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Cessna Sees Uptick In Caravan Interest Among Asia-Pacific Operators

November 24, 2014 - Cessna Aircraft called the first year of operations at Cessna-AVIC Aircraft (Shijiazhuang) Co., Ltd. a success.

The joint venture between Cessna and China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company (CAIGA) assembles and delivers Caravan utility turboprop aircraft for the Chinese market.

A Grand Caravan EX is one of four Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft at the Textron Aviation static display this week during Airshow China 2014 in Zhuhai.

“The joint venture with CAIGA has been an efficient way to provide solutions to the marketplace as business aviation continues to expand in China,” said Bill Harris, vice president, Sales in the region. “The reliability and versatility of the Cessna Caravan make it particularly well suited for growing global markets like China. We’re seeing customers order configurations for executive travel, hauling freight, aerial survey and tourism.”

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted approval for the Cessna Grand Caravan EX to operate on floats in China in March of this year resulting in an increase in orders for amphibian models. Previously unannounced orders for Grand Caravan EX Amphibian aircraft include Meiya Air for aerial sightseeing in Wuzhizhou Island of Sanya and Joy Air, which recently started charter tourism flights among Shanghai, Zhoushan and Shengsi Islands. In addition, earlier this year the joint venture announced an order for 10 Cessna Grand Caravan EX Amphibian aircraft from Reignwood Group to expand its aircraft services and operate tourism flights in the southeast part of China.

“We’re seeing a tremendous floatplane trend in the region as the number of operators increase to meet demand from tourists here,” Harris said. “We are holding the first Floatplane Operator Conference in December at our Shijiazhuang joint venture facility to help build a community among current and prospective operators. We’re interested in supporting the long-term growth of the floatplane industry in China and general aviation as a whole, as our joint venture activity shows.” 



The joint venture results from the agreement signed in 2012 with CAIGA, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The joint venture began officially operating when its business license was approved in September 2013 by the Ministry of Commerce. Cessna’s Wichita, Kansas, operations provide components and parts manufacturing and sub-assemblies for the Caravan aircraft sold by the joint venture. The joint venture operations in Shijiazhuang include final assembly, paint, testing, interior installation, customization, flight testing and delivery of the Cessna Caravan to in-country customers. 

More than 2,200 Caravan aircraft have been manufactured by Cessna since the aircraft was introduced in 1985. There are five models currently available; the Caravan, the Grand Caravan EX, the Super Cargomaster EX, the Caravan Amphibian and the Grand Caravan EX Amphibian. Cessna began deliveries of the upgraded Grand Caravan EX in 2013, and it is now flying diverse missions around the world, including airline operations in Russia, travel companies in the Hawaiian and the Caribbean islands, construction and energy companies in the United States, aid organizations on wildlife rescue missions in Africa and aviation clubs in the Middle East.

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