At a meeting today at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai, members of key business aviation associations updated attendees on the core Statement of Principles for Business Aviation approved by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministers in September.
At the “Business Aviation Growth and Opportunities” session yesterday at ABACE 2014, aircraft broker Jay Mesinger moderated a panel discussion on how best to navigate what can be stormy waters. He opened the discussion with a reminder that business jet values plummeted after the financial meltdown of 2008, with many aircraft losing up to 70 percent of their pre-recession values.
Training specialist FlightSafety International signed a multi-year agreement with Chinese business jet leasing firm Minsheng Business Aviation yesterday at ABACE 2014. Under the deal, FSI will train pilots, maintenance technicians, flight attendants and dispatchers for Gulfstream G450/550 operators Beijing Capital Airlines and Shanghai Deer Jet. Most of the training will take place at FSI’s Hong Kong learning center, which opened in 2012. FSI also named Paul Statskey as its new program manager at the Hong Kong facility.
As the number of business jets in the Asia Pacific region continues to grow steadily, so does the need for regular maintenance. As the market matures, operators are seeing the value of guaranteed maintenance plans such as those provided by Jet Support Systems Inc. (JSSI) in North America.
VistaJet expects to have its new operation in China up and running by the end of 2014 if it achieves its goal of getting its local air operators certificate approved by early in the fourth quarter of this year. Ahead of this week’s ABACE show, the Europe-based private flight provider was giving no further details of its local partnership arrangements for the China operation, but it has previously been in discussion with Beijing Airlines.
The U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reinstated a Category 1 rating to the Republic of the Philippines following the agency’s determination in March that the country meets international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The European Commission has lifted flight restrictions into Europe imposed on all operators from Swaziland, as well as for Cebu Pacific in the Philippines and Kazakhstan’s Air Astana with the latest revision of the EU air safety list, or so-called blacklist. The EC said it based its decisions on various sources and hearings before the EU Air Safety Committee, which met from March 25 to 27.
The economic downturn over the past couple of years has resulted in negative growth for Indian general aviation, which has “hit rock bottom,” according to Rohit Kapur, president of the country’s Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA). Nevertheless, the Indian bizav community hopes that a general election next month will result in more decisive political leadership and effect change to a regulatory environment that many agree has stifled growth in their own industry and the wider Indian economy.
Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines plans to take advantage of more aggressive Chinese aviation reforms with the formation of a new low-cost carrier called Jiuyuan Airlines. Plans call for the new joint venture between Juneyao and three private investors to start operations in August. Privately held Juneyao holds a 69-percent stake in the new carrier, whose registered capital base totals $96 million. Based in Guangzhou, Jiuyuan translates in English to “Nine Yuan,” reflecting starting fares of $1.46.
While the Regional Airline Association and regional airline management point to new rules governing flight time experience for first officers as the primary reason for a pilot shortage that has resulted in a loss of service to several U.S. communities, pilots contend the airlines have made their own mess by creating a business model predicated on breadline wages for cockpit crew. The Air Line Pilots Association, for one, argues that there’s no shortage of pilots, only a shortage of pilots willing to fly for substandard wages and inadequate benefits.