According to the World Bank, two of the world’s top 10 ranked economies—Singapore and Hong Kong—are in the Asia region as of 2019 with Malaysia now ranking in the top 20 and China breaking the top 50 for the first time. Many countries in the region have recently made reforms to permitting, licensing, taxation and increased the ease of starting a business over the past year. With the economies of the entire region booming and starting a business becoming easier and easier, why aren’t you doing business in Asia?
To answer some important questions about business aviation in the region, we sat down to talk to Maggie Wong, Aircraft Management and Charter Sales Manager, based in Hong Kong. She shares how doing business is different in Asia versus doing business in Europe, what to expect from ExecuJet’s presence in the region and her predictions for the future of and business aviation in the region.
ExecuJet (EJ): Maggie, thank you for chatting with us today, can you give us a brief overview of how is doing business in Asia different from doing business in Europe?
Maggie Wong (MW): Asia consists of many cultures with diverse religions, beliefs and life philosophies. Most countries in Asia are developing, while in comparison Europe is well developed. Therefore, we need to understand the culture when doing business within the region.
For example, cultural differences and more importantly cultural sensitivity is increasingly important. Seniority in very important in Asia, respect is given to seniority and authority.
EJ: It is difficult to broadly say “Asia” when there are so many different cultures and countries that collectively make up the region. Can you share some other common misconceptions about doing business in the region?
MW: The biggest misconception I believe is that the region only wants the western style. However, our clients in Asia seek a western style experience with an Asian management solution. For example, they wish to work with a local person who understands their needs. We cannot force Asian follow European style but rather use a local person with language and cultural skills who can bring the Asian and western styles together.
EJ: Can you tell us a bit on how ExecuJet, a western company, is blending the Asian and western styles for our customers in a way that differentiates us from other competitor in the region?
MW: ExecuJet part of the Luxaviation Group, is one of the largest private aircraft operators in the world. We are setting new standards in business aviation management, customer service and safety, working towards the most highly recognised industry regulations to deliver excellence in every area of our business.
We bring decades of experience and are able to share this intelligence with the Asian market, with a highly personalised approach to serve each customer with our high-quality services.
From the moment I began my training with the company in the UK, I knew the company was at the forefront of providing customers the best services, technology and highest safety standards.
EJ: We’ve heard that sales are down for new aircraft but increasing for maintenance in the region. Can you talk about your experience and if that’s the case, how we can support this change in habits from aircraft buyers and owners?
MW: The buying habit of aircraft has changed. Asia is more open to the concept of buying pre-owned aircraft and then refurbish to accommodate their requirements. With our years of experience throughout the world we are better able to assist aircraft buyers and owners to manage their assets.
EJ: In Europe, we are more familiar with social media like Facebook and Twitter. How does WeChat, the multi-purpose social media network specifically for China, impact the BizAv market and how customers make bookings?
MW: WeChat is having a significant impact on the BizAv market in Greater China. Today WeChat users are not limited to the messenger function, as users can buy products, order meals or make appointments or travel bookings. It is also a social media platform to share information.
WeChat is a very important marketing tool for doing business in China. Today customers want one click on mobile apps/tools to book flights, get an itinerary and share their information. WeChat allows customers to use one platform to make purchases and it also presents opportunities for companies to use it for direct and in-direct marketing, public relation tools etc to reach customers.
EJ: One-click! That’s so easy! Other than more connectivity and making the customer experience even more convenient, what do you predict is next for the region with regards to BizAv?
MW: With government support and development, there will be more change in BizAv in region. Greater Bay area will give the opportunity to BizAv to develop the business not just in one city. Macau plays a vital role in the business aviation industry for the Greater Bay Area. As demand for business aviation continues to grow, Hong Kong International Airport will be under increased pressure to adequately accommodate such growth. Recent tax concessions introduced by the Hong Kong government specifically applying to qualifying aircraft lessors and managers in Hong Kong will further give rise to more international aircraft financing and leasing institutions actively entering and participating in this region.
EJ: Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us today, is there anything you wish to share with a company looking to do business in the region?
MW: Understanding the phrase “wear the same shoes as your customer” meaning we need to speak their language and understand their needs.
Have more questions about doing business in Asia? We can help.