Asian Business Aviation show wows attendees
March 16, 2011, Hong Kong, China - There was a buzz around the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre last week, as some 5,300 delegates visited the dedicated static line of 22 business aircraft, hospitality chalets and stands at Asian Business Aviation, an integral part of Asian Aerospace 2011.
March 16, 2011 By Carey Fredericks
Visitor numbers included several Chinese billionaires who came to view and experience first hand the latest business jets on display.
Business aircraft participants including Airbus, AsiaJet, Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Embraer, Gulfstream, Hawker Beechcraft, Metrojet and TAG Asia all reported a high quality of visitor traffic at their aircraft, hospitality chalets and stands. Among the business aviation debutantes out on the static were the Beechcraft King Air 350, Boeing BBJ, Cessna Citation XLS Plus and Sovereign, Hawker 900XP and Pilatus PC-12. Business aircraft manufacturers praised the decision by organizer Reed Exhibitions to move the event to March, with the climate more amenable to visitors inspecting aircraft on the ramp.
At the two-day Asian Business Aviation conference delegates talked enthusiastically about the lifting of regulations in China that will aid the industry’s expansion, new airports being built, new infrastructure and MRO facilities, the need for more pilots and training and the requirement to educate on the benefits of private charter. Speakers including Metrojet’s Bjorn Naf highlighted the importance of choosing a reputable management company as the majority of business jets in China are owned by private individuals – winning trust from those owners, families and clients you fly 24/7, 365 days a year. Compared with the 11,000 registered business jets in the USA, there are just 116 in China, but delegates at the conference heard that figure will increase 30% by year-end.
On the opening day of the show, Hainan Airline Group announced an order for five Gulfstream G450/G550 aircraft and five Dassault Falcon 7Xs for business jet subsidiary Deer Jet, together with an order for two VIP configured Boeing 787s for its Hong Kong Airlines subsidiary. In Asia, airlines are buying business jets; a new industry trend which further reinforces the benefits of co-locating two industry leading events and helped drive record attendance for both.
“The visit here has been invaluable. We had good talks with potential customers, you just can’t do this on the phone.” Joe Lombardo, President, Gulfstream.
“Asian Aerospace was a good showcase for the comfortable and spacious Airbus A318 cabin which billionaires came to see and experience first hand,” David Velupillai, Product Marketing Director, Airbus Corporate Jets.
“Great location for a show, very similar to EBACE. We met with key people and markedly greater activity over the 2009 event. Worthwhile bringing three aircraft here.” Ted Farid, Senior Vice President International Sales, Hawker Beechcraft.
“Asian Aerospace met our expectations in all aspects and we’ve had some interesting quality discussions. First time on the static and well worth the effort.” Daniel Kunz, Director Sales and Marketing, Pilatus Aircraft.
“The third edition of Asian Aerospace was far better presented, attended and promoted than in 2007 and 2009. The show has come of age as a hybrid civil aerospace gathering with Asian characteristics and thankfully a million miles from 'Old Europe" Air Show infrastructure.” Martin Craigs, President, Aerospace Forum Asia.
“Really impressed with this show. It truly exceeded our expectations and we’ve had some good meetings. Great location, very well organised.” John Gillespie, President, Flying Colours Corp.
“The Asian market is obviously of great interest to all major business aviation companies. We’ve both been impressed with the show in terms of the people we’ve been able to meet and getting a clearer idea of the opportunities available. It was well worth flying over from the UK and the UAE.” Dave Edwards, Managing Director and Paul Cremer, Commercial Manager, Gama Aviation.
Asian Aerospace will return to Hong Kong on March 19th-21st March, 2013, whilst the next Asian Business Aviation show will take place in Macau on 24th -25th May, 2012, co-located with G2E Asia, the world’s largest international gaming exhibition.