While already known as Asia’s biggest business jet leasing firm, Minsheng Financial Leasing (MSFL) quietly launched its own aircraft-operating unit here at ABACE 2013. The company recently purchased Beijing-based charter provider Citic General Aviation, which operated a small fleet consisting of a Dassault Falcon 900DX, a Falcon 2000 and a Falcon 7X, and is in the process of rebranding it into a new subsidiary known as Minsheng International Jet.
ABACE Convention News
Deer Jet launched the first fractional aircraft program in China yesterday here at ABACE 2013. It is now selling shares in a Gulfstream G450 and a G550, the latter of which is on display this week in the show’s static display.
“As the largest aircraft charter company in Asia and the first to do aircraft management in China, it is our responsibility to create a fractional share product here,” said Hu Lei, general manager of asset management for Deer Jet. “We also believe it is the right time to offer this type of program in China.”
Marching to the theme of the Star Wars movies, speakers for the 2013 opening session of ABACE found their places on the broad stage in the Shanghai Hawker Pacific hangar at Hongqiao International Airport and the event began.
The general theme of all the speakers, from Ed Bolen, president, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), to Gary Locke, United States Ambassador to China, was one of cooperation of efforts to bring a vibrant and viable business aviation industry to China.
The number of Gulfstream jets in the Asia Pacific region has more than tripled in the last six years, according to the Savannah, Georgia-based airframer. At its press conference here at ABACE on Monday, Larry Flynn, president of Gulfstream, noted that the number of the company’s large-cabin twinjets in the region has risen from 50 to 169 since 2007. Overall, the manufacturer, which claims 63 percent of the large-cabin market and 65 percent of the super-midsize market, has 208 aircraft based in the area, including 61 in mainland China and 45 in Hong Kong.
Here at ABACE signing a memorandum of cooperation on a cooperative project to build an amphibious-seaplane terminal and transportation service to promote the seaside-vacation destination of Zhoushan City in eastern China were (l to r): Ji Gui Rong, general manager of Avic International (Hong Kong); Li Shan Zhong, vice mayor of Zhoushan City; and Wang Xue Feng, CEO of Star Jet, a multi-faceted aviation business.
“All of the numbers are clear,” said Rolland Vincent, creator-director of JetNet iQ (Intelligence Quarterly) yesterday at ABACE 2013. “Asia is growing economically, and there is a lot of room indicated, from our surveys, for growth of business aviation in the Asia market.”
JetNet’s “State of the Market” briefing highlighted key trends and insights from JetNet iQ, the company’s premium business aviation forecasting and advisory service, which taps the insight of more than 4,500 business jet operators worldwide through detailed surveys.
Bombardier has appointed Canada’s Flying Colours to handle an extensive interior modification of seven Bombardier CRJ700 NextGen aircraft for an undisclosed Chinese customer. The work will be conducted over a two-year period and part of the new-look cabins will be fitted out for VIP use.
The past 12 months have seen Comlux increase its Asian footprint with aircraft management contracts and a high-profile assignment to complete the interior of a large-cabin jet on order by a major automobile group from the region. On display at the ABACE show this week in Shanghai are an Airbus ACJ318 and a Bombardier Global Express operated by the Swiss-based business aviation services group. The company is also introducing its new Chinese name, “Yi Hua,” meaning “comfort and luxury.”
ABACE 2013 at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport is not only about aircraft. Just as important are the conferences, educational sessions and conversations among attendees.
Business aviation in China is a challenging occupation, but Hongkong Jet has tapped into a market where customers expect a high level of service and are willing to pay the extra cost. “Here in Asia, people don’t mind paying extra for better service,” said Chris Buchholz, CEO of Hongkong Jet, which is headquartered in Hong Kong and is the business aviation arm of China’s HNA Group. Hongkong Jet and sister company Deer Jet are exhibiting aircraft here on the static display.