Christian Dries and Bin Chen (center) with Diamond Austria and Wanfeng Aviation Industry employees and guests. Photo courtesy of Diamond Aircraft Group
China’s Wanfeng Aviation Industry Co. Ltd. has added Diamond Aircraft Group to its portfolio. The acquisition was completed at the end of 2017.
“Diamond is my life’s work. In the interest of a successful long-term future, we needed to find the right partner to continue our good work,” said Christian Dries, former CEO of Diamond Aircraft. “Wanfeng, and specifically Mr. Bin Chen, share my vision of the future of general aviation and are investing for the right reasons, with a long term strategy and the resources to see their vision through. I look forward to seeing Diamond develop further and based on our successful year long partnership in Diamond Canada, I am fully satisfied that I leave Diamond in very good hands.”
According to Diamond, the company plans to increase global sales volume, expansion of the distribution and support networks, and continued designed and development of piston aircraft under the new ownership. Chen is to become chairman of Diamond. Frank Zhang is to become CEO. Dries maintains an advisory function.
“We were attracted to Diamond’s leadership position in the market,” Chen, chairman of Wanfeng Aviation Industry and president of the Wanfeng Auto Holding Group. “Under the 25-year leadership of founder Mr. Christian Dries, the Diamond team has developed a broad range of superb aircraft that have gained worldwide respect for their performance, efficiency, safety and innovation. Based on this excellent foundation, we intend to take Diamond to a long-term leadership position in worldwide general aviation.”
According to Diamond, this acquisition is the latest move for Chen and Wanfeng Aviation Industry. Chen aims to build a whole-industry chain in aviation, Diamond said, covering aircraft manufacturing, airport management, flight training, general aviation operations and flight service centers. During the last five years, Wanfeng has invested in numerous aviation projects throughout the world including the Czech Republic, Canada, United Kingdom and China.
Wanfeng invested in Diamond Canada a year ago, Diamond said. It now adds the research and technological talent of Diamond Austria and Austro Engine GmbH where it will continue to develop new technologies and aircraft models. Diamond said this includes the Dart turboprop aerobatic trainer and the DA50 models, for the global general aviation market. Wanfeng intends to continue investing in the Diamond Global R&D Center, and Diamond Austria would remain a global engineering service platform.