China Is Beacon of Hope at NBAA 2011
At the NBAA Convention this week in Las Vegas, one word has been repeated by OEMs, analysts, consultants and others alike: China. China seems to be the golden land–the new “Wild East” set to save the general and business aviation industry from oblivion. At the show, Jason Liao, CEO of China Business Aviation Group, said he foresees a market for at least 1,000 business jets over the next decade in the Asian country. Francis Chao of the China Civil Aviation Report and Zhao Quijiang, president of Beijing Capital Group, pointed to the rapid growth of the installed fleet over the last three years in China: 28 jets in 2008, 46 in 2009 and more than 90 today. Other experts put the number of business aircraft currently based in China at 130 to 150. Jean-Noel Robert, president of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) said that in April this year there were 130 business jets on the B-register, and he expects that figure to rise to 170 by year-end. There are several new deliveries slated for the next 12 months, with all the major OEMs reporting sales. In addition, part of the Central Chinese government’s five-year plan is to make business aviation one of the country’s economic pillars.