Next Frontier For GA -- China
China's economy is the fastest-growing in the world, second only to the U.S. in overall production, and it seems to be ready for GA. Organizers of the 4th Annual GA Forum in China, set for March 2005, say that "yesterday's potential has turned into today's reality," and now is the time to enter the market. Diamond Aircraft is already making inroads there, and CEO Christian Dries says he expects the growing Chinese aviation market to "potentially become a very significant portion of our future business." Diamond announced last week that it now has Chinese certification for its DA40 four-seater, and will begin deliveries there this month. The DA20-C1 two-seater received its Chinese certification in July. Diamond says it has purchase agreements for fleet sales of both aircraft models with several Chinese customers. The first DA40s in China will be flown in the Beijing PanAm International Aviation Academy's Commercial Pilot Training Program. "This initial contract with Beijing PanAm is significant in that it is the first introduction of state-of-the-art composite aircraft with all-glass cockpits to China," said Dries. "These initial deliveries are the tip of the iceberg and we expect to make additional exciting announcements regarding Diamond Aircraft and China, in the very near future." PanAm Beijing has placed orders for 41 DA40 Diamond Stars and 19 DA42 Twin Stars, both featuring Garmin G1000 all-glass cockpits, Diamond said. The first Ultralight Expo is set for Beijing in May 2005. "The Expo will provide unprecedented opportunity for international ultralight aircraft manufacturers to show their aircraft to the world's largest recreational aviation market," organizers say.