Airbus Helicopters is making its public debut in China this week for the first time since the company formerly known as Eurocopter was renamed as part of a wider restructuring that has seen other parts of its EADS parent group channel the marketing power of the Airbus brand. Airbus airliners have sold well here in the People’s Republic, but then so have the “Eurocopter” rotorcraft, which still lay a strong claim to being the market leader in China.
Cirrus Aircraft’s first production conforming Vision SF50 very light jet, dubbed “C-Zero” (C0), achieved its maiden flight last month from Duluth International Airport, where the company has its headquarters. V1–a nonconforming SF50 prototype of the all-composite, single-engine jet–has been flying July 3, 2008.
At ABACE last year, Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) marked the service entry of a BBJ owned by charter operator Nanshan Jet Co., which is based in Yanti, China. This year BBJ and Nanshan Jet are partnering on their presence at ABACE 2014 and are also cohosting a dinner for select customers, according to Chuck Colburn, BBJ director of marketing.
VistaJet expects to have its new operation in China up and running by the end of 2014 if it achieves its goal of getting its local air operators certificate approved by early in the fourth quarter of this year. Ahead of this week’s ABACE show, the Europe-based private flight provider was giving no further details of its local partnership arrangements for the China operation, but it has previously been in discussion with Beijing Airlines.
Some 200 companies will be exhibiting at the three-day Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE), which starts next Tuesday at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. Organized by NBAA in partnership with the Shanghai Airport Authority, the event will be located once more at the Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre–a joint venture between the Shanghai Airport Authority and Hawker Pacific–with the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) co-hosting the event.
Embraer recently delivered the first Phenom 300 to India. Customer Kerala-based Joy Jets will operate the light jet alongside its existing Phenom 100. The operator, which is part of the Joyalukkas chain of jewelry stores, has said it intends to add a longer-range midsize aircraft to its fleet next year.
Operating conditions for business aircraft in China are improving, but are still complex enough that both Chinese and foreign operators largely depend on expert flight- planning and support companies. Among the exhibitors at this year’s ABACE show are several leading service providers who have been making significant investments in China and other parts of Asia to allow their clients to deliver to their passengers as much flexibility as possible.
With general aviation regulations in India caught up in a web of complex rules, the industry has expressed a need for a stable regulatory framework that would allow it to grow in a sound, more straightforward regulatory regime. Addressing this, an ICAO-led group drafted a set of recommendations for a policy on general aviation–including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and seaplanes–and submitted them to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in April 2012.
India’s economic downturn over the past couple of years has resulted in negative growth for general aviation there, which has “hit rock bottom,” according to Rohit Kapur, president of the country’s Business Aviation Operators Association (BAOA).
Business aircraft flying continued its positive trend so far this year, with activity climbing 1.1 percent last month from March 2013, according to the TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Its analysts also estimate that overall flight activity this month will rise 0.4 percent from last year.