These guys are in my WeChat. Facebook is blocked in China and they relied on WeChat very much. In fact, I knew what documents to send to CAAV (Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam) and CAAC (Civil Aviation Authority of China) and the exact procedures of apply for CAAC and CAAV certification! Once you have the certifications, it will be easy to do marketing! Big lucrative business.
Most aviation schools in US depends of foreign students! US students are no longer precious as it used to be.
By the way, below are some valuable tips for your future flight school
1. I have seen a few Part 141 schools enforcing strict English instruction. Sometimes, it is good to have. But over-enforcing is not good.
2. It is good to have a few mandarin speaking CFI around to facilitate teaching. The Chinese airlines and CAAC actually prefer mandarin speaking CFI around in the school.
3. Indian CFI is big no-no. Never hire Indian CFI. You can have them as Ground Instructors but NOT Flight Instructors.
4. Never ever employ a racist American and/or Indian.
5. Don't be greedy in over absorbing Chinese airline cadets.
If the school pissed the foreign cadets, they will file complain to their foreign aviation authority and the school certification awarded will be revoked.
Asian working cultures are very different from American! Asian geared towards trust & networking. It is about who you know, not what you know. If you know the correct person, it will work out smoothly.
I met the CAAV guys in Hanoi in Year 2016. I managed to facilitate the connection with CAAV through my network (my friend's father in-law is a Colonel in Vietnamese Air Force) and Flight School in Indonesia. CAAV guys were invited to Indonesia for assessment and certification was granted.
In Year 2017 June, I happened to meet the head of CAFU in Wuhan. Through him, I met CAAC people. Nice people to chat! One of the CAFU deputy operational heads was here in Arizona to do sudden inspection on the school.
Here's my tips when planning to start a flight school:
You can starts a small school first. You need not to be hungry getting a Part 141 certification inclusive of Private all the way till ATP.
You can get a Part 141 certification with Private Pilot course. Try it out first for a year, and then expand FAA certification with Instrument and Commercial.
You need to arrange some decent accommodations (for foreign students & CFI) which is near to the airport. Talk to the house-owners to work out a plan. Don't be too focus on school.
I have seen some small sized Part 141 schools, don't take care of these students' needs. The schools expected these foreign students to look for room by themselves when they arrived. Believe me, these school owners are bunch of idiots!
Work with a a few reliable DPEs. I personally met a DPE who deliberately failed students just to get more money! I do not want to name but I have filed a few complaints to FSDO. Also, Part 141 school certification cannot be renewed because too much failure rate. I started to realise, DPE wasn't happy with the school and wanted the school to be shut.
Always remember, disengage the DPE immediately if your students keep failing.
I have been doing all that for over 8 years now. Got familiar with it all and decided to start my own operations. I agree with your though process. I would like to add one more thing about DPE, there are some who wants to fail students so their own pass rate doesn’t go through roof and they can avoid getting on FAA’s radar. Innocent students are victims of this.