Aircraft makers fly high in China

Updated 2017-04-11 09:30:51 China Daily
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A business jet, made by Bombardier Inc, is on display at the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition in Shanghai, which opens on Tuesday. (Gao Erqiang/China Daily)

The rapid growth of China's business aviation market has attracted aircraft makers to increase their service offerings tailored for the country, where more than 600 business jets, worth billion, are being operated.

“China has become the second-largest business jet market, and it also enjoys the fastest growth in the world,” Liao Xuefeng, chairman and CEO of China Business Aviation Group, said while attending the annual three-day Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, which opens on Tuesday in Shanghai.

To boost their market share, major aircraft manufacturers are rolling out new plans to upgrade their services and offer products tailored for the Chinese market.

At ABACE 2017 on Monday, Airbus Corporate Jets announced a new initiative, or Easystart, to offer tailored support to buyers of its corporate jets already in service.

There are more than 180 Airbus corporate jets in service globally, with about 20 in China, according to Airbus chief operating officer of customers John Leahy.

Easystart will help buyers understand how an Airbus corporate jet can perform on their key missions, how it can be an attractively affordable upgrade, and how services, such as training, support and upgrades, are available to ensure a smooth entry into service.

Similarly, Boeing Business Jets recently signed an agreement with Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering Corp Beijing to serve as an official BBJ warranty service center. The BBJ and Ameco agreement allows BBJ customers based in China customized and fast support for their aircraft.

Boeing Business Jets is seeing unprecedented growth in China, where the fleet size has tripled over the past five years, having 29 BBJ aircraft in operation.

Also on Monday, Malta-based VistaJet, a company specializing in premium long-range private jet travel, launched its sales platform on WeChat, a popular social media platform in China.

The launch of this service stems from the 11 percent year-on-year passenger growth in China last year, and 17 percent of its global customer base is represented by China, according to Ian Moore, chief commercial officer of VistaJet.

Bombardier Tianjin service center was launched on Friday, marking the operation of Bombardier Business Aircraft's first service center in China, and its eighth globally.

“With a growing fleet of more than 110 aircraft in China out of 280 in Asia, Bombardier Business Aircraft's Service Centers offer comprehensive capabilities and flexibility to our customers. Our priority is to ensure that we are ready to support our customers wherever their needs arise,” said Lanny Schindelmeiser, general manager of Bombardier Tianjin Aviation Services Co Ltd.

“In a number of ways, business aviation is evolving and growing in Asia, just as ABACE continues to evolve and grow as an Asian show,” said National Business Aviation Association President and CEO Ed Bolen.

“The industry is becoming ever-more established in this region, and that means it will continue to become increasingly important in China, across the Asia-Pacific and around the world,” added Bolen.

ABACE 2017 has more than 170 exhibitors, the largest number ever at the event, and showcases 35 aircraft.

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