This year’s Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Abace) has been a real eye-opener for a Westerner whose last visit to China was in 2003. Shanghai, where Abace 2012 is being held (it ends on March 29) at host airport Hongqiao International, is a beautiful and huge city.
A dozen Chinese airlines hired nearly 100 U.S. pilots at the Pan Am International Flight Academy’s All China Job Fair, held in Miami on February 23 and 24 and Las Vegas on February 26.
Mainland China is increasing the pressure on Taiwan’s air defenses. Modernized with more than 250 J-11 fighters (Russian or license-built Sukhoi Su-27/30) and 50 Chinese-designed J-10 interceptors, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is flying combat air patrols up to the middle of the Taiwan Straits. This has been the unofficial dividing line between China and Taiwan for more than 50 years.