Private plane sellers hope for scoop from Olympics

February 18th, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by admin  

Hong Kong, Feb 18 (Xinhua) The Beijing Olympics will help boost the growth of the business aviation sector in China, businessmen from around the world said at an aviation exhibition here. “The Olympics are going to create a kick in the industry here,” said Jay Mesinger, chief executive officer of the US-based aircraft brokerage firm Corporate Jet Sales Inc.

Mesinger, who was attending the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition for a second year here, said his company started exploring the Chinese market recently.

“I have been in the industry for 34 years and understand investing in the future. When it comes, we will be there,” he said.

Jin Yongfa, general manager of Capital Jet, a Beijing-based company that will arrange most of the Olympics-related business and private flights, said his company was applying to aviation authorities for 57 parking lots at the events.

Olympics-related business flights would be allowed from July 1 to Sep 30, according to a draft plan handed in by the company to aviation authorities.

Jin said he expected around 300 business and private flights to and from the Capital Airport in Beijing, the Olympic host city.

Chuck Woods, chief executive officer of Macao-based business flight operator Jet Asia, said eight to 10 new airports were being added each year on the Chinese mainland, putting remarkable drive force behind the sector locally.

Some US-based companies were already exploring the Chinese market, including jet manufacturer Cessna, said Edward Bolen, president and chief executive officer of the US National Business Aviation Association.

Europe-based industry giant Airbus, also trying to get a piece of cake of the Chinese market, was expecting 15 orders from the mainland as well as Hong Kong and Macao, said David Velupillai, marketing director of the company’s executive and private aviation department.

Bolen said there have been changes to air space restrictions on the Chinese mainland in the recent five years, which were “like decades in the West”.

The Olympics might help expose business flights in China and stimulate the growth of the local business aviation sector even after the games, he added.

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