The 2013 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) at Shanghai’s second airport, Hongqiao International, held from April 16 to 18, served as a reminder of how far China and the rest of Asia still have to go to reap the benefits of business aviation.
Hong Kong-based Metrojet (Booth H100) has partnered with Zhuhai Hanxing General Aviation Co. to expand its business jet maintenance business into Mainland China, the companies announced here at ABACE 2013 yesterday. Located in a 15,000-sq-ft hangar at Zhuhai Airport, Metrojet Hanxing now offers the same full range of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services–in addition to authorizations for the same list of OEMs–as that at Metrojet’s facility at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport.
The number of Gulfstream jets in the Asia Pacific region has more than tripled in the last six years, according to the Savannah, Georgia-based airframer. At its press conference here at ABACE on Monday, Larry Flynn, president of Gulfstream, noted that the number of the company’s large-cabin twinjets in the region has risen from 50 to 169 since 2007. Overall, the manufacturer, which claims 63 percent of the large-cabin market and 65 percent of the super-midsize market, has 208 aircraft based in the area, including 61 in mainland China and 45 in Hong Kong.
The China Corporate Jet Alliance, founded last year at ABACE as the “China Business Jet Shanghai Alliance” to promote the sustainable growth of the business aviation market in China, inducted four new members today at ABACE 2013.
Hong Kong-based Metrojet has teamed with Zhuhai Hanxing General Aviation Co. to expand its business jet maintenance business into mainland China, the companies announced today at ABACE 2013. Located in a newly built 15,000-sq-ft hangar at Zhuhai Airport, Metrojet Hanxing now offers the same full range of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services–in addition to authorizations for the same list of OEMs–as that at Metrojet’s facility at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport.
Honeywell Aerospace’s business and general aviation division started putting down roots in the key emerging market of China just over seven years ago in 2005. Today, the U.S. group believes it has one of the strongest aftermarket networks in the country and, indeed, throughout the Asia Pacific region, with some 42 dealers and service facilities now in place.
With the number of business jets in China steadily increasing, the country is facing a shortage of qualified pilots, with virtually all of those attending its flight academies and training schools destined for the commercial aviation sector. Operators in China use a ratio of five pilots for every business jet in operation, according to Christopher Jackson, co-founder and executive director of China-based aviation consultancy Jackson Rosenberg, who sees a need for hundreds of additional business jet pilots in the short to medium term.
Business jet activity in the U.S. will decline by 0.1 percent in 2013, according to a forecast presented at NBAA ’12 by Avinode (Booth No. 2120). On a regional level, the forecast projects the south and west will experience a 0.4 percent and 1.3 percent growth rate respectively, buoyed by leisure travel, while the northeast and midwest will see a decrease in business jet activity of 1.2 percent and 3.9 percent respectively. “The more business-travel focused northeast and midwest continue to struggle,” said Magnus Henriksson, business unit director, Avinode Business Intelligence.
With more than 25 ExecLiner corporate conversions of Canadair CRJ200 regional jets contracted and an expanding clientele in the Asia Pacific region for work on other Bombardier products, Flying Colours (Booth No. 912) is close to selecting a Far East partner.
Charter market data services provider Avinode (Booth No. 2120) of Goteborg, Sweden, will present the Avinode 2013 Business Forecast followed by a panel discussion with charter operators at 1 p.m. today in Room N220A here at the NBAA convention.