SAVANNAH, Ga., February 15, 2012 — Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced today that it has established a joint venture (JV) with Beijing Capital Airlines Co. Ltd. (Deer Jet) and Grand China Aviation Technik (GCAT) to operate a business jet service center at Beijing Capital International Airport.
Deer Jet is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines Group and China’s largest business jet charter provider. Its fleet includes 26 Gulfstream aircraft. GCAT, another Hainan subsidiary, offers aircraft repair, maintenance and overhaul services. The new venture will operate under the name Gulfstream Beijing.
“This is an historic occasion for everyone involved, especially our customers,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream Product Support. “We will be the first business jet original equipment manufacturer to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul services for its customers in China, the fastest-growing market for business jets worldwide. The convenience factor alone of Gulfstream Beijing will help our Chinese customers lower their maintenance costs and increase aircraft availability.”
Gulfstream Beijing, consisting of an 82,000-square-foot hangar and 22,000 square feet of offices and back shops, will be overseen by veteran Gulfstream product support executive Kay Ardalan, the site’s general manager. The facility will be staffed by Gulfstream employees, who will bring their extensive product knowledge and skills to the venture, as well as Deer Jet employees who have become increasingly well-versed in Gulfstream products.
The facility will serve Deer Jet’s Gulfstream fleet, other Gulfstream aircraft and select non-Gulfstream models. The new venture is in the process of applying for a Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Part 145 repair certificate, a requirement for beginning service operations.
“When we induct the first aircraft for maintenance, customers will be delighted to find the same extraordinary level of service they have become accustomed to receiving from Gulfstream factory service centers outside of China,” Burns said. “In the long run, we see this expansion of our service capability as essential to maintaining our No. 1 position in the Chinese market in terms of market share and reputation.”
Gulfstream opened a sales office in Beijing on Dec. 7, 2011. Nearly 50 percent of Gulfstream orders in the third quarter of 2011 were from the Asia-Pacific region. There are more than 40 Gulfstream jets in mainland China today, a number that continues to grow. More than 30 are in Hong Kong. The China fleet is becoming a significant portion of the more than 2,000 Gulfstream jets operating worldwide. The company announced a firm order for 20 jets from Minsheng Leasing in October 2011.
Gulfstream’s business relationship with Deer Jet began in 2004, when the charter operation leased a preowned GIV.
In support of Deer Jet’s fleet of Gulfstream aircraft, Gulfstream has had a maintenance team based in Beijing since May 2010. The group was originally made up of three technician consultants and has since added two more. In January 2010, Gulfstream positioned its first Product Support employee in mainland China, Beijing-based field service representative Jenson Saw.
Along with Gulfstream Beijing, other facilities available to Gulfstream operators in Asia are authorized warranty repair centers Metrojet in Hong Kong and Gulfstream sister company Jet Aviation in Singapore, along with warranty line-service center Jamco Corp. in Sendai, Japan. Metrojet and Jet Aviation have parts and materials for Gulfstream aircraft on site.