Dubai-based UAS International Trip Support (Booth A123) and Honeywell are joining forces to provide global connectivity to the business jet fleet of Asian charter operator, Hongkong Jet, with the implementation of UAS LinkEvolution for flight services and communication, combined with Honeywell GoDirect cabin services.
UAS said LinkEvolution provides seamless global connectivity to both cockpit and cabin using powerful datalink satellite communications networks.
“The forward-looking datalink solution delivers worldwide ACARS (datalink) service, as well as unlimited access to all worldwide VHF networks, including ARINC and SITA, as well as Inmarsat and Iridium satellite networks,” it added.
“It will also enable Hongkong Jet’s fleet of several Gulfstream G650/G550, Falcon 8X, BBJ and A319ACJ aircraft to keep abreast of datalink regulations and remain compliant, regardless of where the aircraft are flying,” said the UAE company, which is majority owned by Chinese operator Deer Jet.
The strategic alliance between UAS and Honeywell was set up in May 2017, when Honeywell ratified a partnership with UAS to expand flight deck and cabin connectivity services through LinkEvolution.
Last year, UAS announced its clients would obtain priority service and other benefits across Deer Jet’s Chinese FBO network. HNA Group subsidiary Deer Jet acquired a majority stake in UAS in 2016. “Business in China is going well for UAS,” Omar Hosari, UAS co-owner, founder and CEO told AIN. “In 2018, China’s growth was up more than 10 percent from the previous year in general aviation and about 7 percent in commercial aviation.”
UAS now has staff in many major Chinese airports, to provide the same quality of supervision it offers clients worldwide. “We are training people to work according to the UAS standard of quality, which clients have become accustomed to when they go to London or Paris, for example,” he said. “I think general aviation in China is going incredibly well. The government supports the infrastructure, and this has been their goal for a decade now. There are around 350 business jets in China today.
“We’re doing a lot of supervision and coordination for royal flights and high-profile clients all over the world. We put dedicated supervisors on the ground when they fly, and this has become an extremely good service, known for the quality clients expect. We’re trying to implement the same thing in China.”
Clients face difficulties with the consistency of service in China for many reasons, such as language and cultural barriers. “By putting teams into China, we overcome them,” he said. “We want to be the number-one ground handling company in China.
“We’re moving towards steady growth at 10 percent a year [as a company]. In market circumstances, I think [that’s] a good number, given the global economic situation, not only in aviation but also in other sectors. We had 10 percent growth last year across the group and this is also our aim for 2019.”
Training and development is key to team building. “We invest in local expertise because you cannot do things in China, or anywhere else, if you don’t understand the culture or the requirements of the airport authorities and vendors,” he said. “We have already brought a number of people to Dubai for training, so they can become trainers. We now have a big presence in China, with our headquarters in Hong Kong and Beijing. They will fly the flag by continuing to train new people.”
The partnership with Deer Jet also offers aircraft management potential. The Chinese operator’s 90-strong fleet includes Gulfstreams, Challengers, and Legacies, with the VIP Boeing 787, for which UAS is now exclusive charter sales agent.
Typical 787 clients include heads of state and governments, for example flying to a UN or G7 summit. “They come to us directly, as we already have an existing relationship with most of the clients who want this type of airplane,” Husary said. “Actually, clients come from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia—all over the world.”
UAS is hearing positive feedback from Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. “The number of people registering jets there is increasing rapidly,” he said. “Recently we’ve heard that five new jets were registered in Cambodia; and in Vietnam, three new owners have registered. General aviation is improving in all three countries.”
UAS’ work as a trip support solutions provider can involve commercial aviation in China. “We do overflight permits and ground handling, as well as flight planning and representation,” he said.
“For example, we represent Sichuan Airlines on the ground in more than 12 stations around the world. We work together with their general sales agents in Australia, the U.S., Canada, and other places outside China, to make sure operations on the ground are smooth. We also do fuel services for commercial airlines outside China.”
UAS’ multifaceted skill-set is a boon in difficult times. “We are a truly global company and, I think, the only company that does both commercial aviation and general aviation,” concluded Husary. “This is what gives us strength and stability. We have a large service portfolio to cater to both general and commercial aviation; if performance goes down on one side, we can redress it on the other.”