The 2016 edition of the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) kicks off in Shanghai next week (12th-14th April). In partnership with the Shanghai Airport Authority (SAA) and cohosted by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the event takes place at the Shanghai Honggiao International Airport. More than 100 exhibitors are expected, with around 40 aircraft in the static display area.
Visitors will be on the lookout for indicators concerning the impact of China's economic slowdown on the business aviation sector. Some observers believe economic weakness could be compensated by ongoing moves to open up airspace for civil aviation, along with significant investment in airport infrastructure. Until now, China has been a source of strong demand particularly for large-cabin models.
Among the attractions at the event will be Dassault’s new flagship, the ultra-long-range Falcon 8X, which will be making its Asian debut. The aircraft on display — serial number 3, fitted out with a complete commercial interior — is is one of the three aircraft dedicated to development and certification testing. It was used for cold soak trials in Canada in early March (photo). It is appearing in Shanghai as part of a one-month world tour to demonstrate its operational performance and reliability in a variety of conditions.
Other destination include New York, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, London and Sao Paulo. A total of about 65 flights is scheduled, representing 140 flying hours and a distance of 55,000 NM. During these tests, particular attention will be given to the behavior of the cabin equipment and communication systems.
Dassault is also showing a Falcon 2000EX.
Airbus is exhibiting an ACJ319 with a newer, larger cabin, featuring conference, dining and lounge areas at the front, plus two separate rooms at the rear. It is offered for VVIP charter by Comlux The Aviation Group, and is certificated to transport 19 passengers.
Airbus claims to have the strongest presence of top-end business jets in China with around 20 ACJs currently in service in the country.
Gulfstream aircraft on display will include the G650ER, G550, G450 and G280, while Bombardier will show its Global 6000, Challenger 650 and Challenger 350.