Hawker Pacific Shanghai (Booth No. N2501) has become the first dedicated business aviation center to receive Part 145 maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Located at Shanghai’s Hongqiao International Airport, the 4,000-sq-m facility can accommodate aircraft up to Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 size.
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 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.
Last month’s China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai provided a boost for those in business aviation growing tired of hearing about the country’s seemingly limitless, but so far unfulfilled, scope for growth in this sector. The number of business jets in China is set to soar from its current level of 100 or so to between 700 and 900 by 2019, according to the latest manufacturer projections made at the event.
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.
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.
Chinese airlines expect to take delivery of 241 aircraft this year, including 16 delayed deliveries from last year, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Although leases on 43 airplanes are expected to expire this year, available seats will increase by 16 percent with the addition of the new deliveries, CAAC said.
Brazil’s Embraer continued to spread its steadily expanding influence among the world’s airlines last month with a 12-aircraft order for 76-seat Embraer 170s from Finnair and the entry into service of a pair of Chinese-built ERJ-145s in the People’s Republic.
The Chinese government has acknowledged that although China’s airlines have improved in airline management and operations, they still lag their major Asian competitors. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization and its continuing march toward a market economy present significant challenges to its airline industry.
China’s red-hot air cargo export market is expected to cool somewhat this year, but domestic demand for new freighters is projected to take off. That was the consensus from last week’s Airfreight Asia conference, held in Shanghai. During the event, EADS-EFW and China Eastern Airlines signed a deal to convert three A300-600s to freighter configuration, with more to come.