China’s Appetite for Large Bizjets To Continue

AINalerts » April 8, 2014
Nearly two-thirds of the 198 business jets based in mainland China are large-cabin models, such as this Gulfstream G450, and this share is unlikely to change much even as the fleet continues to expand there, according to analyst Brian Foley. China faces long internal distances and a heavy international requirement, both of which favor larger and more capable aircraft. (Photo: David McIntosh/AIN)
April 8, 2014, 6:00 PM

China’s preference for larger, longer-range business jets will endure for the foreseeable future, according to market analyst Brian Foley. Data from Amstat shows that 63 percent of the 198 business jets in mainland China are large-cabin; 25 percent are midsize and 12 percent are light.

“Having nearly two-thirds of the fleet concentrated in large aircraft seems lopsided, compared with the worldwide average of 26 percent large-cabin, 34 percent midsize and 40 percent light,” Foley said. China’s fleet does closely mirror the Middle East’s large-cabin, midsize and light jet fleet mix of 68 percent, 22 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

“Like the Middle East, China faces long internal distances and a heavy international requirement, both favoring larger and more capable aircraft. Seen in this light, China’s midsize and light jet fleet should not be expected to ‘catch up’ to its larger brethren,” Foley said. “More likely, the present mix will remain relatively constant even as the total fleet size increases.”

While mainland China’s fleet more than doubled in three years and grew 23 percent in the last year, Foley estimates that its next market doubling will take five years. “We’re already seeing China’s market normalizing,” he said. “There’s a finite pool of capable buyers, whose numbers have been cut as the economy continues to moderate.”

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