Chinese Bizjet Fleet Still Growing, but at a Slower Pace

 - July 2, 2013, 3:45 PM
The business jet fleet in mainland China is projected to continue its expansion, though growth is expected to be about 18 percent this year versus 40 percent last year. To date, 37 aircraft have been added to the Chinese business jet fleet; in all of 2012, 96 aircraft were added. (Photo: David McIntosh)

The business jet fleet will continue to expand in mainland China, just not at the breakneck levels seen last year, according to a First-half 2013 Greater China Fleet Report from Hong Kong-based business aviation consulting firm Asian Sky Group (ASG). It now predicts that the Chinese fleet of new and used business jets will grow by 18 percent this year, versus 40 percent last year.

In total, 96 business aircraft were added last year in China; to date this year, 37 jets have been added, Asian Sky Group’s data shows. However, it noted that activity levels are expected to increase in the third quarter.

The slowdown in business jet fleet growth is attributable mainly to the overall slowing of the Chinese economy, “and, in particular, cooling measures in certain industry segments,” Asian Sky Group said. Other factors include government austerity measures, a shift in focus to organic growth and a longer decision-making process by more educated business jet buyers.

Asian Sky Group said that Chinese buyers are also gaining a better understanding of the value of buying pre-owned aircraft, with used airplanes now accounting for 19 percent of the fleet growth in the country. Chinese buyers are predominantly purchasing large-cabin or light jets, it said, with some companies now buying a second aircraft that is supplemental to a chairman’s “flagship” and available to more related subsidiaries and/or other management levels.