Asia Pacific Business Jet Fleet: Operator Overview
At yearend 2018, the top 10 operators in the Asia-Pacific region operated a total of 301 business jets, accounting for 25% of the total fleet. Deer Jet boasted the largest fleet, operating a fleet of 48 jets, followed by TAG Aviation (46 jets) and Sino Jet (39 jets). Nine of the top 10 operators in the Asia-pacific region mainly operate in Greater China.
2018 has been a difficult year for business aviation, as can be seen from the slow fleet growth in major markets, and has resulted in several top operators reducing their fleet size. The total fleet operated by the top 10 decreased by 1%, from a total of 305 business jets in 2017 to 301 in 2018. Half of the top 10 in 2017 witnessed a decline in fleet size, with Deer Jet experiencing the maximum contraction (by eight), followed by Hongkong Jet (by six), BAA (by five), Metrojet (by four) and TAG Aviation (by one).
However, not all top operators saw a decrease in fleet size. Sino Jet, which in 2018 was the first Mainland Chinese operator to be awarded with the stage 3 IS-BAO — the international recognized-safety standard based on a five-year assessment, added nine business jets to its fleet. This increase allowed it to cross BAA and end up as the third largest fleet. Sino Jet was followed by HK Bellawings and ExecuJet which saw an increase in fleet size by five and four, respectively. Amber Aviation also saw a notable increase, from four in 2017 to nine in 2018.
Greater China, the major driver of growth in the Asia-Pacific region, did not perform well in 2018, and witnessed a decrease in fleet size. Many aircraft management companies, who had earlier focused on exponentially increasing their fleet size and later attempted to recoup losses by providing charter services, have not been able to meet their revenue targets. The operating losses have forced some major operators to take drastic steps. Additionally, the slowed fleet growth can be attributed to speculation regarding the decrease in economic activity, amidst increasing tensions with the US regarding the trade war.
Operators based outside of Greater China also witnessed notable changes in their fleet size. Some notable Australian business jet operators witnessed deductions in their fleet with Flight Options, Global Jet International and Revesco Aviation experiencing three jets decrease each.
Indian operators did not witness any major changes in fleet size and business jet activity in 2018. Reliance Commercial Dealers and Club One Air remain the top two business jet operators in the country both operating 10 jets each. Club One Air is the largest business jet charter operator in India and eight of its 10 jets are used solely for charter use.
Japan operator Phenix Jet, with a fleet of six jets, remained the largest business jet operator in the country. Their fleet comprises of three Global 6000s and three G650/ERs. The operator offers aircraft charter, aircraft management, as well as maintenance services. Jet Aviation, Nakanihon Air and Diamond Air Service follow Phenix Jet in terms of fleet size, operating three jets each.
Among civil operators in Malaysia, Executive Jets Asia and Redland Aviation Services operate the largest fleet, both operating a total of six jets each. An increase of two jets in Redland’s fleet enabled it to become the joint top operator in the country. Additionally, both EJA and Redland also provide FBO and hangar services.
There were 19 operational business jets in New Zealand in 2018, an increase of three from 16 in 2017. Charter and aeromedical service provider Skyline Aviation, operating a fleet of four jets (an increase of two from 2017), remained the largest business jet operator in the country. Most of the business jets in the country are mainly used for private or corporate use.
Among civil operators in the Philippines, Challenger Aero Air and Asian Aerospace operate the largest fleet, both operating a total of six jets each. An increase of one jet in Asian Aerospace’s fleet enabled it to become the joint top operator in the country.
ExecuJet increased its fleet size by two in Singapore during 2018 and with a fleet size of nine was the largest operator in the country. It is also the largest local charter operator and provides a number of additional services: aircraft management, maintenance and FBO services. Asian Corporate Aviation Management (ACAM), with a fleet of six jets in 2018 retained its position as the second largest operator in the country. Pacific Flight Services is the third largest operator in Singapore, operating a fleet of five jets.
With a total of nine business jets, Korean Air is the largest business jet operator in South Korea. However, all the 6 Citation jets are used for pilot training.
Thailand operator MJets, with a fleet of seven jets composed of Gulfstream and Citation jets, remained the largest jet operator and charter company in the country.