[Aviation Today April 9, 2014] Two of the industry's biggest business jet manufacturers are targeting markets outside of North America with their latest offerings for 2014, as Bombardier heads to the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) show while Cessna anticipates strong demand for its new jets in Europe with a strong presence at the AERO Friedrichshafen trade show in Germany.
While the U.S. remains the largest market for sales of new business jets, emerging markets have shown significant regional growth and, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association's (GAMA) 2013 shipment report, deliveries of business jets to Asian-Pacific region, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa collectively accounted for 32 percent of deliveries last year, almost double their 17 percent share recorded in 2007.
Bombardier sees China as the most promising market in Asia for its Challenger 300, Challenger 605 and Global 6000 aircraft, as well as the Learjet 75 which recently entered service and the Learjet 85 which has a first flight scheduled for this year. The Canadian manufacturer is forecasting over 2,420 business jet deliveries to Greater China over the next two decades.
“With a very strong fleet of over 105 Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets based in Greater China, Bombardier is well-positioned to build on its current presence in the region as a world-class provider of efficiency-enhancing business aircraft. 2014 will be another very exciting year of growth for Bombardier in the country and region," said Michael Han, Bombardier's regional vice president of sales for China.
Bombardier and other business jet manufacturers are likely to have their most success with larger, longer range business jets in China. Business aviation market analyst Brian Foley's latest analysis states that Mainland China's business jet fleet can be broken down into 63 percent heavy, 25 percent medium and 12 percent light aircraft.
"There are important reasons for this — including culture, politics, geography, trade and infrastructure — whose effects will be long-lasting. Like the Middle East, China is faced with long internal distances and a heavy international requirement, both favoring larger and more capable aircraft. Seen in this light, China's medium and light fleet should not be expected to 'catch up' to its larger brethren. More likely, the present mix will remain relatively constant even as the total fleet size increases," said Foley.
Meanwhile in Europe, Cessna is looking to gain sales for its latest mid-size business jets, including the Cessna Citation M2, which is expected to achieve European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification this year.
The M2 has a top cruise speed of 400 knots true airspeed, with a range of 1,300 nautical miles and the ability to operate at airports with runways as short as 3,250 feet, the U.S.-based manufacturers says.
Cessna also has the advantage of a large service center network in the region, with six factory-owned facilities and 11 companies serving as authorized service centers in Europe.
“There is already significant interest in the Citation M2 from our European customers. Customer feedback has indicated a strong demand in Europe for a Citation with the size, speed and range of the Citation M2," said Tom Perry, Cessna's vice president of sales for Europe.
The company is also showcasing two of its other new aircraft, the Cessna Grand Caravan EX utility turboprop and Cessna TTx single-engine aircraft in Germany.