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Corporate jetsetters rise in Asia

The demand for corporate jets is on the rise in the Asia-Pacific region with the burgeoning economies in China and India offering huge potential.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 13:49 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

The demand for corporate jets is on the rise in the Asia-Pacific region with the burgeoning economies in China and India offering huge potential, an executive of Bombardier aviation company said on Tuesday.

Commanding a 31 per cent share of the business aircraft market, there are currently more than 100 Bombardier business jets based in the region and the outlook is bright, said David Dixon, regional vice president of sales.

"From Mongolia to Melbourne and from Mumbai to Guam," the corporation headquartered in Canada is the corporate aviation leader, Dixon said on the opening day of Asian Aerospace 2006, the region's premier airshow.

More than 900 exhibitors from 43 countries have displays at the event, which runs until Sunday.

Bombardier announced the first delivery into North Asia of a new Bombardier Challenger 300 super mid-size business jet, to Corporate Jets Inc. The Challenger 300, which will be used for mostly regional travel and on some occasions intercontinental travel to North America, is at the company's base in Taiwan.

It features a higher Asian content than any other business jet in production, Bombardier said, with wings designed and manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagoya, Japan, and another section designed by Aerospace Industries Development Corporation in Taichung, Taiwan.

Supporting the growth in the customer base is the increasing acceptance of business aviation in the region, Dixon said.

Customers are often Asian tycoons and politicians.

"An improving infrastructure, with additional airstrips and landing fields, better maintenance and greater access to airports, has increased customers' options," he said, but called for more countries to reduce travel barriers.

"The substantial investment made by Bombardier in the past decade is helping to shape corporate aviation throughout Asia," Dixon observed.

Corporate jet outfitter Lufthansa Technic also maintained the region holds increasing promise.

Rising economies "will need a certain mobility which can only be offered by VIP airlines and not only commercial airlines," said Aage Dunhaupt, director of international communications.

Dunhaupt noted Lufthansa Technik is completing several different aircraft including the 18th Boeing Business Jet and the sixth Airbus Corporate Jet.

"The future looks good, since aviation is always dependent on a wealthy economy, and this is obvious in Asia," Dunhaupt said.

First Published: Feb 21, 2006 13:49 IST