China is emerging as the world’s fastest growing market for business jets sales, with industry watchers projecting deliveries of hundreds of large-cabin business airplanes worth billions of dollars over the next decade.
Evidence of the Chinese market’s sudden strength was on display at last week’s NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, as Embraer racked up a bulk order from Minsheng Financial Leasing, the country’s quickest growing aircraft leasing firm. Minsheng signed a firm order for 13 Embraer Legacy 650 large-cabin jets, with the first delivery planned by the end of this year. The firm’s CEO, Kong Lingshan, estimated there will be a market for 1,000 business jets in China in the next 10 years worth upwards of $20 billion.
In China, charter firm Deer Jet already operates 25 Gulfstream business jets while Hong Kong’s Metro Jet has 15 jets in its fleet. Management firm BAA, another fast growing company, expects to be operating 32 business jets in China by the end of the year. Dassault, meanwhile, plans to deliver its 15th Falcon Jet to China by the end of the year.
Large-cabin business aircraft, say analysts, will account for the bulk of orders in the coming years as Chinese companies seek jets that can link them to international business centers. Demand for smaller business jets won’t start picking up until the Chinese government opens up the country’s airspace and adds civil airports.
Chinese manufacturing conglomerate Avic, meanwhile, is in negotiations with several business jet makers that are considering bringing production to China for sales in the Asia-Pacific region.