Carrier aims to develop new hangars and VIP business lounge at Hongqiao

Shanghai Airlines is planning a major expansion of its business aviation facility at Hongqiao airport near downtown Shanghai and is trying to persuade the government to authorise international flights from the strategically located airport.

The carrier’s business jet division says it will open a 2,000m2 (21,500ft2) fixed-based operation (FBO) at Hongqiao at the end of 2006. Shanghai Airlines now owns a 200m2 FBO at the airport. “We will build a VIP lounge much bigger than at Hong Kong and build two hangars for business jets,” the carrier says. The first hangar is set to open in late 2006 and the second hangar two to three years later.

Shanghai Airlines predicts there will be demand for a large business aviation facility at Hongqiao because Shanghai Airports Authority has designated the airport as a business aviation hub for domestic and international flights. Shanghai Airlines and other business jet operators now must use Pudong airport, which is much further from downtown Shanghai, for international flights because Hongqiao’s customs facility closed after the opening of Pudong.

Industry sources say Shanghai Airport Authority is planning to reopen a customs facility at Hongqiao and has set aside land at the airport for corporate jet hangars, parking and facilities. But the reopening of Hongqiao to international flights still requires government approval.

Shanghai Airlines’ business jet division operates only one aircraft, a Hawker 800XP, which is used for charters, but aims to start managing several aircraft for Shanghai-based corporations within the next few years.



Source: Flight International