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Chinese Market Growing Despite Rules

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Greater China's business aviation fleet almost doubled to 371 aircraft from 2011 to 2013 but even that world-leading growth rate has been severely hampered by government and regulatory roadblocks, according to a leading Asian aviation company. Asian Sky Group issued its annual report on bizjet activity in the region at the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition and says demand will continue to be for mainly large intercontinental business jets used to fly to and from China rather than within the country. "As China continues to ease its airspace flight regulations, more opportunity for smaller sized business aircraft mainly used for domestic flights should appear in the future," the report said. "However, the current preference to large cabin is expected to remain strong in the short term." 

That's reflected in the current numbers of business jets now based in China. Gulfstream has 142 aircraft in the country, accounting for 38 percent of the total, while Bombardier is a close second at 111 (30 percent). Dassault has 31, Cessna 27 and Hawker 19. In the airliner-based bizjet category, Airbus has 18 aircraft in Chinese service while Boeing has seven. The report says there is a market shift away from new aircraft to greater acceptance of pre-owned aircraft with almost as many used aircraft being purchased in 2013 as new airplanes. About two-thirds of the aircraft are based in Mainland China while a quarter operate from Hong Kong and the rest are distributed between Taiwan and Macau.

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