Piaggio Aero designated Tianjin International Airport-based Freesky Aviation as its first authorized service center in mainland China. Freesky, which also offers aircraft charter and management services, introduced the first Avanti II twin turboprop to China in 2012. According to Han Wenjun, Freesky’s vice president of maintenance, “We will provide comprehensive service to all Avanti operators and we will further expand the customer service network of Piaggio Aero.”
The piston-engine Baron twin and Bonanza single on display at the Beechcraft area of the static display did not arrive by magic or by freighter. The long trip from the factory in Wichita, Kansas, started a few weeks ago, and left the California coast on April 3.
Ferry pilots Chelsea “Abingdon” Welch and Jerry Clark took off from Tracy, California (KTCY) where oversize fuel tanks were installed. The Bonanza held a total of 268 gallons, the Baron about 400. That meant that Welch and Clark were taking off at approximately 30 percent above maximum gross weight.
China’s commercial aviation manufacturing sector is challenged to match Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer in building large passenger jets. But it faces brighter prospects in building general aviation and business aircraft, according to a Rand study released last month.
Carey Matthews (left), general manager Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre (SHPBASC, Booth H128) receives a plaque from Brad Thress, senior v-p Customer Service, Textron Aviation (Chalet 13), identifying SHPBASC as an authorized Cessna Service Center.
“We’re privileged to service Cessnas around China,” Matthews said.
Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna, Beechcraft, and support services for Hawker jets, no longer in production, has some 325 of its products in China, encompassing about 200 piston, 70 turboprop and 50 jet aircraft.
The European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE), which will take place from May 20 to 22 this year in the Palexpo Convention Centre at Geneva International Airport, is second only in the business aviation industry calendar to the NBAA Convention in the U.S. and serves as a particular focus for operators in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It also takes place only about one month after ABACE in Shanghai (April 15 to 17), and is organized by NBAA (Booth H529) and the Brussels-based European Business Aviation Association (EBAA).
Hong Kong-based aircraft management company Metrojet (Booth H418) provided an update here at ABACE 2014 on three joint ventures it announced at last year’s expo that launched its current growth initiatives. “We built a very strong presence in Hong Kong, and now we’re ready to go from local to regional,” said Metrojet CEO Björn Näf.
Over the past several years, Piaggio has increased its worldwide service network and committed to expansion in the Asia Pacific region. In furthering these initiatives, the airframer on Tuesday designated Tianjin International Airport-based Freesky Aviation as its first authorized service center on mainland China.
More than simply transportation, a business jet can serve as flying office, airborne home and luxury retreat, its fuselage a blank canvas within which an owner, interior design team and completion specialists can create a “working” work of art. Here at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai, attendees can see the results in the stunning interiors of aircraft on static display, and in presentations at the booths of the world’s leading VIP aircraft interior completion and refurbishment specialists.
Etihad Airways on Tuesday announced its strongest ever passenger and cargo volumes for a first quarter, just as its negotiations for a 49-percent stake in Alitalia regain momentum. The airline, whose bid for a piece of Alitalia marks yet another effort to expand its already considerable global influence, logged $1.4 billion in total revenues during the three-month period, marking a year-on-year increase of 27 percent.
A roster of leading aviation officials from the Asia and the United States took the stage yesterday for the opening session of ABACE 2014, welcoming attendees and exhibitors to what Li Derun, president, Shanghai Airport Authority (SAA), called “the must-attend event” for the business aviation industry.