China's Growing Appetite For Private Planes
The growing Chinese appetite for luxury goods has boosted many different sectors. The next might be the private aviation industry. Recent reports says that China is lifting many of its restrictions on airspace, allowing private jets to travel more freely in and out of the country. Private flights used to require a week's notice but now flight plans can be approved more quickly. Part of the reason for the loosening of the rules is that Chinese executives are now investing in more places around the world and need faster access.
Manufacturers of helicopters and small private planes are moving in to the territory. According to the AFP, France's Dassault Falcon just moved its Asia office from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Although there are only around 150 business jets in China, it is expected that will change very rapidly. Eventually Dassault plans to sell around 10 business jets a year in China, at a list price of between $30 and $50 million. Private jet maker Gulfstream already has a strong foothold in the country with a 63 percent market share on large-cabin business jets in China, including Hong Kong and Macau.
The interest in private jets will also probably extend to makers of helicopters and smaller planes including Eurocopter, Bell, Robinson, Agusta and Cessna. It will also be boom time for pilot training and could benefits resorts that will be able to construct helipads and offer weekend getaways for the growing wealthy Chinese population.