AA11: Hawker Beechcraft shows trio of aircraft as its prospects improve

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Hawker Beechcraft has three aircraft on display at the business aviation park - a Hawker 4000 and 900XP and a Beechcraft King Air 350I - each of them dedicated demonstrators in Asia Pacific.

"It's a sign of how much we value this market," says Dan Keady, one of two vice presidents of sales responsible for the region.

The Chinese and broader Asian market has traditionally proved a tough one for the Wichita-based airframer because of buyers' preference for larger jets. The super mid-size Hawker 4000 is the company's largest product.

dan keady hawker beechcraft, billypix

 © Billypix

However, Keady says the company is making in-roads, with its two flagship types among 17 Hawker Beechcraft aircraft in service in China where customers include Beijing-based Deer Jet. "This year has started strong. We are seeing first time buyers into business aviation looking at our product, many of them wealthy, young people who are very brand aware and know what they want from life. The market is like the Middle East was a few years ago," he says.

Hawker Beechcraft has King Airs in service in the region, but in a training or utility role rather than as private or business aircraft. "We would like to get market acceptance here for the King Air as a corporate product like we have in the USA. Here props are viewed as older technology," says Keady.

Hawker Beechcraft recently divided its Asia Pacific sales operation into separate north and south segments. "Before this we used to run the whole region along with the Middle East and Africa, so the fact that we have split the market in two shows how it is growing," says Keady.