Textron Aviation will benefit from long-term growth in business aviation in China and the wider region.
Textron Aviation (Chalet 10) comes to ABACE confident that it is well placed to benefit from long-term growth in business aviation in China and the wider region—particularly in China because of the government’s stated aim to focus on investment in the sector, including hundreds of new regional airports.
Sales have been going well, senior vp business development for China Bill Schultz told AIN. “We don’t publish numbers, but generally speaking what we’re seeing in China is that the government has gotten behind the growth of GA, especially in relation to the latest [13th] five-year plan—which calls for 500 airports by 2020,” supported by the devolution of power to local governments to approve such small airports. “We have seen an encouraging amount of activity, and people interested in establishing special operations and regional commuters, for example.” So the trend is continuing, he added, despite the “austerity” drive by the government that started a couple of years ago to root out corruption.
“That’s like a sweet spot for us,” said Schultz, “for example, we have seen a particularly strong response for the King Air and 208 [Cessna Caravan].” He noted that these more utilitarian aircraft typically play a big part in developing countries, particularly where regional road and rail networks are lacking. And “one area identified specifically by the Chinese government in its latest five-year plan was to improve the distribution of goods.”
Schultz said that he has recently found “many communities in China are now recognizing [GA] as a way to get tourists to their location. Finishing that last 100 km, to areas that are absolutely gorgeous. For example that can open up the possibility of a regular service with a King Air 350.”