Business-jet market set for takeoff

Updated: 2012-03-27 08:05

By Xie Yu and Gao Changxin in Shanghai (China Daily)

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 Business-jet market set for takeoff

Business jets at Hongqiao airport in Shanghai. The Canada-based plane producer Bombardier Inc predicted that China will receive about 2,360 corporate jets by 2030. Yong Kai / for China Daily

Aviation companies are targeting the Chinese market in the expectation that Chinese businesses will show a greater demand for their services and as authorities relax airspace restrictions.

Christophe Degoumois, vice-president of business aircraft sales from Canada's Bombardier Inc, said on Monday that 2,360 business jets will be delivered to China by 2030.

"The company is expanding the team for sales and marketing in China," he said.

He said China is an important market, one that is home to increasingly wealthy individuals, a growing gross domestic product and a government intent on boosting domestic demand, especially consumer demand.

Degoumois made the remarks on the eve of the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, which is to be held in Shanghai from Tuesday to Thursday. The exhibition is one of the largest such events held in the world.

China does not play a large role now in the business-jet industry. But that situation is changing fast.

Jing Yiming, vice-president of Shanghai Airport (Group) Co Ltd, said there were 132 business jets registered in the Chinese mainland in 2011, up from 32 in 2008.

"About 3,500 flights were taken by business jets in 2011 in Shanghai, making up a third of the total for the country," he said. "And we expect this year will see a 10 to 15 percent increase in traffic."

Jet-charter companies in China have also expanded considerably as the country relaxes its restrictions on the use of airspace.

"In the past, you had to apply for a route one week ahead of making a flight, while nowadays it takes only one day to apply," Jing said.

Kong Linshan, president of Minsheng Financial Leasing Co Ltd, said China's business jet market took off after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, seeing an annual growth rate of more than 150 percent. China is now one of the chief growth markets for business jets.

And China has worked increasingly harder to tap that market since 2009. Makers of business jets are expected to pay even more attention to the country during the next decade.

"China's business-jet market has become one of the markets with the most potential and is drawing more and more attention from around the world," he said.

Over the next three years, the Minsheng Financial Leasing's fleet will contain more than 100 jets. Those will be worth more than $4 billion and make up more than 90 percent of the Chinese market for those aircraft, he said.

In China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), the country's central government said general aviation will be one of the pillars of the country's economic development. The plan calls for developing the industry, building a large number of airplanes and relaxing airspace restrictions.

Aviation Industry Corp of China, the country's largest State-owned aircraft producer, said on Saturday it would cooperate with the US-based Cessna Aircraft Co to produce business jets. The companies and the municipal government of Chengdu in Southwest China plan to form a joint venture to produce business jets in that city.

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(China Daily 03/27/2012 page15)