With the aim of easing the buying process for its customers, Airbus has introduced a new model of its ACJ319 Corporate Jet here at ABACE. Called the ACJ319 Elegance, the new derivative relieves the customer of some of the nearly endless design decisions by offering a new modular cabin that still allows them to choose from a wide range of lounge, office, dining and conference configurations.
In keeping with the spirit of Asia’s largest business aviation exposition, Bejing Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Corporation (Ameco), located at Beijing Capital International Airport, is introducing its “Silk Road” interior design for Airbus A320 ACJs at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai.
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.
Cessna Aircraft (Chalet 13), a division of Textron Aviation, announced a 10-aircraft order for float-equipped Grand Caravan EXs yesterday at ABACE 2014 from Beijing-based Reignwood Group for tourism services in China. The company agreed to acquire the amphibian turboprop singles through the Cessna-AVIC Shijiazhuang facility, which has been assembling Cessna Caravans for the Chinese market since late last year.
Global Jet’s fleet in China has grown with the addition of three more jets this year, and the company’s Asia-based fleet now numbers five aircraft. The Geneva-headquartered private jet company’s worldwide fleet of privately operated and charter aircraft has now reached 67.
Safran Turbomeca and Avic Dong’an announced on March 26 an initial order for 120 WZ16/Ardiden 3C turboshaft engines that will power the Avic AC352 helicopter, the Chinese version of the Airbus Helicopters EC175. Certification of the engine by Chinese aviation authorities is expected at the end of 2015. Safran Turbomeca and Avic Dong’an launched the joint project to develop, produce and support the engine in 2008. Based on the success of this cross-border partnership, the two companies also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a new project for commercial jet engines.
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.
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on March 14, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. Scott Ernest, Cessna’s president and CEO since 2011, was tapped to lead Textron Aviation as CEO. Meanwhile, Bill Boisture, Beechcraft’s chairman and CEO since 2009, was excluded from the Textron Aviation senior leadership team and “is moving on to new opportunities,” a Textron spokesman told AIN.
Airbus is here at ABACE highlighting the cabin features of its ACJ319, which the OEM feels is particularly well suited to Asian needs. Approximately 25 ACJs (the ACJ319 being only one of the models Airbus is offering as a business jet) are based in the Asia Pacific region.
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.