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.
Bombardier Aerospace boosted the aftermarket support network for operators of its business aircraft in China by announcing a new service agreement with Beijing Airlines, one of mainland China’s top business aviation operators. Under this agreement, Beijing Airlines, originally established in 2003 as China Business Jet, will provide technical support for all Learjets, Challengers and Globals at its Beijing Capital International Airport facilities.
Congestion at China’s three major international airports–Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong and Guangzhou Baiyun–has quashed Xiamen Airlines’ plans to offer long-haul nonstop flights from the People’s Republic using Boeing 787s starting next August. Increasing demand for slots from foreign airlines and China’s four big carriers to operate point-to-point services from the three big airports leaves smaller carriers such as Xiamen no choice but to look at other Chinese cities as ports of entry into China.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has asked GE Aviation to expand required navigation performance (RNP) at China’s Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport. The program, which is intended to simplify pilot and controller workload, will include seven more airlines and extend RNP capability to the mountainous airport’s instrument landing system (ILS).
Boeing says it has finished installing a battery system modification on the first 50 delivered 787 Dreamliners that were grounded pending the retrofit. Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing, made the announcement in a blog post on May 29, reporting that all eight current 787 operators expect to return their Dreamliners to service within days and “we can’t thank all of them enough for their patience, partnership and support” during the grounding of more than three months.
FlightSafety International and Lufthansa HNA Technical Training have signed a cooperative agreement to expand FlightSafety’s Gulfstream maintenance training programs in China. Lufthansa HNA Technical Training instructors will deliver the training, which will initially include theoretical and practical maintenance training for the Gulfstream G200, G450 and G550.
Business aviation in China is a challenging occupation, but Hongkong Jet has tapped into a market where customers expect a high level of service and are willing to pay the extra cost. “Here in Asia, people don’t mind paying extra for better service,” said Chris Buchholz, CEO of Hongkong Jet, which is headquartered in Hong Kong and is the business aviation arm of China’s HNA Group. Hongkong Jet and sister company Deer Jet are exhibiting aircraft here on the static display.
With this year’s Asian Business Association Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) now less than three weeks away, aircraft brokerage firm Asian Sky Group has released a comprehensive survey of the number and types of business jets operating in China. According to the Hong Kong-based company’s report, the fleet of private jets in the greater China area numbered 336 as of the end of last year, with 57 percent based in mainland China and 33 percent in Hong Kong (the remaining 10 percent presumably based in Macau and Taiwan).
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