Flagship aviation event spreads its wings

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 September, 2007, 12:00am

Departure from Singapore pays immediate dividends as record numbers flock to register for the inaugural show in Hong Kong

Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress 2007 has touched down in Hong Kong for the first time, bringing with it a host of opportunities for all sectors of the airline industry, in the centre of one of the world's most dynamic aerospace industry regions.

Taking place from today to Thursday at the AsiaWorld-Expo, the event is exclusively business-to-business and will feature 500 companies from more than 20 countries. At the time of going to press, about 8,000 visitors had pre-registered for the show, making this inaugural event in Hong Kong a record-breaker compared to previous shows.

A star attraction will be the new Airbus A380, which will be on display at the Hong Kong International Airport.

Reed Exhibitions' flagship aerospace industry event has developed into the largest dedicated civil aerospace showcase. The company acquired two events - Aircraft Interiors Expo, whose Asian editions join another acquired event, Air Freight Asia exhibition and conference, as part of the overall show.

A collaboration has also been established with the organisers of the Asia-Pacific Airline Training Symposium.

'This region promises to be the focus of the entire global civil aerospace supply chain for the foreseeable future,' said Clive Richardson, senior vice-president, Reed Exhibitions Aerospace and Aviation Group.

He said the event would provide a unique opportunity for major players from the civil aviation industry to connect with counterparts from around the region, adding that moving the expo from Singapore to Hong Kong this year would benefit everyone concerned.

'The decision to move the event was not taken lightly. We felt that Singapore was no longer the ideal platform for a show such as this and Hong Kong has so much to offer. The infrastructure surrounding the venue is state of the art.

'Transport links are excellent and, of course, it is right by the airport. As well as this, Hong Kong is the gateway to China and in a way it is also China's window on the world. It provides a great opportunity for east-west networking,' Mr Richardson said. The move comes as the Asia-Pacific market was forecast to account for a third of aircraft orders over the next 20 years.

Mr Richardson emphasised the significance of the China market and the opportunities that the event would bring to western exhibitors and visitors to enable them to build networks and partnerships with industry professionals from China, and vice versa.

'Important issues such as developments in technology can be shared. It also provides opportunities for companies in various areas of the supply chain to meet with buyers from around the region,' he said.

Unlike other aerospace expos, Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress will focus solely on the civil aviation industry. 'We aim to make it the most important and meaningful event of its kind,' Mr Richardson said. 'At most air shows, at least 60 per cent of the exhibitors are connected with defence. We wanted to create an ideal platform for the civil aviation industry.

'It will not be a typical air show 'jamboree'. As a result, we expect people to find the show very worthwhile and cost effective,' he said.

At the core of the event will be the Congress, three days of speeches and high-level debate featuring leading players in the civil aviation industry.

The biennial show will feature the 'broadest range of commercial aerospace services and products under one roof', and also a static aircraft display including new aircraft from manufacturers Bombardier and Dassault Falcon, and the Airbus A380 will make an appearance. Some of the leading exhibitors at the show and Congress will include Airbus, Boeing, CAE, Dassault Falcon, Diamond, Driessen Aircraft Interiors, Frasca and Weber Aircraft.

The Aircraft Interiors Expo is expected to bring together even more buyers form this vital part of the airline sector, which has a huge influence on the marketing edge of any airline.

Leading cargo industry players have endorsed the Air Freight Asia 2007 Exhibition that is now fully integrated within the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress, and has received strong endorsements from the global air cargo industry. Prime locations will feature Emirates SkyCargo, Dnata, Cathay Pacific Cargo, Cargolux, Atlas Air, THAI Cargo and Russia's leading cargo airline AirBridgeCargo.

Nol van Fenema, Air Freight Asia 2007 organiser, said: 'The interest from the industry has been quite phenomenal. It shows the strength of the brand name and the reputation we have built up over the past 20 years with the Air Freight Asia exhibition and conference.'

Mr Richardson said: 'Our big aim is to make Asian Aerospace International Expo the leading civil aviation networking platform in the global calendar.'