Business aircraft operators frustrated by the lack of space, inconvenient access and uncompetitive prices at key airports in the Asia-Pacific region now have an alternative with the opening by Aviation Concepts of a new FBO at Subic Bay in the Philippines.
Eurocopter has opened a new global logistics facility in Les Florides industrial park near its production plant in Marignane in the south of France. It joins a logistics distribution system that includes facilities in Donauwörth, Germany; Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport, France; and Hong Kong as well as customer service centers in both Hong Kong and Dallas.
Many companies boast of being the best, but Metrojet bills itself as “Asia Pacific’s business aviation leader” with some justification. It is a subsidiary of The Hong Kong Aviation Group HKAG (itself a subsidiary of the Kadoorie Group, which owns China Light and Power and the Peninsula hotel chain).
You would not expect to see a VIP step out of a limousine and walk into a shabby burger bar. Unfortunately, the makeshift buildings and rudimentary facilities on offer at airfields in many parts of Asia offer just such a down-market experience.
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.”