Cirrus Aircraft is confident it will deliver China’s first SF50 Vision Jet by year-end. Speaking to AIN this week at ABACE 2019, Cirrus Aircraft president of customer experience Todd Simmons said the company has received significant interest for the single-engine jet from Chinese buyers, especially after its debut at Airshow China in November.
“Our current SR family aircraft uses avgas, which is only found at sporadic airports in China. These airports, unfortunately, are near major urban areas, where general aviation access is very restricted,” he said. “The Vision Jet, which uses jet fuel, will make the aircraft more available to most of China.”
Simmons said at the ABACE opening-day panel session that city-pair routes of 500 km to 700 km can be served cost-effectively by small jets such as the SF50, unlike larger business jets or airliners. However, China's lack of smaller-airport infrastructure and skilled jet pilots is one of the factors that are hindering the growth of general aviation there.
He lamented that though the Vision Jet entered the market two years ago, it is still not quite perceived as a business jet. Neither Cirrus nor its parent company Avic exhibited at ABACE this year, but Simmons hopes the company will return as an ABACE exhibitor next year or in 2020.