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Hawker Pacific prepares to open Shanghai fixed-base operation

2010. 11 February

Emma Kelly
( Hawker Pacific will open its new fixed-base operation at China's Shanghai Hongqiao airport on 26 March.

The FBO will be the first stage of the Shanghai operation for the Australian aircraft sales and product support company, with a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility to follow when it is practicable, says chief executive Alan Smith. Hawker Pacific was selected as the airport authority's partner in the venture in 2006.

Opening of the FBO comes in time for the World Expo 2010, which starts in Shanghai in May and continues for six months. As a result, Smith says Hawker Pacific expects "a huge influx of business jets", with forward bookings already strong.

Smith says the company will focus on Shanghai initially and will look at further opportunities in China down the track.

Elsewhere in the region, Hawker Pacific bid on the proposed FBO for Delhi airport in conjunction with an unnamed partner, but that project has been pushed back by the airport authority for six to 12 months, says Smith. Hawker Pacific has been interested in breaking into the Indian market for some time.

Meanwhile, the company's FBO network in Australia grows, with the opening of an FBO in Perth last year. The remaining major gap in its domestic FBO network is Melbourne and the company is continuing to look at opportunities there, says Smith.

Hawker Pacific, which is Hawker Beechcraft's master dealer for South-East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, demonstrated a Hawker 4000 and Hawker 750 earlier this month at the Singapore air show, with the aircraft embarking on a demonstration tour throughout the region following the show.

The Asian market is showing "great signs of health", with corporate aircraft sales rising, says Smith.

In addition, Smith is optimistic of further sales in the near future of Diamond aircraft, with a number of fleet opportunities coming up in the region. Hawker Pacific, which was appointed Diamond Aircraft distributor for Australia and New Zealand a year ago, has sold 27 aircraft to date.