Sun, Apr 01, 2012
China and SnF -- Made For Each Other?
ANN April 1st Special Edition
The Chinese government owned corporation that has already scooped up some of the (once) major players in the General Aviation industry, CAIGA, has set its sights on purchasing the once-mighty Lakeland Fly-In.
After years of fading attendance figures, increasing vendor dissatisfaction and an overall erosion in support from the sport aviation community, the Fly-In was quietly put up for sale last year as part of the new management's effort to save the Fly-In, "at all costs."
Few details have emerged about the transaction -- which was supposed to be announced after this year's event came to a close, but got leaked to ANN by an anonymous source from Duluth, MN. Insiders indicate that CAIGA expects a slow transition as regards to potential changes but found that the way that the Fly-In had been run in the past, "certainly meets our mindset... you'd have thought these guys grew up in Peking. They're good at giving orders, ignoring advice, know how to put nosy journalists in their place (even if they have to rough them up a little) and don't spend a lot of time worrying about the little things, like vendor services and attendee value, when they need to simply make sure this event runs, first and foremost, like a business. This is not a popularity contest... these events need to make money. Once we scare a few more journalists into covering this event the way we want them to, our numbers will return to what we were -- maybe even the fake numbers we boasted about a decade ago --
and the event can be healthy again."
CAIGA does expect to augment plans for future airshows -- especially in terms of night airshows, with one official explaining that, "Frankly, Americans really do not understand fireworks... what you really need are GOOD fireworks. We have THAT covered. And wait til you see what we do with Fly-In food services..."
CAIGA also sees the event as a good way to jumpstart a campaign to educate America and, "a need to understand that the future of aviation in America now rests in China. We are willing to do what you haven't, for decades... namely invest in a critical transportation system that moves people, business and products fast and efficiently. As American investment abandoned support for aviation business, it provided an outstanding opportunity for us to do what we always wanted to do... buy great technology, even whole industries, for pennies on the dollar and laugh all the way to the bank -- and we own those too! This event will showcase just what China has in mind for the future of American aviation."
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