With Asia's business aviation market still in its nascent stage, Gulfstream believes that many potential owners, in particular in China, are still working out their needs.

However, the trend, says Roger Sperry, Gulfstream's regional senior vice-president for international sales, is clear - many first-time buyers want the larger aircraft in the market.

"There's definitely seeing a trend for larger aircraft," says Sperry. "We see more demand for G550s and G450s as these owners prefer the extra space and comfort."

Access to spare parts has remained an issue in Asia Pacific. Gulfstream, however, has taken steps to overcome this by having a stockpile in Hong Kong and Singapore and basing a team of technicians in the region.

"Support is always an issue but we have $35 million worth of spares here and a full team of people who are able to assist with almost any issue. We know that this is something that customers want," says Sperry.

China's challenges include a lack of access to airports, a shortage of proper fixed-base operations, and restrictions in landing and flying over low-altitude airspace. But Sperry believes that they are being overcome.

"I've been here 10 times over the last 12 months - that shows how important this country is. Things are changing - the infrastructure is being set up and the restrictions are being relaxed. We are very optimistic about our prospects here."

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Source: Flight International