Bombardier has brought just over one third of the business aircraft on display here at the ABACE show. Appropriately enough, that’s just about the share of the market in China claimed by the Canadian airframer, according to Christophe Degoumois, Bombardier’s vice president of business aircraft sales for Russia, CIS, Asia Pacific, China and Australia.
Among the 30 aircraft on static display, the Canadian airframer has no fewer than 11 business jets, including five Challenger 850s, three Global-family aircraft, two Challenger 600 series models and a Learjet 60. The manufacturer presently has 70 aircraft registered in China and considers the market of “the greatest importance.”
Like most in the industry, Bombardier expects the number of aircraft in China to increase dramatically over the next 20 years. By 2030 it foresees that Chinese customers will have received more than 2,300 new business jets. “Keep in mind that the Chinese market, like the Asian market in general, is a new-aircraft driven market, unlike Latin America which is a very important pre-owned market,” said Degoumois. “Chinese customers appreciate and enjoy new aircraft and are looking at a time frame of five to six years for their use,” he added.
Those delivery calculations are based on several indicators. On the Forbes Global 2000 list, Chinese companies now occupy 270 spots, including two in the top 10, and the number of high-net-worth individuals in the country has increased by 16 percent since 2008, to 157. After several years of strong gross domestic product growth in China, analysts expect that trend to continue with an increase of more than 8 percent predicted in 2012.
In order to better serve this future demand, Bombardier will increase its investment in the region by expanding the number of sales and support staff it has in China, said Michael Han, Bombardier Business Aircraft’s recently appointed regional sales vice president for China, Hong Kong and Macau. Han added that the airframer is looking at other areas in which it can better serve this market, including aircraft financing and the creation of better aircraft management options.
While the region has shown definite preferences for large cabin, long range aircraft–a segment covered by the OEM’s Challenger 600 series and expanding Global family–it still expects a warm welcome for its new Learjet 85, which is expected to enter service next year. The largest Learjet to date, the twinjet has a 3,000-nm range enabling it to link Shanghai and Jakarta nonstop.