Emper General Aviation has placed two midsize Cessna Citation Latitudes into service in China, with one based in Shenzhen and the other at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, illustrating a move to serve the China market with smaller business jets. Emper, which holds a China air operator certificate, is headquartered in Suzhou, near Shanghai.
The two Latitudes—both 2018 models—are represented exclusively by charter broker Apertus Aviation and primarily serve customers traveling to China from other countries, according to Apertus managing director Ringo Fan.
“The Asia market used to be dominated by large jets, but we are seeing a shift towards midsize aircraft due to increasing travel demand to Asia from Europe and USA,” said Fan. “Clients from these markets are used to this aircraft type. Now clients in Asia recognize the benefit of cost efficient and easy flight access into smaller city airports. Together with Emper we aim to strengthen this segment.”
Apertus has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, and London. “It’s a very boutique service,” he said. “We’re very close to the customers.”
The charter market in China is competitive, Fan explained, and the Latitudes often make more sense for customers because they cost less to fly and can serve smaller airports. “We see the opportunity to go to more airports with the Latitudes,” he said. At the same time, having two jets equipped exactly the same adds flexibility for scheduling customer flights in either airplane and thus reduces the number of empty-leg flights. “We believe in the midsize jet market,” Fan said. “To really enjoy the benefits of business aviation, you don’t really need a [large-cabin jet]. The market is being educated.”
One of Emper’s Latitudes is on display at the Textron Aviation static display (SD 1). The jet can carry up to eight passengers and fly 2,700 nm and at a maximum cruise speed of 446 knots. Both Latitudes are equipped with a light-colored interior accented by wood-trim side ledges, giving the cabin the feel of a larger aircraft. A flight attendant flies on customer charter flights, and the crew have all been trained to international standards of safety and service, Fan said.