Lake Macquarie business flies high in China

19 December 2011

A Redhead company that manufactures ultralight aircraft has seen positive growth in its exports to China with assistance from the NSW Government.

Airborne Australia, which specialises in the design and manufacture of ultralights and hang gliders, received assistance this year through NSW Trade & Investment's Global Growth program.

Airborne Australia's Marketing Director Rob Hibberd said the structured support from NSW Trade & Investment helped the company to grow its exports despite difficult global business conditions and the strong Australian dollar.

"International sales make up about half our business. Through the Global Growth program, NSW Trade & Investment has helped us with our export strategy, market research, focused information and other advice that we can apply across markets," Mr Hibberd said.

"We used Global Growth financial support for Chinese language advertising on a web portal and a Chinese language page on our website, which have proved very effective and resulted in increased sales.

"These initiatives are part of our social media strategy, which includes a YouTube channel and a Facebook presence and has been very successful in driving traffic to our website.

"China has become Airborne's largest foreign market and we believe there is considerable potential for our sales to grow even more. The sport of microlighting, hang gliding and paragliding is growing in China and with Chinese airspace opening up to recreational flying, it will give many more people the chance to experience the thrill of flying.

"One of our microlights is being used in a crop spraying trial in China, which could further increase our sales."

In addition to China, Airborne Australia exports to Mexico, the United Kingdom, USA, Indonesia, New Zealand, Italy, France and Canada. The company has been working with NSW Trade & Investment's Central Coast export adviser to expand the international side of its business.

NSW Trade & Investment provides a range of export development programs for new and established exporters across the State.