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Aviation Training Joint Venture Debuts
China's first joint venture for aviation training - Zhuhai Xiangyi Aviation Technology Co Ltd - was set up Tuesday in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province.

A cooperation between China Southern Airline Co Ltd and Canadian-based CAE, the registration capital of the joint venture reached US$29.8 million, with the Chinese and foreign sides holding stakes of 51 percent and 49 percent respectively.

Jiang Ping, chairman of the Sino-Canadian joint venture, said major areas of business of the new company cover the provision of aviation training services and solutions for airlines and the development of aviation simulation and related management software.

In addition to flight skills, its training services will develop to include simulation machine maintenance and, in the near future, the provision of management solution training courses.

"Our initial clients are domestic aviation enterprises, especially the civil airlines, and the business will be expanded to the Asian market," said Jiang.

Gary Scott, group president of CAE Civil Simulation and Training, told China Daily that CAE has to date 11 aviation training institutes worldwide. Zhuhai Xiangyi is its first joint venture not just in China, but across Asia.

The new joint venture is expected to have 20 simulation aircraft within 10 years, and the annual training and sales revenue will exceed US$20 million in the coming years.

As a world leading aviation training facility and service provider, CAE occupies more than 80 percent of the international market.

For its part, China Southern, one of the nation's three largest aviation enterprise groups, boasts its Zhuhai flight training center, which can offer a wealth of technology, talent and infrastructure resources.

"However, due to the limitations on capital, market networks and professional technologies, we are relatively fragile on market promotion and new technology development," said Jiang.

Meanwhile, market expansion of CAE was hindered by poor statistics collection and the increased costs of software development and facility maintenance.

"This mutually beneficial co-operation can further advance China's aviation training industry, and help CAE progress its operation into this fast growing market which has such huge potentials," said Scott.

Official statistics showed that China is expected to have around 2,200 business and civil aircraft in 2020, compared with the 600 or so this year.

"All aviators should be trained in a professional training center, which has direct and close relations with aviation safety," said Yan Zhiqing, general manager of China Southern.

Scott disclosed that CAE had been in contact with some other aviation enterprises in China, but it had to "wait a relatively long time" for them to reach agreement.

(China Daily November 6, 2002)

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