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The Demographics of Business Aviation in China

The demand for business jets in the People’s Republic of China is increasing daily. There are presently 131* China-registered business jets within this vast country- and orders from Beijing-based MinSheng Financial Leasing Company continue to highlight this demand.

MinSheng’s Business Aviation acquisition arm started ordering and leasing aircraft (to People’s Republic of China nationals only) just over two years ago- and six aircraft have since been delivered. Its most recent announcement of 21 aircraft on order- (worth around $1bn) and a 50-aircraft order backlog by the end of this year has kept MinSheng on track to meet its ambitious plans of 100 aircraft ordered in five years (about two and a half years from now).

Business jet orders are also coming from other Chinese companies- though- and will add further to the growing Chinese fleet.

Already delivered to MinSheng are; a Gulfstream G450- three Gulfstream G550s- a Dassault Falcon 7X and a Hawker 4000; the 21 aircraft on order include three Gulfstream G450s- a Gulfstream GV- ten G550s- three Falcon 7Xs- two Hawker 4000s- a Hawker 900XP and a Global Express XRS.

The latest data shows that around 70 of the current aircraft listed on the Chinese Civil Register are medium business jets or wide-cabin business jets with ranges from 2-500nm to around 6-500nm. Thirty-five aircraft are based at Beijing- 13 at Hong Kong- others (mainly in ones and twos) are based at Baotou- Changsha- Chaoyang- Shanghai- Shenzhen- and Taichung. Two more aircraft are listed as being based in the USA (Atlanta- Georgia and Fort Lauderdale- Florida) while four others are in Macau- Lagos- Taipei and Haiti.

Shanghai boasts China’s only exclusive Business and General Aviation airport at Hongqiao International where a joint venture Business Aviation center is operated by Sydney-based Hawker Pacific and Shanghai Airport Authority. Hawker Pacific is close to gaining its CAAC approval to open a Hawker Beechcraft Authorized Service Center- and it also hopes to win Dassault Falcon Jet approval- while discussion with other aircraft manufacturers to support their products in China is ongoing.

Until recently China-registered business jets had to be affiliated to a Chinese airline Air Operators Certificate (AOC)- but enlightened government legislation is now allowing private companies to apply independently. Between five and ten AOCs are being issued annually to these new companies.

Un-affiliated AOCs
China First Mandarin Group (CFMG) of Shenyang gained one of the first non-affiliated airline AOCs- and recently announced it is forming a preliminary joint-venture with TAG Aviation Asia Ltd. covering charter- aircraft management and aircraft maintenance. Final approval of the alliance named TAG Aviation China- requires governmental consent- which is anticipated early this year. CFMG’s present charter operation is named ZYB Lily Jet and operates a VVIP Challenger 850.

Another joint venture agreement is that of ExecuJet and Tianjin Haiti (announced at the end of 2010). The new company ExecuJet Haite Aviation Services China Co. Ltd. will offer full service business aircraft maintenance and aircraft management operation complete with FBO (fixed base operator).

Based at Tianjin Binhai Airport- 120km south east of Beijing (just 30 minutes away by high speed train) the maintenance facility is due for completion by August 2011. The company plans to obtain a Chinese Part 135 (Charter) AOC and a Part 145 maintenance certificate- and initially expects to maintain in excess of 40 business aircraft annually.

BAA Jet Management of Hong Kong has operated on a Hong Kong AOC for a number of years and continues to thrive there. It also has a JV partnership with Shenzhen Airlines- and operates several of its aircraft under a Chinese AOC. With offices in Shenzhen and Beijing it has ambitions to expand operations throughout China. In addition- work is well underway on a new facility in Tianjin. Its fleet includes Gulfstream G200s- GIVs and GVs- an Airbus A318 Elite and a Project Phoenix VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft. It also has two Airbus ACJs and an ACJ Prestige on order for its clients.

Macau-based Jet Asia is also a well known brand throughout Asia Pacific- and offers aircraft charter- aircraft management- and is a services provider. It operates a fleet of 11 aircraft which includes a Bombardier Global Express- Bombardier Challengers- Hawker aircraft and a Bombardier VIP configured CRJ-200.

Chinese Airlines- Business Jet Affiliates


The Hainan Airlines Group operates China’s largest business jet charter company which from 1995 until last year was known as Deer Jet – this changed to Beijing Capital Airlines last May and is commonly referred to as Capital Jet.

Thirty business jets (some managed) are currently in operation and the fleet is due to grow to 55 (including 20 managed aircraft) by year-end. The current fleet includes Gulfstream G200- G450- GIV- GV and G550s as well as a Dassault Falcon 7X and a Global Express XRS. Delivery of a BBJ is imminent.

Shenzhen-based cargo airline Donghai Airlines has branded its new business jet charter operation Donghai Jet. Five Bombardier Challenger 605s are on order - the first arrived last November- and Donghai Jet President Huang Chibiao says his company plans to increase its business jet fleet to 36 within two years.

The company is planning to establish other bases at Beijing and Hong Kong and is in the process of building its own training center and FBO at Shenzhen Airport where business jet maintenance will be offered to third parties.

Other Chinese Airlines with business jet affiliates include Air China Jet with Air China- and China Eastern Airlines Executive Air with China Eastern Airlines (which was recently qualified to launch its operations). Air China Jet has a Gulfstream G450- a Dassault Falcon 7X and an Airbus A318 Elite- while China Eastern Airlines Executive Air has an owned fleet of Hawker 800s with plans to expand by another five-to-seven new aircraft.

CHINA-REGISTERED AIRCRAFT FLEET (BY MANUFACTURER) Airbus: three A318 Elites.

Boeing: four aircraft - two BBJs and two Boeing 737s (-200 and -700). Bombardier: 25 aircraft - seven CRJ-200 regional jet conversions- two Challenger 850s- nine Challenger 601/604/605s and three Learjets (36A- 55 and 60XR).

Dassault Falcon Jet: six aircraft -three Falcon 7Xs- a 900DX and two Falcon 2000s. Gulfstream: 45 aircraft - 15 G550s- 11 G450s and four GIV variants- 14 G200s- and an Astra 1125SPX.

Hawker Beechcraft: 20 aircraft - three Hawker 4000s- four Hawker 750s- five Hawker 800XPs- two Hawker 850XPs- three Hawker 900XPs- a Hawker 400XP- a Beechjet 400 and a Premier I.

Cessna: 23 aircraft - a Citation Mustang- ten CJ/CJ1/CJ1+- five Citation II/SIIs- a Citation Excel- a Citation VI- and five Citation XLS.

* Data from JETNET LLC

Read more about: Business Aviation in China | China

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