Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation has postponed until next February a long-awaited decision on which foreign airline it will allow to start operating domestic and international services in the country’s highly restrictive air transport market, the agency confirmed last week. Confusingly, GACA spokesman Khalid Al-Khaibary told Arab News the Saudis will grant startup licenses to whatever airline wins within four to six months, even though authorities say they expect flights to begin in April.
“China is the business jet market for the next decade,” Boeing Business Jets president Steve Taylor said here yesterday at ABACE. He predicted “steady growth” for BBJ orders and deliveries in China, fueled mainly by aircraft charter operator customers that–unlike in other parts of the world–are the dominant players for new business jets in the Asian country.
Jet Edge International, a charter/management and maintenance firm based in Van Nuys, Calif., has formed a partnership with Asia Jet, a charter provider that was launched in 2008 in Hong Kong. Under the partnership, Jet Edge is the exclusive operator of Asia Jet N-registered charter flights.
Brazil’s Embraer notched another 10-aircraft order from China’s CDB Leasing for E190s last month, during a state visit by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff to the People’s Republic. CDB also signed a letter of intent to buy a third tranche of 10 E190s, bringing to 30 the total number of the 100-seat jets on order by the Chinese leasing company.
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.
Multiple deadlines have passed since Embraer early last year said its Chinese joint venture would cease to exist if it couldn’t reach an agreement with its partners to build E-Jets in Harbin. Today, Harbin Embraer Aircraft remains open, but with enough work to last it until this quarter at the latest. In fact, its backlog consists of just one more ERJ 145, expected to go to Tianjin Airlines some time this spring.
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.
The China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition staged in the southern city of Zhuhai earlier this month served as a high-profile platform from which to trumpet the growing achievements of China’s civil aircraft business. Indeed, much of the $9.3 billion worth of new business announced at the show went to the home team.
China’s Comac delivered on its promise to make a splash at this week’s Zhuhai Airshow today, as the state-controlled aerospace conglomerate revealed the identities of no fewer than six customers for the new C919 narrowbody. Together, Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines, China’s CDB Leasing and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) have placed orders for 100 aircraft, according to Comac.