Editor’s comment: Regional hubs mean business

By Business Aviation, FeaturedNo Comments

It’s been a week that’s seen yet more fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic with British Airways’ boss Alex Cruz stepping down and Singapore’s Transport Minister stating that the country’s aviation sector can no longer wait around for a vaccine. However, there has at least been some good news for regional hubs serving general and business aviation…

In China, Nanchang Changbei International Airport has welcomed an agreement between Sino Jet – Asia’s largest and fastest growing business jet operator – and Jiangxi Airport VIP Service Company to build and manage the first FBO facility at the airport. The investment forms part of Sino Jet’s expansion into mainland China ahead of an expected 20% year-on-year increase in business jet use in Jiangxi Province over the next three years.

“Despite the strong demand for business aviation in Nanchang, growth is slowed by a lack of facilities when compared with other regional airports. Sino Jet’s investment stems from our confidence in the growth potential of Jiangxi Province as part of China’s growing business aviation ecosystem,” said a spokesperson for Sino Jet. The jet operator believes that with the appropriate investment, Nanchang can become a regional hub for business aviation in south-west China.

Despite current global economic challenges, China’s business aviation sector is the most likely global market to achieve growth in the next six years according to the ‘Review of China’s Aviation Industry Development and Market Outlook Forecast Report.’

It’s not just in China that regional airports have had cause for celebration either. In the US, Flying Cloud Airport in Minneapolis has welcomed the opening of  Jet Linx’s newest private terminal – the 19th such facility for the aircraft management and Jet Card membership company.

Explaining that this latest opening represents another step in the company’s strategic growth and national expansion plan, Jet Linx President and CEO, Jamie Walker, said: “With the growing demand for personalised private aviation services, it is a pleasure to introduce our unique business model to the region.”

And back across the pond in the UK, London Oxford Airport has welcomed the expansion of Synergy Aviation’s services. The independently owned UK charter and aircraft management company has positioned a Cessna Citation CJ2 (G-JNRE) at the London hub, supported by a full-time, locally based crew. Synergy already has a Citation Bravo 550 based at Oxford and an additional G-JNRE that is looked after by JMI International, the Citation MRO specialist based at the airport.

“We are delighted with the services we receive from London Oxford Airport – in support of our busy charter operation and for regular maintenance inputs via JMI,” said Synergy Owner and Chairman, Glen Heavens.

With COVID-19 here for the foreseeable future, Heavens notes that with Synergy now operating from four London bases, it has seen a notable increase in enquiries for its services. “We have responded by adding additional flight crew and increased our AOC coverage to operate a wider number of aircraft, including heavier business jets.”

James Dillon-Godfray, Head of Business Development at London Oxford Airport, added: “Since the onset of the pandemic, the demand for private travel is unquestionably on the up with the assurances of bare minimal contact possible when utilising such jets.”

It’s certainly good to hear some positive news for a change!

Enjoy your weekend,

Chloë Greenbank
Editor, Regional Gateway