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.
Thales is opening a new facility in Singapore today that will employ more than 400 in activities encompassing its complete electronics and systems product portfolio. The France-based company also is set to announce a new long-term avionics spares and component maintenance deal with Hainan Airlines for the support of its Airbus A340-600 fleet.
Brazil’s Embraer has given itself until the middle of this year to reach an agreement with its Chinese partners on adapting its assembly line in Harbin to produce 70- to 110-seat E-Jets.
Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Company (HEAI) has reached an agreement with Hainan Airlines parent HNA Group to cut in half a firm order for 50 ERJ 145s assigned to Hainan subsidiary Grand China Express. As of April 30, the Chinese factory had delivered 12 ERJ 145s to Grand China under the terms of the original contract, signed in August 2006.
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.
Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Company (HEAI) has reached an agreement with HNA Group, owner of Hainan Airlines, to reduce the original firm order for 50 ERJ 145s to Hainan subsidiary Grand China Express from 50 to 25 airplanes. As of April 30, HEAI had delivered a total of 12 ERJ 145 jets to Grand China under the terms of the original contact, signed in August 2006.
Embraer delivered a record 204 airplanes last year, including 162 jets in the regional/commercial sector, leaving the company on what it hopes proves firm enough financial footing to readily absorb the economic “challenges” that lie ahead for this year.
Grand China Express (GCE), the country’s largest regional carrier, wants to be Asia’s biggest regional carrier. A subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, GCE has 38 aircraft serving 55 Chinese cities with more than 80 scheduled daily routes. “We aim to be the top player in Asia by 2012, grabbing 90 percent of the regional airline market,” said Chen Feng, chairman of Hainan Airlines, which ordered 50 E190s and 50 ERJ 145s for GCE in August 2006.