Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, is strengthening its presence in China to support the growth of general and business aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Speaking at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE), Mike Shih, Cessna’s vice president – Strategy and Business Development, said: “With expert forecasts indicating the Chinese economy will grow by more than 8% in 2012 alone, we expect the Asian business aviation market – and China in particular – to mature at quite a rapid pace. We foresee China being one of the top 10 countries for business jet ownership globally by 2025, aided enormously by the ongoing liberalization of the country’s airspace. We are delighted to see the Chinese government understands the economic importance of general aviation and is committed to supporting the industry. We at Cessna are equally eager to play our part in helping develop Chinese business aviation from infancy to maturity as quickly as possible.
”Shih continued: “We want to work with local partners to develop all aspects of general aviation in the region. Only last week, on March 23, Cessna signed strategic agreements with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and the Chengdu government to jointly establish a range of products and services for general and business aviation in China. The agreements pave the way for a range of light and mid-size business jets, utility single-engine turboprops and single-engine piston aircraft to be manufactured and certified in China.
”Shih added: “As well as building local partnerships, we are undertaking measures to strengthen our own direct Cessna presence in Asia and we now have, for example, more than 20 employees based in China – in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Shenyang.
”Shih concluded: “We are committed to providing our growing customer base in Asia with the best possible operations and maintenance support. We are therefore seeking to add Citation authorized service facilities to our network in Asia, and particularly China, as soon as possible and are scheduled to complete a joint service facility, with sister company Bell Helicopter, in Singapore later this year.”