The move away from ?xml:namespace>Singapore and the defence industry will see Asian Aerospace claim the top spot as the world’s largest civil aerospace exhibition and congress when the event opens this morning.
Speaking at a show preview at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Hong Kong, Reed Exhibitions senior vice-president Clive Richardson says the top position has been achieved through organic growth, acquisitions and commercial collaboration of Reed Exhibitions.
“By acquiring the industry-leading exhibitions of Aircraft Interiors Expo and Air Freight Asia and collaborating with the organisers of the Asia Pacific Airline Training Symposium (APATS), this year’s event is going to be bigger and better than ever before,” he says.
“There are enough military-focused events in the region,” Richardson says, “so by combing these individual elements, Asian Aerospace now offers the broadest range of products to give a pure high-level civil aerospace B2B environment.”
Norman Lo, director general of Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department, says: “Hong Kong is happy to play host and show off the city as a whole to improve and develop the aviation development.” Hong Kong is already connected to 150 major cities with 46 million passengers and 3.7m tonnes of cargo moving through the airport, but Lo believes that with Asian Aerospace now here, the aviation world could focus on the region’s potential.
The two major airliner-makers agree. Airbus is bringing its giant A380 to the show – the superjumbo will soon enter service around the region with customers such as Singapore Airlines, China Southern, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways and Kingfisher Airlines.
Boeing expects the Asia Pacific region to account for 29% of all new aircraft deliveries through 2026, with a dollar value percentage in excess of 33%. While the big boys see the potential of the region, the General Administration of Civil Aviation China sees domestic traffic doubling every five years, and expects at least three Chinese airlines to be part of the world’s top 10 in passenger traffic and revenue rankings by 2020.
Similar growth is also expected in India. In 2003 India had just four main scheduled airlines, at the start of 2007 there were 14 in operation. “With more than 520 companies, 100 speakers, 1,000 conference delegates and around 10,000 trade visitors expected to pass through the doors of AsiaWorld Expo – this new-look Asian Aerospace offers the perfect opportunity to develop existing and new business alike,” Richardson says.
Among these visitors are representatives from 129 airlines around the region and Paul Weh Reed Exhibitions president for Asia Pacific, says: “We have put an exceptional amount of effort into visitor promotion programmes in countries throughout the region; most notably in China and India, the most obvious large markets. But we have also concentrated efforts on the strategic growth areas, such as Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and other established markets such as Japan and Korea. It has paid off with this excellent audience which has confirmed its participation, and we look forward to today’s start of this highly productive networking event.”
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