U.S. Companies Explore Asian Markets At ABACE

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The airplane industry is eager to push into emerging markets, and that's evident this week with robust attendance at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, taking place in Shanghai Tuesday through Thursday. Organizers said they had registered a record 6,284 people to attend the event, with more than 180 exhibitors on site and 34 aircraft on static display. "The record numbers signify the excitement surrounding business aviation in the region," said NBAA in a statement. Cessna officials announced at the show on Monday they expect to be ready to start building jets and turboprops in China by the end of this year, though it may take longer for the government to approve the start of operations.

Cessna said they are "making excellent progress" toward beginning operations in China to assemble Citation XLS+ business jets in joint ventures with CAIGA. "The construction of facilities is complete and we expect tooling and equipment to be in place in Shijiazhuang by June and in Zhuhai before the end of the year," Cessna spokesman William Schultz said at ABACE. Cessna is also working with AVIC on plans to build Cessna Caravan utility turboprops in China. The aircraft from both operations are intended to be sold in the Chinese market. The joint ventures are also expected to develop customer support capabilities to meet aftermarket needs in China, Cessna said.