In a sign of the times that shows a shift of wealth from the West to the East private aviation in Asia is booming. In fact Asia is the bright spot for jet ownership globally as the revenues generated by private aviation in Asia continue to beat expectations. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. recently announced that its fleet in Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan) has grown to more than 165 aircraft. This makes up more than half of the entire Asia-Pacific fleet which is the company’s largest internationally.
“We have experienced tremendous growth in Greater China, particularly on the mainland, where we had 30 aircraft in 2010 and now have more than 100, including the new G650ER that recently delivered into China,” said Scott Neal, senior vice president, Worldwide Sales & Marketing, Gulfstream. “We are honored by our customers’ continued confidence in Gulfstream and our industry-leading brand recognition and will continue to maintain and invest in service and support to exceed our customers’ expectations.”
JETNET’s latest iQ Report, published quarterly, lists Gulfstream first in its Brand Reputations of Aircraft Manufacturers survey for Asia Pacific, where the company has nearly 290 aircraft.
“We have more than 65 percent of the market share for large-cabin aircraft in Greater China,” Neal said. “That speaks to the performance, reliability and comfort of our flagship, the G650ER, along with the G650, G550 and G450, as well as the world-class service and support we give to our owners and operators.”
The Knock On Effect of Private Aviation in Asia
China-based operators have a strong resource for their maintenance needs in Gulfstream’s Beijing service center, a joint venture with Hainan Group. Since opening in November 2012, the site at Beijing Capital International Airport has grown to 52 employees, including 24 technicians. The facility has had more than 540 aircraft visits, including 134 in 2015.
To support Gulfstream’s growing fleet in the region, approximately $65 million in parts are positioned in Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. Gulfstream’s Jim Gallagher, who recently joined the Asia-Pacific support team as director, Customer Support, said continued focus on parts in the region has resulted in faster shipments to operators and quicker returns to service.
A short distance from Hong Kong International Airport, the home base of more than 50 Gulfstream aircraft, including eight G650/G650ERs, is Gulfstream’s Product Support Asia office, which includes a valuable resource for operators, the Asia Customer Support Contact Center. The center offers computer maintenance program analysis, technical system support, over-the-counter parts sales and warranty assistance.
Gulfstream also recently signed its first China-based customer for its cost-per-hour maintenance program, PlaneParts. The program offers customers predictable maintenance costs for replacement parts due to scheduled and unscheduled events. These are necessary support systems for private aviation in Asia.
Working closely with operators in Greater China are field service representatives in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
In Hong Kong and Bangkok, Gulfstream has Field and Airborne Support Team (FAST) technicians who specialize in rapid-response assistance to operators in aircraft-on-ground situations.
Also in Hong Kong, Gulfstream has a company-authorized service center, Jet Aviation, and a company-authorized warranty facility, Metrojet. Another customer resource is FlightSafety International’s Gulfstream Learning Center for technicians and pilots that features a level-D qualified full-flight simulator for the G550 and G450.