Buoyed by the recent win of Turkey’s long-range aerial and missile defense system (T-Loramids) tender, China’s radar and defense electronics industry is pushing to enter more markets outside its traditional customer base. These include nations in Latin America–such as Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile–as well as some of the former Soviet republics.
Jeff Bonner Research & Development, a San Antonio-based aircraft cabin component developer and subassembly fabricator, has read the tea leaves for the Asian market and responded with a high-tech version of the ancient game of mahjong for installation in private jets.
The business jet fleet will continue to expand in mainland China, just not at the breakneck levels seen last year, according to a First-half 2013 Greater China Fleet Report from Hong Kong-based business aviation consulting firm Asian Sky Group (ASG). It now predicts that the Chinese fleet of new and used business jets will grow by 18 percent this year, versus 40 percent last year.
Bell Helicopter held two maintainers and operators conferences in China at the end of April, in Beijing and Shanghai. The conferences helped Chinese operators learn more about Bell customer support and service enhancements and safety improvements and enabled discussion of technical issues. “We were pleased with the turnout at both locations,” said Chris Jaran, managing director, China. “It was apparent that our Chinese customers are focused on maintaining their Bell Helicopter products at the highest level.”
Nextant Aviation has started to enjoy success in Asia. The U.S.-based remanufacturer of Beechjet 400s brought a Nextant 400XT to Hongqiao and used ABACE to announce that it has appointed China Great Wall Industry (CGWIC) as its dealer for China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Later, Nextant announced that CGWIC made its first sale at the event–to someone who saw the aircraft on display in the static and quickly become CGWIC’s first sales success. With all the talk of how long business deals take to come to fruition in China, the deal was of particular note for showgoers.
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.
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.
China broke into the ranks of the five largest arms exporting countries for the first time since the end of the Cold War, displacing the UK in the volume of arms deliveries, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). The UK dropped from the list for the first time since at least 1950, the Swedish institute said.
The FAA has approved the Shanghai Hawker Pacific FBO as a foreign repair station, allowing it to support U.S.-registered aircraft in China. The company applied for the approval just a few days before the FAA stopped taking applications on Aug. 3, 2008, due to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s failure to introduce security rules for such facilities.
“An increasingly prosperous population, an influx of multinational companies, relaxation of the low-altitude airspace rule and a string of growth stimulus expected from [new leaders] means there will be an unprecedented demand for business air travel in China,” Jackie Wu, president of Hong Kong-based business aviation consultancy Jetsolution, said last week at a luxury goods show in Xian, China.
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