Growth is the keyword at ExecuJet Haite Aviation Services China, which carries out aircraft maintenance from a large purpose-built hangar at Tianjin Binhai International Airport.

The company, a joint venture between ExecuJet Aviation Group and Tianjin Haite, is going from strength to strength, says General Manager Paul Desgrosseilliers.

Business rose 71% in 2017 over 2016, which was itself up 70% from the year before. Much of it was due to increasing its capabilities to work on more aircraft types, a general ageing of the fleet, and winning new customers. “It really comes down to the age of the aircraft, particularly with the Embraer Legacy fleet ageing, bringing in additional maintenance revenue. We've also seen a slight uptick in our Bombardier business, specifically on the Global product line, with three or four additional Globals being based primarily out of Tianjin leading to a significant increase in the line maintenance on those aircraft.”

ExecuJet Haite’s Bombardier work has grown to about 25% of its business from 15% last year, Desgrosseilliers says.  “And then we're branching into Gulfstream post-warranty support, and Falcon with the 7X and 8X.” The facility was named a Dassault Falcon authorized service center (ASC) in February, enabling it to offer line maintenance and AOG support on Dassault’s flagship Falcon 7X and Falcon 8X models. Last week it also won Rolls-Royce approval as an ASC for AE3007A engines that power the Embraer Legacy and Citation X.

Can that pace of growth be sustained? “No,” says Desgrosseilliers. “To grow another 70% on a bigger base would be a challenge. So this year we budgeted somewhere near 40% year-on-year growth. It looks to be in line with expectations.”

But there’s more news to come. European EASA certification of ExecuJet Haite Tianjin is imminent, meaning it can work on transient aircraft from Europe. It already holds FAA, CAAC and Cayman certifications.

This week it announced a strategic agreement with the Tianjin Airport FBO to cross-market their services for business jets, and to lure more aircraft to be based there instead of Beijing. There are around 50 (including transient aircraft) parked on the Tianjin ramp on a typical day.

Work on two new hangars and a paint shop that was halted last November by regional pollution reduction rules will resume soon. While those additions are by Haite for commercial aircraft, Desgrosseilliers says he hopes the paint shop can be used for business aircraft, too. “We work closely with Haite, especially on back-shop, batteries and tires, where we don’t have the volume,” he adds.