AirInsight: Please can you explain the selection of China and Tianjin specifically?
Falko: The China regional aviation market promises to be a real growth market. As a regional aircraft lessor, we cannot ignore this. Tianjin is the main address for Chinese as well as foreign aircraft leasing companies for the benefits it offers in the context of aircraft leasing to Chinese operators.
AirInsight: The focus on regional aircraft is growing – how does your plan fit the CAAC’s Rule 96?
Falko: We could provide Chinese start-up operators, which are required to operate 25 regional jets before they can get into bigger aircraft types, with western built regional jet aircraft of their choice.
AirInsight: What is Falko’s outlook for the size market? (will you only focus on China or the region?)
Falko: For this, we refer to the predictions of the various manufacturers. We will not focus on China in particular, as we concentrate on Asia/Asia Pacific as a whole.
AirInsight: Does Falko intend to partner with a local company?
Falko: We would consider this but it would depend on the particular circumstances and needless to say that we will be working with local service providers to help establish and develop the business.
AirInsight: In terms of fleet offerings – is the intent to focus on western aircraft or also add Chinese aircraft?
Falko: Only western aircraft for the moment although we closely follow the Chinese aircraft options and the proposed MA700 in particular.
AirInsight: When can we expect customer announcements?
Falko: We are working on a few opportunities but it is too early to tell if these will lead to actual transactions.