Waypoint has established a new leasing platform in China’s Tianjin Free Trade Zone, just six months after entering the Chinese market.
The Irish lessor made the move to accommodate the growth it has seen in the Asia Pacific region, and to meet its Chinese customers’ needs with “more efficient” financing and leasing structures.
Philip Stransky, vice president of sales and relationship management for the Asia Pacific, said: “We are excited to announce the establishment of this new leasing platform in the Tianjin FTZ as it will enable us to continue to develop our growing business in China.
“Waypoint executed our first two leases in China this year, and our initiative to establish this platform reflects the importance we place on customers in this market. We look forward to continuing to support our valued customers in China in the years to come as this market grows.”
Waypoint made its first transaction in China in March this year. It signed a lease agreement with Chinese operator Shanghai Skyway General Aviation for one new H135, which is being used for emergency medical services missions.
It has also agreed to lease one Airbus AS350B3 from its existing fleet to another operator in China.
China’s fleet size has increased dramatically over the last few years, prompting international helicopter businesses to expand their operations in the country. Aviation consulting firm Asia Sky Group has recorded a 15% average increase per year in helicopter fleet size in China since 2013.
The Chinese market is a “multi-mission” one, with demand for offshore oil and gas, utility and emergency medical services, Alan Rowe, Waypoint’s co-founder, managing director and head of commercial, told Helicopter Investor.
He added: “There is a tremendous amount of unmet demand in China, and Waypoint is dedicated to this market and well positioned with the resources and investment we’ve recently made in region.
“The Tianjin FTZ has already established itself has an important aviation leasing centre in China. Their experienced team has been very helpful and commercial oriented through this process, and we would anticipate the role of the Tianjin FTZ to continue to grow as the rotary wing aviation market in China grows.”