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.
Taj Air and Metrojet have formed a joint venture offering aircraft maintenance and management services in India. Based in Mumbai, the operation initially will use the existing Taj Air facility while a new, larger facility is being built. “Metrojet is proud to embark on this venture and combine with Taj Air to better serve the Indian market,” said Björn Näf, CEO of Metrojet.
While the latest reports indicate a decline in the worldwide business jet charter market, certain parts of Southeast Asia are bucking the trend. Hong Kong, in particular, is flourishing. With five locally based operators and several international charter brokers in situ, China’s Special Administrative Region is bursting at the seams.
Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) is installing customer-support leadership and adding $3 million in critical parts in the Asia-Pacific region. Steve Porte, v-p of international support, has relocated to the company’s regional headquarters at Hong Kong International Airport, where he will focus on developing HBC’s support infrastructure in the region. Porte will also supervise the Asia-Pacific field service representatives.
Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) has appointed Metrojet Hong Kong to its network of authorized service centers to support its Hawker 900/800/700 series. Metrojet, located on Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport, is the first HBC-authorized service facility in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s ASA Group–which offers business aviation/VIP security, ground handling and concierge services in Asia–said it has recently seen increased business aircraft traffic to the region. While he didn’t provide hard numbers, ASA CEO Simon Wagstaff said, “There is a roughly fifty-fifty split between business and pleasure flights, and we are pleased to see that this upturn has lasted for several weeks now with no sign of abating.”
The 2009 Asian Aerospace show in Hong Kong is set to achieve significant growth in visitor numbers with organizers reporting that pre-registrations are more than 100 percent up on the same period ahead of the inaugural show in 2007.
Asia Jet Partners Limited of Hong Kong has developed its Chartercard program designed specifically for Asia. The company teamed with Metrojet and its parent company, the Hong Kong Aviation Group, because “they have been operating in Asia since 1978 and have established, first-class infrastructure and personnel in place,” Justin Lee Firestone, founder and CEO of Asia Jet Partners Limited told AIN.
Eurocopter (Booth No. 2754) has opened a customer service center in Hong Kong to better serve the more than 1,200 customers in the Asia-Pacific region. The helicopter manufacturer opened the first customer service facility in France in October 2007.
NBAA has cancelled the 2009 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE). The event was scheduled to take place in Hong Kong on February 11 and 12, and the association announced the cancellation on December 23 in response to the worsening economic situation.