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16 Sep 2009

Asian Aerospace 09 big success as industry starts to rebound

Reed Exhibitions drew in over 12,600 attendees - one third from China, one third from Asia and the remainder from the rest of the world - at Asian Aerospace 09 last week in Hong Kong. One hundred senior industry speakers addressed the supporting conferences and 200 media came out on the opening day and visited the aircraft on display at Hong Kong International's Business Park.

Business aviation had a strong profile this year with a record 16 aircraft out in the static park (up from seven in 2007). There were debut appearances from Airbus' Elite ACJ A318, Dassault's Falcon 7X and Piaggio of Italy's fast business turboprop, the Avanti II. Gulfstream and Cessna, both absent at Paris Show, were present and Bombardier had a strong showing with a Global Express XRS, Challenger 605 and 850 and Learjet 60X on display. The static display complemented a new two half-day conference in co-operation with Asian Business Aircraft Association where OEMs and operators highlighted that China especially is going to be a huge market - but growth needs to be cautious and investment in infrastructure, maintenance and support will be crucial to success.

News highlights from the show included Asia Jet, together with operating partner MetroJet, announcing the introduction of a new Challenger 605 into the charter market in Hong Kong; Jet Aviation announced it is establishing a new FBO (fixed base operation) in Beijing in a JV with Deer Air and Reach Investment. Eurocopter announced the sale of three EC155 helicopters to the Royal Thai Police and Cessna announced the sale of three Sovereign Aircraft for airways calibration. Jet Aviation confirmed it is adding an Embraer Legacy and two more Challengers to its Asia fleet. Panasonic, the IFE specialist announced the opening of a new regional headquarters in Hong Kong as it works to conclude new business deals in China.

Boeing highlighted that the Asia Pacific region will be the biggest growth market over the next 20 years with some 40% of the world's traffic beginning, ending or taking place there. The Asia Pacific fleet will treble from 3,910 to 11,170 - 80% of that representing new growth, according to the manufacturer. Strong domestic growth in China, India and other emerging Asian nations will contribute to the high demand for single aisle aircraft and more than half the deliveries (5,600) will be single aisle versions.

International debut of COMAC C919
Making its international debut in the exhibition hall, one of a total 356 companies from 28 countries, was Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) with one of the largest stands. It unveiled a large model of its new C919 airliner, scheduled to enter service in 2016, and offering 130 to 200 seats. (See photo attached) The C919 featured alongside models of the ACAC ARJ21-700 regional jet.

Asian Aerospace, organised by Reed Exhibitions represented a relevant opportunity - in the right place and at the right time - to open up Chinese manufacturing capability to Western manufacturers. Key sponsor Cathay Pacific Airways Tony Tyler commented: "Asian Aerospace was a good event in such a difficult context. We met quality people and enjoyed quality conferences."

Robert Laird, Senior Vice President, China and Asia Sales, Commercial Airplanes of Boeing said: "The venue for Asian Aviation Expo provided our customers and event staff with a clean facility, easy access and an environment that made it easy to meet and visit with our valued customers, suppliers, partners and guests. The Show organisers worked well with our event planners and facilitated our needs. The combined cargo, interiors and training shows at the Expo increased our customers‘ participation and gave us more opportunity for networking and business. We have had the opportunity to meet with many of our customers from the region; participated in the Congress which tackled key contemporary issues and enjoyed the hospitality of the great city of Hong Kong. We are looking forward to returning in March 2011."

Asian Aerospace is unique on the aviation show calendar as a purely commercial show with umbrella events for smaller specialist exhibitions and conferences all in one place at the Asia World Expo site.

"We drew in more attendees than anticipated and the feedback we have started to receive is extremely encouraging," said Head of Global Sales Aerospace Group Richard Thiele from Reed Exhibitions. "The easy access, vibrancy of such hospitality in such a terrific city and Hong Kong's close proximity to China proved to be excellent for facilitating important business to business networking. Delegates were forging good relationships here."

Asia Aerospace will return to Hong Kong in March at the earlier time of 8-10 March, 2011.

Media Contact

For media enquiries, please contact AsiaWorld-Expo Management Limited:

Kenneth Chan
Tel: 3606 8888
Fax: 3606 8889
Fiona Lau
Tel: 3606 8888
Fax: 3606 8889