Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2016 Contents AsianAviation | MAY 2016 17
t is no secret that China’s economy is not currently
experiencing the growth rates that put smiles on
the faces of many an aircraft manufacturer and
operator a few years ago, but the consensus
from Asia’s premier business aviation conference
and exhibition in 2016 was that it is experiencing
In fact, some of the economic growth figures
for China that were bandied about at this year’s
Asia Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition
(ABACE) show ranged from 6-7 percent, which in
the eyes of an overwhelming number of industry
figures, still represents solid growth and with growth
comes investment opportunities and jet purchases.
ABACE attendees like Gulfstream, Dassault
Falcon, Embraer, Bombardier, Textron Aviation,
Boeing and Airbus and many others like Honeywell,
Satcom Direct and Rolls Royce as well as regional
operators, all said emphatically that China was the
place to be, both now and in the future.
Data released by Jetnet DB and Embraer Analysis
during ABACE showed that greater China (including
Hong Kong, Macau and Mongolia) possessed 2.8
percent of the worldwide fleet of business jets in
2015, which translated roughly to 444 aircraft.
However, that figure was expected to increase by
800 aircraft in the next 10-year period (2016-2025),
representing a significant 9 percent of the global
business jet market by total numbers.
China’s business aviation market remains in
relatively good health, according to Shanghai Hawker
Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre (SHPBAC)
general manager, Carey Matthews, with business jet
growth being driven by users coming to appreciate
the benefits that high-speed, comfortable and well-
equipped aircraft can provide. This trend is becoming
more apparent as users become more acquainted
with the culture of being able to conduct business
on the fly, with the latest generation of integrated
on-board Wi-Fi systems guaranteeing high-speed
seamless connectivity across the globe.
“I think the market is at a sustainable pace now and
it’s growing,” Matthews said at ABACE. “There may
not be a huge influx of new aircraft, but the people
who are here are flying a lot. The same people we had
flying in 2010 are flying now, they didn’t stop. They’re
just flying more, and that’s it. There’s been a steady
increase in the number of aircraft so the market’s in a
nice, healthy, sustainable place,” he added.
Matthews said the initial “luxury” perception
of business jets has faded somewhat and now “I
think they get the big picture that they can be more
productive using a plane, so now they’re using it for
business a lot more. They’re using it as a tool,” he said.
Matthews pointed out the combined business jet
traffic to Shanghai’s Hongqiao and Pudong Airports
increased by 20 percent during the 2014-2015
period, with the SHPBAC facility experiencing the
same percentage increase in maintenance, repair and
overhaul (MRO) activity during the same period with
an increase in growth anticipated for this year too.
“We’ve never had a down year...each year has
increased naturally. We’re up 20 percent on last year
and we’ve been up 20 percent this first quarter. The
market is very healthy in terms of flying. It’s never
been down and we’ve been up double-digits every
year since we’ve been open [in April, 2010],” he says.
It should also be noted that in terms of scale, the
SHPBAC facility, which consists of an FBO and
a 4,000 square meter MRO facility, is the largest
capital infrastructure investment in business aviation
in China to date coming in at over US$15 million.
But while business aviation in China is still growing,
there are major issues in the country that need to be
addressed in order for the industry to truly flourish.
Many of these issues are common knowledge:
A lack of available landing slots for business jets
at airports; an accompanying lack or ramp/parking
Like China’s economy, business aviation in the Middle Kingdom has seen growth rates slow recently, but attendees at the 2016
ABACE show told Asian Aviation contributor Benn Marks they remain positive about the industry’s growth there and they have
no plans to pull back.
Business aviation remains committed to China
“I think the market is at a sustainable
pace now and it’s growing. There may
not be a huge influx of new aircraft, but
the people who are here are flying a lot.
general manager, Shanghai Hawker Pacific
Business Aviation Service Centre
A Gulfstream 450 on display at ABACE.
5/05/2016 7:18:46 PM
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