After years of looking to enter the Chinese private aviation market, NetJets finally confirmed plans for a new joint venture in the People’s Republic of China today at the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Abace) in Shanghai. Though NetJets is known as the company that pioneered the sale of aircraft fractional shares in the U.S. and Europe, its services in China “will begin only with managing and chartering aircraft that are wholly owned by customers” rather than fractional ownership.
Subject to Chinese regulatory approvals, NetJets China Business Aviation Ltd. will be a joint venture among U.S.-based NetJets; a consortium of Chinese investors led by Hony Jinsi Investment Management (Beijing) Ltd., a subsidiary of Chinese private-equity firm Hony Capital; and Fung Investments, which is owned by the families of Dr. Victor Fung and Dr. William Fung (the controlling shareholders of the Li & Fung group). According to NetJets China, the joint venture and its operational base will be headquartered in Zhuhai, in Guangdong province.
When operations begin, NetJets China said, it will also “welcome customers from the NetJets programs in the United States and Europe to fly within China on the aircraft in the program, subject to availability.”
Though initially it will be devoted to the management and operation of business jets, “NetJets China hopes in the future to develop a fractional ownership program for business jets in China.”