Flight training group CAE is big and getting bigger in the growing Asian market, according to Jeff Roberts, group president of civil simulation products, training and services. The Canadian company has 16 training locations in the Asia Pacific region, and 16 of the 30 full-flight simulators sold in the current financial year (which ends next month) will earn their keep in the region–a clear indication that this part of the world has a healthy appetite for training aviation professionals.
China Eastern Airlines
Stung by development delays and now intent on shifting its emphasis from long-haul to regional and domestic services, China Eastern Airlines on October 17 announced a decision to cancel orders for 24 Boeing 787s in favor of a new order for 45 Boeing 737NGs.
The first Shanghai International Business Aviation Show (Sibas) garnered mixed reviews from its exhibitors, but generally the perception was that it was a success, despite teething problems, such as no food on site and some issues with shipping. However, these were offset by the quality of attendees who showed up and the fact that organizer World Events Agency managed to pull off the show at all.
The Asian Business Aviation show formed a key facet of March’s Asian Aerospace show in Hong Kong. It attracted some 5,300 visitors–including some of China’s fast-growing group of billionaires–who had 22 business aircraft to examine.
The third edition of Asian Aerospace since its move from Singapore to Hong Kong got off to a flying start on Tuesday, when Hainan Airlines Group (HNA) subsidiary Hong Kong Airlines ordered 38 Boeing airliners. The deal involved thirty 787-9 Dreamliners, six 777 freighters and two VIP-configured 787-8s.
While Boeing lays claim to the status of “China’s leading supplier of passenger airplanes,” Airbus certainly proved itself a worthy competitor for that title last week, as it inked contracts for 102 airliners from China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS). The business included new firm orders for 50 A320-family jets, six A330s and 10 A350XWBs, while the parties confirmed an earlier order for 36 A330s.
Airbus hopes to reach a decision on an engine replacement option for the A320 family in time for this summer’s Farnborough airshow, according to company COO for customers John Leahy.
Airbus closed 2009 on a positive commercial note with orders for 85 aircraft received in December–27 from Asia-Pacific customers, including 16 A330-200s for China Eastern Airlines, 10 A320s for Air New Zealand and one A320 for Zest Airways of the Philippines. Despite the continuing weakness of the world economy, the European airframer expects to maintain 2010 orders and deliveries at 2009 levels, especially to China.
The first A320 aircraft assembled outside Europe at the Airbus Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin, China, completed its first flight on May 18, a little more than a month before scheduled first delivery to Dragon Aviation Leasing customer Sichuan Airlines. The milestone flight came amid aggressive moves to spark a recovery of China’s airline industry with direct government funding and loans.
The first business jet hub in China is expected to open this year at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. Hongqiao Airport Business Aviation Center, a joint venture between the Shanghai airport authority and Hawker Pacific of Australia, will be able to handle as many as 6,000 aircraft movements a year. Meanwhile, Chinese officials continue to work on opening up China’s airspace to allow more private aircraft flights in the country.