TAG Aviation Asia has received a Hong Kong air operator's certificate, allowing the business aircraft management and charter firm to expand its north-east Asian operations despite an adverse economic climate.

The company, a subsidiary of Switzerland's TAG Aviation, was formed in Hong Kong in 2006. It gives its Asian clients centralised aircraft operations support and plugs them into a global network that includes TAG subsidiaries in the UK and other parts of Europe and the USA. This includes more than 200 business aircraft that TAG operates worldwide.

"Having obtained the Hong Kong AOC, TAG Aviation Asia is now able to offer commercial flights to clients in Hong Kong-registered aircraft. Becoming an air operator in Hong Kong, we have accomplished a major milestone. Our goals are to grow our business and the business aviation industry to cater for the increasing demand in the Greater China region," says TAG Aviation Asia chief executive Neil Gibson.

In the past few months, in anticipation of the move, the company has expanded its Hong Kong-based aircraft charter, aircraft management, aircraft completion monitoring and aircraft brokerage services. It has hired additional staff and moved into a larger office, and says that it remains confident about the city's future as a business aviation hub.

"TAG Aviation Asia's business plan for Hong Kong is long term. We have significantly invested in our people and infrastructure locally. This city is the ideal starting point for our strategic expansion in Asia and as we continue to grow in the future, Hong Kong will remain our regional headquarters," says Gibson.

Invest Hong Kong, the main government body that is responsible for attracting foreign companies to the city, says that it remains confident about the prospects for the aerospace industry despite the economic climate.

"TAG Aviation Asia's continued investment and expansion in our city is an illustration of the opportunities in, and strong support of, Hong Kong's aviation industry," says Benjamin Wong, head of transport at Invest Hong Kong.

"In the face of current economic challenges, we remain optimistic about the long-term development of the aviation industry in Hong Kong - particularly with the growing interest from the Greater China region. The recognition of the quality of service provided by companies like TAG Aviation Asia in Hong Kong helps strengthen the industry and our city's position as a regional aviation hub."

Source: Flight International