Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced at the Asian Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (ABACE) that three years after establishing a joint venture between Cessna Aircraft Company and China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company (CAIGA), deliveries of the Cessna Caravan single-engine utility turboprop have increased nearly 80 percent in country.
Textron Aviation’s exhibit this week at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport includes the Grand Caravan EX, and two more of its most popular regional products: the Cessna Citation XLS+ midsize business jet and the flagship of the Beechcraft King Air family of twin-engine turboprops, the King Air 350i with Fusion avionics. Textron Aviation is joined by its corporate sister company Bell Helicopter, which is exhibiting the Bell 429 in a VIP configuration. The 429 continues to gain interest throughout the region due to its state-of-the-art technology and luxurious interior.
“From establishing assembly and delivery partnerships, to aggressively investing in sales and support personnel, Textron Aviation’s approach of building a localized, company-direct presence in China is not only ensuring Cessna and Beechcraft products remain the leading models in China in the categories in which we compete, but also helping mature the business aviation industry here,” said Bill Schultz, senior vice president, Business Development, China. “The success of the Caravan and King Air in region demonstrates how being close to our customers allows us to be more responsive in offering solutions for their mission requirements.”
With nearly 900 turboprop aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region, Beechcraft and Cessna’s turboprop platforms lead the market. The Beechcraft King Air and Cessna Grand Caravan EX have proven to be ideally suited to the region’s needs due to their ample range, solid load capacity and flexible special mission capability.
A favorite among private and commercial operators in the region, the Grand Caravan EX allows for extended missions and higher payload. The amphibian model has sparked a new segment in China’s aviation market by giving operators greater access to remote locations with a first-class interior configuration that can accommodate up to nine passengers. Shanghai-headquartered Joy Air Holdings has taken delivery of 13 of its initial order of 20 Grand Caravan EX Amphibian aircraft, which it is utilizing for flights between coastal areas, air sightseeing tours and charter flights throughout the region.
The Beechcraft King Air 350i, equipped with the new Pro Line Fusion avionics system and cabin upgrades, is making its ABACE debut. Pro Line Fusion for the King Air brings one of the most trusted avionics architectures to the first full touch-screen flight display system. The one-of-a-kind, intuitive flight deck enhances the flight experience while reducing pilot workload.
Cessna and CAIGA also operate a joint venture – Cessna-AVIC (Zhuhai) Co. Ltd. – for paint, interior installation, flight testing and delivery of the Citation XLS+ for Chinese customers. The midsize XLS+ is the best-selling business jet worldwide and is ideal for the Chinese market due to its low acquisition and operating costs, its high-altitude performance and its range.
The Asia-Pacific region is perfect for the extensive mission and performance capabilities of Cessna’s broad range of Citation business jets with nearly 300 in operation throughout the region. With a range of 5,278 kilometers (2,850 nautical miles) and class-leading cabin comfort and ownership costs, the company’s recently certified Citation Latitude is an ideal platform for the region. Following a successful demonstration tour in 2015 throughout Asia-Pacific, the Latitude earned high marks from owners and operators looking for exceptional performance capabilities and maximum comfort at a midsize acquisition price.
Supporting the largest fleet of aircraft throughout the Asia-Pacific markets, Textron Aviation has a robust network of nearly 40 authorized service facilities, including nine in China, to support its customers throughout the region. In addition, the company also has a dedicated parts depot in Singapore, as well as a team of expert service technicians in country offering maintenance, inspections, parts, repairs, refurbishments and other specialized services.