DEDICATION TO AVIATION - Kevin Wu, Vice President International Sales, Greater China & Mongolia Textron Aviation
Kevin Wu is the International Vice President Sales, Greater China & Mongolia Sales for Textron Aviation. He also serves as Chairman of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) and Co-Chairman of the Aerospace Forum under the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in China.
Wu’s 30-year aviation career had its seeds planted as early as his high school days when during the high education examination periods in China, he had to pick a field as his career. “Aviation at the time was a dream that was far out of reach of most ordinary people’s lives,” he said. Naturally drawn to breaking new ground and overcoming obstacles, Kevin saw opportunities where others saw hurdles. “I decided that it was worth taking the chance to apply into the aviation sector. If I applied, at least I would have a fighting chance,” recalled Wu.
With a degree in Air Traffic Management from the prestigious Civil Aviation University of China (CAUC) in Tianjin, for the next six years following his graduation Wu honed his skills as an air traffic controller in the Xi’an and Guilin international airports. “It was during this time that I developed so many skills that are still serving me to this day, including clear, concise, and precise communications, self discipline, multitasking, having sound understanding of what’s happening around you, understanding other people, and able to quickly find a solution.” Wu also spent a considerable amount of time doing ATC on-the-job training at the Malmo and Arlanda International Airport in Sweden, as well as the Copenhagen International Airport in Denmark. All of these opportunities had offered him first hand exposure to the Western culture, broadening his scope in the industry that eventually became critical for his later endeavors.
With China’s goal of establishing world class aviation standards in the 1990’s, Wu’s skills and broad international experience saw him become Senior Lecturer at the same university he had just graduated from six years prior. For the next five years, Wu trained some of the brightest and most ambitious minds that went on to serve China’s aviation industry, including air force ATC officers, as well as international ATC officials from Southeast Asia and Africa. At the same time, Wu became Deputy to ICAO Project Director, establishing training curriculums and courses that are still in place and taught to this day.
By the time that Wu had 15 years of lecturing under his belt, he was Executive Director of the International Department at the Civil Aviation University of China, with extensive experience in U.S.-China programs and negotiations in both the government and private sectors. It was at this time that Wu found his next calling with the American global aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin, where he served in sales and business development capacities. “It was perhaps the biggest change for me psychologically, making the switch from providing training programs at the CAUC to working in the Western, corporate environment of Lockheed Martin, but I enjoyed it,” says Wu. When asked about the challenges and obstacles that he had to overcome during this transition, Wu says that there were “language and cultural challenges, and the adjustment of understanding why people from different cultures think so differently. But that was the value I brought to the table too - my technical background combined with an understanding of both the East and the West, including from my experience abroad in Sweden.”
After half a decade with Lockheed Martin, Kevin left as Business Development Director, Greater China Region to join Textron Inc., the global leader in general aviation, as VP for Strategy, Business Development and Government Affairs, and later transferred to the Cessna Aircraft Company to oversee North Asia for Sales & Market Development. Following Cessna and Beechcraft’s consolidation into Textron Aviation Inc in