Deer Jet, Asia’s largest business jet operator, is gradually transforming from a regional operator to a global one as it approaches its 20th anniversary. The Beijing-based company now has a fleet of 85 aircraft, based not only in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, but also in the U.S., Dubai and Moscow. According to Zhang Peng, who was promoted to president of the company in August, Deer Jet’s international flight operations have increased by 80 percent over 2013, now up to 6,800 annual flight hours to more than 300 airports worldwide.
Requests for charter flight price quotes, a bellwether of business aviation activity, have been growing in China by more than 20 percent annually over the past three years, according to data released on the eve of ABACE 2014 by Avinode (Booth H430).
Deer Jet, which owns four of the six FBOs currently in operation on the Chinese mainland, expects to at least double that number by the end of this year, according to Peng Zhang, company vice president.
“We are talking with several different airport authorities [who] want to cooperate with Deer Jet (Booth P424) to have an FBO facility on their field,” Zhang told AIN. This includes Beijing Capital Airport, where the company is awaiting permission to begin operations from a facility that was last used for the 2008 Olympics and would be the second FBO on the airport.
FlightSafety International technician training programs for Pratt & Whitney Canada engines have been moved from Beijing to Haikou, and will be provided at the new location by FlightSafety-trained instructors working for Lufthansa HNA Technical Training. FlightSafety is also providing all courseware and training engines for the program, which initially includes theory and practical training on the PT6A and PW100 series engines.
Gulfstream Aerospace’s substantial investment in establishing China’s first factory-owned service center for business aircraft appears to be paying off as the U.S. airframer prepares to add support capability for its latest G650 and G280 models later this year.
Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines plans to take advantage of more aggressive Chinese aviation reforms with the formation of a new low-cost carrier called Jiuyuan Airlines. Plans call for the new joint venture between Juneyao and three private investors to start operations in August. Privately held Juneyao holds a 69-percent stake in the new carrier, whose registered capital base totals $96 million. Based in Guangzhou, Jiuyuan translates in English to “Nine Yuan,” reflecting starting fares of $1.46.
FlightSafety International’s Pratt & Whitney Canada engine training programs in China will be offered in Haikou through a cooperative agreement with Lufthansa HNA Technical Training. FlightSafety will train Lufthansa HNA’s instructors and provide all courseware and training engines.
The Chinese airline industry is attracting scores of South American pilots who see far better opportunity for career advancement with fast growing and startup airlines in the People’s Republic than in their home countries.
Gulfstream Aerospace recently marked the first anniversary of its 82,000-sq-ft Beijing service center at Beijing Capital International Airport. It is the only business-jet manufacturer to offer factory service in China.
“It has been a successful first year for Gulfstream Beijing,” said Mark Burns, president of product support. “We have experienced steady growth and have expanded our capabilities. As the Gulfstream fleet continues to grow in the Asia-Pacific region, we’ll look for ways to enhance and add to the services we provide at Gulfstream Beijing.”
To boost aftermarket service for operators of its business aircraft in China, Bombardier Aerospace has signed an agreement with Beijing Airlines that will allow the latter to provide technical support for all of the Canadian OEM’s business aircraft based at and visiting Beijing Capital International Airport. “Bombardier has long-standing and valued relationships in China and we are steadily increasing our customer support in strategic locations across the country,” said Éric Martel, Bombardier president of customer services and specialized and amphibious aircraft.
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