Hawker Beechcraft: international markets will drive recovery

London
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Hawker Beechcraft expects international markets to continue to outpace sales growth within North America and is devoting additional resources to capture a slice of the lucrative global market for business and utility aircraft.

"We are seeing growth potential in emerging markets including Africa, Asia, China, India, the Middle East, Russia and South America," says Sean McGeough, Hawker Beechcraft president of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"Overall, the drivers of demand for new aircraft purchases are slowly returning to pre-financial crisis levels, and demand is currently stronger in these emerging markets than in North America and Europe."

The installed base of aircraft in Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America is between 20% and 25% of the installed base in the USA. In Asia, the corresponding figure is just 6%.

"There are a number of reasons for this variation around the world, including the availability of financing tools, customer service issues and a lack of parts supply programmes," McGeough says. "We see many of these issues as an opportunity for Hawker Beechcraft. With increased globalisation and regulatory liberalisation, barriers to growth in these markets are falling."

Hawker Beechcraft held discussions with more than 3,000 owners and operators last year and established a customer advisory board designed to focus on the company's brand, offerings and competitive positioning.

"A key result of this strategic approach is that we have developed new aircraft that are created with more than just the US market in mind," McGeough says. "The future of our company is based on listening very closely to our customers, as well as owners of aircraft manufactured by others, and carefully designing our products to exceed their expectations. The new Beechcraft King Air 250 and Hawker 200 [formerly the Beechcraft Premier II] are examples of how we listened to our customers and are moving to the next level in the way we develop, sell and support our aircraft around the world."