhile, the company is making rapid progress with its efforts to operate in China through joint ventures formed with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA) in Shijiazhuang and Zhuhai. The joint venture with CAIGA involves building Cessna 208 Grand Caravan EXs (Shijiazhuang) and Cessna Citation XLS+ business jets (Zhuhai) for the Chinese market.
Associated Air Center (AAC), StandardAero’s (Booth P716) large transport category VIP completions center, based in Dallas, Texas, has received approval as an authorized maintenance organization in China. The approval, granted by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), is for a Part 145 approved maintenance organization (AMO)–covering maintenance and modifications on Chinese-registered aircraft.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) holds 57 percent of the 336-strong business jet fleet of the Greater China area, while Hong Kong holds 33 percent; Macau is in third place, with 5 percent; and the Republic of China (Taiwan) has 3 percent of the fleet, according to a report released by Asian Sky Group (ASG), a Hong Kong-based business aviation consulting group. The company announced its formal launch at ABACE last year.
Honeywell Aerospace’s business and general aviation division started putting down roots in the key emerging market of China just over seven years ago in 2005. Today, the U.S. group believes it has one of the strongest aftermarket networks in the country and, indeed, throughout the Asia Pacific region, with some 42 dealers and service facilities now in place.
Satellite communications provider Satcom Direct, well known in the business aviation market, is expanding rapidly, investing in its capability and in a production ramp-up, and introducing service innovations as it prepares to open an office in Hong Kong to cover the Asian market.
With the rapid development of China’s economy and accumulation of personal wealth, traditional transportation means such as civil airliners and high-speed railways are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of high-end business people. Business and private aviation is increasingly emerging as an option for the wealthy, who are now having to decide on how best to access this mode of transportation.
The Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center (SHPBASC), which is hosting ABACE this week here at Hongqiao International Airport, has made a lot of progress since the 2012 show. According to general manager Carey Matthews, the amount of traffic it has received since 2009 has grown by as much as 12 percent each year. This trend has continued so far in 2013 and by year-end the facility expects to have exceeded 4,000 movements for the first time in its history.
Gulfstream Aerospace has been making major investments of its own to boost customer support in China. In November 2012 the U.S. manufacturer opened the country’s first factory-owned business jet service center at Beijing Capital International Airport.
VistaJet is working hard to get its new Chinese joint venture up and running by the end of 2013. In January, the operator established an office in Hong Kong and it has now staffed this with a sales team. The next step will be to establish a representative office in Beijing with its joint venture partner and it has begun the licensing process to establish a Chinese air operators’ certificate (AOC) and register some of its aircraft in the country.