Organizers of the second Asian Aerospace show in Hong Kong (September 8 to 10) have claimed progress in developing the new show in tough market conditions. According to Reed Exhibitions, the amount of exhibitor space sold was up 60 percent on the inaugural September 2007 event (even though the total number of individual exhibitors was actually down, to 356 from 575).
Dubai-based Project Phoenix planned to deliver its first executive-configured CRJ conversion to owner Ritz Pacific by the end of last month. Completion of the modified regional jet was contracted to Peterborough, Ontario-based Flying Colours, which also has produced its own ExecLiner and Jetcorp Renaissance Series CRJ executive conversions.
Project Phoenix, the Dubai-based entity behind the Phoenix 200 executive VIP conversion of Bombardier CRJ200 airliners, has enlisted Spectrum Aeromed of the U.S. to develop an air-ambulance version of the airplane. Offered as a dedicated transport or with a quick-change interior, the aeromed Phoenix CRJs will be outfitted in Fargo, North Dakota, where Spectrum Aeromed is based.
Project Phoenix, which is offering Bombardier CRJs reconfigured as business jets, has concluded an agreement with MedAire that will see aircraft owners being offered a complimentary medical package, including a one-year subscription to the 24/7 MedLink global response center.
Hawker Beechcraft this week received full FAA type approval, in addition to production certification, for its Hawker 4000 super-midsize business jet–a milestone it expected more than seven years ago when the jet was launched in 1996. A spokesman told AIN that shipments will begin “very soon,” and a formal delivery event for the undisclosed launch customer is now being planned.
When large areas of the Asian economy tanked in the late 1990s, business aviation in the region suffered. In the Macau/Hong Kong vicinity alone, as many as 30 bizjets ceased operating and have yet to return.
Shell Aircraft International has signed a multi-year block-charter contract with Rainbow Jet of Beijing, China, under the auspices of Bombardier’s Flexjet Asia-Pacific program. The operator will use a pair of Challenger 604s to carry the oil company’s personnel throughout China, largely in support of pipeline work. The contract initially calls for 150 annual flight hours.
Hawker Beechcraft dominated the business aviation news headlines this week at Asian Aerospace in Hong Kong, announcing 10 new jet sales and the strengthening of its sales network for the promising Asian market. Macau-based charter/management operator Jet Asia ordered four midsize Hawker 900XPs, along with four shorter-range Hawker 750s.
Bombardier has merged its Asia/Pacific and European Flexjet block-charter programs into a new London-based Flexjet International operation. The service will also have an office in Hong Kong and is being led by Judith Moreton, who was appointed managing director of Flexjet Europe last October.