The business jet scene in Asia is bullish, with some significant numbers of new aircraft entering the region. Greater China (including Hong Kong) and Australia are leading the growth. However, the market in Southeast Asia has remained stagnant, and even shown decline in certain countries, according to Asian Sky Group’s latest 2017 Fleet Report.
China and Hong Kong continue to chalk up the highest aircraft deliveries, taking 27 and 10 aircraft, respectively, last year. Bombardier saw the highest entry of 18 pre-owned and six new aircraft into the two territories; Gulfstream models accounted for 18 new aircraft and 14 second-hand aircraft deliveries.
All but Malaysia has negative fleet growth in Southeast Asia, most by within a couple of aircraft. Embraer also delivered a Legacy 500 earlier this year, and Hawker Pacific has sent a team of maintenance personnel to Kuala Lumpur’s Subang airport to support the growth and conduct Legacy-type courses for the local technicians.
Jeffrey Lowe, managing director of Asian Sky Group, expects more modest growth in the "mature" Southeast Asian market than in markets such as mainland China and India. “The economic outlook, as well as slow growth of infrastructure for business aviation, are both affecting growth as well,” he said. Indeed, the report mentions the lack of infrastructure a number of times, especially in the Philippines, where general and business aviation were given limited time slots to operate at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The region’s second largest country saw a decline of 4 percent, from 50 aircraft to 48 in 2017.
Most notably, the fleet size in Singapore shrunk from 60 to 48 aircraft last year, mainly due to the bankruptcy of Zetta Jet and its Global 6000 and Challenger 650 fleet. The company folded on November 30 last year, and the aircraft are slowly finding new owners.
The country’s Seletar Aerospace Hub continues to grow with new facilities. Hawker Pacific plans to double its footprint. Seletar’s new terminal, which will be able to handle 700,000 passengers and has a dedicated business aviation wing, is also set to open by the end of this year.
Indonesia lost eight aircraft, five of which were sold, two Legacy 600/650 in storage and another Challenger 601 retired. Asian Sky Group observed that despite the relaxation of regulations on foreign registered aircraft flying in the country, it has not translated to an increased fleet size.