Business Jet Market in China Readies for Takeoff
The number of business jets in China is set to soar from the current 100 or so to between 700 and 900 by 2019, according to manufacturer projections made at this week’s China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai. Bombardier did its bit to help make this a reality when it announced a $121 million deal for five Challenger 300s from Donghai Jet, which is based in southern China. There also was good news with an announcement from Chinese defense officials that, starting next year, the military will be loosening access to the country’s low-altitude airspace for general aviation traffic. This will result in three separate zones: areas remaining under full control, areas under surveillance and areas that can be used freely by operators filing flight plans in advance. Airspace access restrictions are acknowledged to be a major inhibitor of business aviation growth in China. Overall, business aviation accounted for 10 of the 70 aircraft on display at the Zhuhai show, with a roll-call that included the Embraer Legacy 650; Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 900XP and King Air 350i; Bombardier Learjet 60XR, Challenger 300 and Challenger 850; Cessna Citation Excel; Gulfstream G450; and a pair of Boeing Business Jets. Avic also debuted its new AC313 helicopter. In total, the Zhuhai event drew 600 exhibitors from 35 countries.