Hainan Airlines' new Hong Kong-based private jet charter and management arm Hong Kong Jet aims to receive its air operator's certificate in July, as it seeks to capture a slice of the growing business aviation market in Asia.

It is set to receive its first aircraft - a Gulfstream G550 - in May, chief operating officer Jackie Wu says, adding that the company has already identified its first customer for the long-range, large-cabin aircraft.

"We hope to have a fleet of two to four aircraft this year, all of them will be brand-new Gulfstream aircraft," she adds.

Hong Kong Jet aims to have 12 aircraft by the end of 2012, Wu says. Some of these will be managed aircraft.

The company wants to begin operations with long-range aircraft to meet demand in the region. "In Asia, people want long-range aircraft so we are looking at aircraft like the G550," Wu says. Its first three aircraft, and probably its fourth, will be G550s.

In March, Hong Kong Jet's parent Hainan Airlines signed memoranda of understanding with Gulfstream at Asian Aerospace in Hong Kong for five G450s and G550s, and with Dassault Falcon for five 7X business jets.

The aircraft will go to Hong Kong Jet and Deer Jet, the group's China-based business aviation unit that operates China-registered jets.

Wu expects Hong Kong Jet to work with Deer Jet, but maintains it will retain independence.

Source: Flight International