Hong Kong's 'Asian Aerospace Expo 2011' & China's Booming Aviation Market.
It seems like every story I cover these days is the same story. The Rise of China...
Here are some parked private jets on the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport. A recorder number of parked private jets, the organizers of 'Asian Aerospace Expo 2011' are keen to stress. Its a cold grey day in Hong Kong, and its day one of Asia's main airshow.
Like everything else about China, it's aviation market is playing catch up with the rest of the world. Hot on the heels of the US, the Chinese aviation market is now in the number two position.
Today I got to go in a business jet for the first time, which was cool.
This is what the interior of an Airbus A318 Elite business jet looks like.
Airbus passenger jet sales in China are already strong, so now, as a nascent millionaire class emerges, Airbus are determined to tap into this pool of newly created wealth.
Back inside the expo, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) booth was the largest. And talking of Airbus, the gossip making the rounds at the show is that the 'C919 Airliner', though still in the design stage, is nothing but a rip-off of the Airbus A320. Shanzai Airbus, love it!
Airbus executives released a report yesterday saying that they believe Asia's emerging middle classes will drive demand for new planes over the next two decades. If they are right, this would propel the region to overtake the US and Europe as the world's biggest air transport market.
Moving on from Airbus, why is this man smiling? Because he's Robert Laird, VP of South and East Asian Sales for Boeing, and he just sold five Boeing 748-8 Intercontinental jumbo jets to Air China in a deal worth US$1.54 billion. Not bad, considering recent sales of the Boeing 748-8 Intercontinental are said to be lacklustre. Boeing will start delivery of the new aircraft to China's national carrier in 2014.
With Middle East mayhem, oil prices moving northwards, and slow growth in other areas around the world, Asian sales really are proving a saviour to aircraft manufacturers.
ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA PHOTOGRAPHER