Refining Air Charter in Asia: The private air charter market in Asia has been growing quickly and steadily over the past decade or more. However, challenges experienced by operators have increased as regulations and dated infrastructure struggle to keep up with the rapidly growing demand. Though the entire continent is developing its civil aviation infrastructure and refining regulations constantly, there are certain areas that stand out in terms of their difficulty for operators. Anonymity and flexibility are why clients choose to charter aircraft for their business or luxury travel requirements so it’s vital that ITPs and operators find viable solutions.
China can be especially challenging- particularly the two largest cities of Beijing and Shanghai where a massive shortage of landing and parking slots for business aviation at these heavily congested airports makes last-minute operations unusual, to say the least. Limited parking during the day and overnight often mean transferring the business jet to another airport. Thus, there are higher operating costs resulting in the rise of the charter rate in the end. Therefore, if more commercial airports cannot accommodate private jets for overnight parking, operators will have to continue dropping-off passengers and then transferring the business jet to another airport and thereby continually driving up the costs, first for the operator and then for the client.
Regulatory issues also impede the even quicker growth of air charter in Asia. Slow lead times for permit approvals make last-minute requests incredibly difficult – the longer the lead time, the less flexibility business travellers enjoy. Also, air charters can be restricted with ramp parking, overflight and landing permits, and cabotage. In some areas, further impediments come for foreign-registered aircraft.
Until the day that the rules and physical infrastructure catches up with demand, it is up to those in the know to continue to find innovative solutions. I believe most challenges can be averted with informed pre-planning and top-class local supervision. Ahead of NBAA-BACE 2018, UAS’ team in Beijing and our veterans in UAS Americas in Houston have created a free resource for operators from the U.S. planning missions to Greater China. It contains the best advice and insider knowledge and is available to download here.
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