ABACE Convention News

Sino Jet and TWC Aviation Form China Charter Alliance

 - March 26, 2012, 4:15 AM
TWC Aviation’s Hong Kong-based Bombardier Global Express will carry up to 13 passengers and includes a couch that converts into a double bed, handmade silk carpets, leather paneling and leather covered seats. Its charter rate is HK$77,580 (US$10,000) per hour.

Hong Kong-based Sino Jet Management and TWC Aviation have formed a strategic alliance to operate U.S.-registered jets in charter operations in Asia. The alliance marries Sino Jet’s marketing expertise and local knowledge and capabilities with TWC Aviation’s operational experience and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Part 135 charter certificate.

Under the agreement, TWC Aviation, which is headquartered in California, will fly charters in Asia using aircraft managed by Sino Jet but operated under TWC’s charter certificate and maintained and flown by TWC Aviation personnel. The first jet to be operated under this agreement is a Bombardier Global Express based in Hong Kong.

“By capitalizing on our nurtured network and clientele in Asia and TWC’s operational and maintenance oversight, we are able to offer something truly unique and valuable in the Asia Pacific region,” said Sino Jet chief operating officer Jackie Wu.

“Sino Jet realized there was a lot of opportunity to assist local clients with aircraft management,” said Andrew Richmond, CEO of TWC Aviation. When it came to offering Chinese aircraft owners the opportunity to charter their aircraft, he added, “they had a need for N-registered aircraft operating under FAA regulations. That created the opportunity for the two of us to get together.” TWC Aviation has experience operating N-registered (U.S.-registered) aircraft in Asia, from a previous relationship with TAG Asia, and one of the people who worked on that program is now working with the Sino Jet/TWC alliance.

For TWC Aviation to expand into Asia, Richmond explained, “we have to have a physical presence.” This means placing personnel in China. But more important, for potential charter customers who are Chinese, they have a strong desire to book their trips by speaking in Chinese with someone who understands their culture. Yet, he added, “they have a greater comfort level with the FAA providing oversight.”

Sino Jet will market the TWC Aviation charters in the Asia region, and the Global Express is available almost exclusively for charters. “The owner has tasked Sino Jet and TWC with providing a substantial amount of charter for this aircraft,” said Scott Cutshall, TWC vice president of marketing.

The Global Express will charter for about $10,000 (HK$77,580) per hour, about 20 percent higher than U.S. rates, but the Hong Kong price includes catering. “Having aircraft based throughout the region will allow us to better serve our U.S. and European clients who travel to Asia via commercial airlines,” Cutshall explained, “but would like to use business aviation to conduct their business trips in China, India, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul and other major business centers. Honk Kong is a wonderful starting point.”

Sino Jet also has a fleet of aircraft that it manages for local clients, and its services include aircraft acquisition, financing, flight dispatch and support, consulting, aircraft delivery, refurbishing and modification, crew training and placement, concierge services and aircraft-on-ground (AOG) maintenance.

Operating U.S-registered aircraft on a U.S. Part 135 charter certificate in China is not an issue, Richmond said. “[China] has been using [aircraft on] other registries for quite a while. The alliance helps, he added, because Sino Jet has the required permits for operating in China.

More jets will be added to the Sino Jet/TWC alliance (Booth H502), and some are already in the works, according to Richmond. “It’s a growth market, and we see a lot of new airplanes going there. Being one of the companies establishing this alliance early will attract more Chinese nationals who want airplanes and want to do charter on them. I think they’ll want to use N-registered aircraft and do Part 135 for some period of time.”

TWC is currently hiring pilots and maintenance technicians for the Global Express operation and to prepare for the addition of more aircraft to the Sino Jet/TWC alliance operation. Crew will be based in Hong Kong.

The Global Express is outfitted with a 13-passenger interior and a Calvin Klein satin couch that converts to a double bed, leather paneling, handmade silk carpets and club seats covered with pearl-finished sheep leather.

TWC Aviation operates more than 50 aircraft and, in addition to charter, offers maintenance in its FAA-approved Part 145 maintenance facility, aircraft sales and acquisitions and aircraft management services. TWC is audited under standards set by IS-BAO, Air Charter Safety Foundation, Wyvern and Argus.