General Aviation has became the focus in China after the State Council released “Guidelines to Promote the Development of the General Aviation Industry” which are aimed to building new infrastructure, breaking restrictions and promoting private investment in the field. In addition to the new political environment, the construction of China’s ambitious "Belt and Road" promises to demand resources for the development of General Aviation. As a national "Strategic New Industry", General Aviation is a key player in the building of infrastructure across the “Belt and Road”.
HNA General Aviation Investment Group (HNA General Aviation), the largest conglomerate of its kind in China, has taken the lead role to achieving the goals set by the new political guidelines and to accelerate the growth of the industry by integrating the entire supply chain under one roof. The company’s innovative model comprises all General Aviation related businesses including business aviation, helicopters, and general aviation airports and other industries, supporting the vision of China’s “Belt and Road” and serving to build the requires infrastructure across the region. The company is also uncovering new markets while investing in projects such as low altitude air travel, poverty alleviation, general aviation assets and infrastructure, and airport construction among other areas.
General Aviation and Low Altitude Air Travel to Uncover New Markets
Tourism is an important component of China’s “Belt and Road" strategy. The countries and territories comprised by the “Road and Belt” are rich in tourism resources but still lacking the needed infrastructure to drive growth derived from tourism activities. HNA General Aviation believes that the industry has the capacity to support the building of the "Belt and Road" by developing low altitude air travel. Still new for the region, low altitude air travel promises to create new opportunities for tourism to usher across the “Belt and Road”. The company’s proposition is to create valuable synergies between the general aviation and tourism industries filling gaps in the international tourism market.
From the experiences of Europe and the United States, low altitude air travel has shown to be the least invasive form of tourism in terms of its ecological footprint. This form of tourism is the best choice for accessing ecologically fragile areas. For example, the infrastructure needed to operate helicopters has a smaller footprint than that of building runaways, highways or railways. Also, general aviation infrastructure neither requires of large land reclamation nor causes damages to the landscape, and can be built even on difficult terrains.
Another advantage of low altitude air travel is that it targets specialized areas producing higher value for the industry in terms of quality and margins by offering personalized and premium services. Having an extensive experience in helicopter operations, HNA General Aviation has the assets and operation capabilities, including licenses and permits, to successfully venture into this new market. With this venture, the company aims to create new sources of employment and promote local socioeconomic development by extending its business models across the “Belt and Road”.
General Aviation Innovating to Boost Regional Development
Freight infrastructure is another core area for boosting growth across the “Belt and Road”. And China, as world’s top trader, has developed its highway and railroad networks to an optimal level comparable to the levels of the most advanced economies. However, general aviation is an industry still in underdeveloped stage, meaning new opportunities for businesses investing in building infrastructure for the industry.
In terms of freight infrastructure building, HNA General Aviation is approaching regional strategic partnerships with local governments and investing in projects in the most economically neglected regions along the “Belt and Road” such as Xinjiang, Beitun, Jiangxi, Anhui and Anyuan, just to mention some. By building infrastructure and investing in assets for general aviation in these regions, the company is improving the terms of trade for local agricultural, farming and tourism businesses to access the “Belt and Road” markets.
To Connect the World, HNA General Aviation Goes Global
HNA General Aviation is well positioned in the international market with assets in tourism, industrial parks, business aviation, and flight and training schools across Asia, Middle East, Australia and Europe. One of the company’s subsidiaries, Deer Jet, is the largest business aviation group in Asia with a fleet of more than 90 aircraft including the world’s only BBJ 787 in VVIP configuration (Dream Jet), chartering and managing aircraft for the most discerning business travellers in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Europe and North America.
In December last year, Deer Jet completed the acquisition of major shares in the world’s leading international trip support company, Dubai-headquartered UAS International Trip Support (UAS). For strategic reasons, Deer Jet moved its iconic from its base in Hong Kong to Dubai, one of the fastest growing markets for ultra-long-range jets, and granted partner UAS for marketing and operation of charters.
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