The private jet industry is categorized within the general aviation aircraft domain and is important in general aviation industry development. The general aviation aircraft industry in the United States is most developed with about 224,000 private jets, accounting more than 78% of the world’s total private jets. In China, the total number of private jets is only about 200, but the Chinese private jets market is full of opportunities.
According to a recent report, there are about 825,000 multi-millionaires and 51,000 billionaires in China. It is estimated that more than 300,000 people will become a potential buyer of private jets in the near future. Unfortunately for private jet suppliers, the income of the Chinese consumer is not what constrained the development of the private jets market in China. The law and policies concerning the private jets are far behind those of other developed countries, discouraging the development of the private jets industry. China strictly controls its low-altitude airspace. Anyone who wants to conduct a cross provincial flight must apply to be approved one week in advance, making private flights fairly inconvenient. Also, the lack of private airports also constrains the development of the private aircraft industry. A low-standard airport of private jets only requires a 10-metre-radius ground and a 20-meter-long runaway. However, there are less than 10 standard private airports in China, compared to 20,000 in US.
Opportunities for Chinese Jet Industry
However, at the end of 2009, a new report published by the China Civil Aviation Administration specified fifteen new measures of the general aviation industry, providing new opportunities for the private jets market. These measures, as part of the Twelve Fifth-year Plan of China, shows that the government is in favor of the development of the general aviation industry. Experts believe that a more open policy on the low-altitude airspace in China will help the private jet industry blossom in China and help develop the infrastructure necessary for Chinese citizens to have private jets.
A lot of private jet companies have already entered the Chinese market. Sponsored by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA), Cirrus Aircraft launched a new type —Vision SF50, becoming the first Sino-Foreign joint developed aircraft. In addition, Cessna worked with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to develop Citation and Caravan, two new types of aircraft. Cessna and AVIC also plan to develop a cabin official business jet in the future.
Chinese Celebrities’ Jets
A lot of Chinese celebrities already possess private jets. Among them is one of the most famous Chinese celebrities, Jackie Chan. His private jet, Legacy 650, is very luxurious with an individual kitchen, noise-diminishing devices and an extra large trunk. It has been honored as the “best private jet” by American magazine “Robb Report”. Another famous celebrity who owns a private jet is Liu Tao. Her jet cost 300-million RMB and contains an extra large sofa bed, kitchen unit, bathroom, and even WiFi service. This is the same jet owned by basket player Tracy McGrady, Michael Schumacher and the former prime minister of Germany Gerhard Schroeder.
The development of the private jet industry will additionally stimulate any related industries, such as aviation management, airport construction, private jets sales, aviation training, aviation clubs, airplane maintenance, personal insurance, and many more. It is estimated by experts that if the scale of private jets market can achieve 5 per cent of that in US, it will bring an economic benefit of at least 100 billion RMB yuan. The private flight market will soon become an economic growth point for China and play a significant role in the future aviation economy development.
Picture: Jackie Chan Jet