By Katrina Yu
4 JAN 2017
China's aviation boom is seeing Australian pilots filling desperate demand, with some mainland airlines offering upwards of $400k a year tax-free for captains willing to relocate.
Captain Steve Folpp spent eight years flying the Australian Prime Minister's plane before he retired from the Air Force and started looking for opportunities abroad.
Three-years-ago he relocated his family to Southern China to fly for a mainland airline, but a new lifestyle wasn't the only drawcard.
“The lifestyle here is very different, but very exciting. It's a good experience for us all. And you certainly can’t say no to the money," he told SBS.
Experienced pilots like Mr Folpp are being offered close to triple the salary to work in China's booming aviation industry.
The country's air traffic is set to quadrupal over the next 20 years. There are currently more than 50,000 pilots registered in China and thousands more enrolled in pilot schools. But there’s a shortage of the experience airlines need to expand.
While in Australia mid-level captains can receive around $200 thousand dollars a year before tax, Chinese airlines are offering salaries of $300 to $400 thousand dollars per annum tax-free.
Douglas Ward works with WASINC International, a company which helps recruit pilots to Chinese carriers. He said demand for pilots in China will last decades.
“No matter what number of pilots we can obtain, we can employ them here,” Mr Ward said.
He also said Australian pilots potentially have an advantage since many mainland airlines look to Australia first.
"It's as if Sydney, Melbourne are in China's backyard. It's seems to be a familiar place to them that they want to go, so it's always one of the first international destinations that's announced.”
But it can be a hard landing for some. Expats in China often find the culture shock, and smog, a challenge.
The red tape is also an obstacle, and transitioning can take up to a year.
“It’s not for everybody, but there are opportunities there that may not be available at home,” Mr Folpp said.
Kunming Airlines has filed an application to the CAAC Southwest Regional Administration for expanding its business license coverage, according to a notice released Friday on the CAAC's official website.
The Kunming-based airline currently operates passenger and cargo services within China. The airline seeks to expand its business scope to operate domestic (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) and international passenger and cargo services.
Pending government approval, Kunming Airlines will start international operations in the near future.
The Transportation Department of CAAC is now soliciting public comments on the application until August 4, 2016.
Ruili Airlines and Boeing finalized an order for six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on Monday in Kunming, Yunnan Province.
The deal is about US$1.54 billion at current list prices and paves the way for the airline's international expansion. Deliveries are scheduled from 2021.
Kunming-based carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the purchase of six 787-9 Dreamliners at a ceremony for the airline's two-year anniversary in May 2016.
The 787-9 is the super-efficient 787 family. With the fuselage extended by 20 feet (6 meters) over the 787-8, Boeing 787-9 can carry more passengers and more cargo farther yet with the extraordinary environmental performance. Boeing 787-9 has 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace.
Launched in May 2014, Ruili Airlines operates a fleet of nine aircraft on 18 domestic routes with 54 daily departures. The carrier is targeting to expand its fleet to 11 aircraft by the end of this year and plans to operate 80 aircraft by the end of 2025.
Boeing and Donghai Airlines announced today the airline's intent to purchase 25 737 MAX 8s and five 787-9 Dreamliners at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow. The agreement is valued at more than US$4 billion at current list prices.
Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines previously ordered 15 Next-Generation 737-800s and 10 737 MAX 8s in 2013. Donghai continues to fulfill its strategic plan to convert its business model from cargo services to passenger services.
"Donghai Airlines has undergone steady development over the past 10 years since the beginning of our freighter operations in 2006," said Mr. Wong Cho-Bau, Chairman, Donghai Airlines. "Under China's One Belt One Road initiative, we will accelerate our fleet expansion plan to satisfy the rapidly growing air travel market and help build our home base Shenzhen as the transportation hub in southern China. We're committed to introduce new next-generation airplanes that deliver the industry-leading fuel efficiency and passenger comfort in their segment market as a key effort to fulfill the plan."
Boeing will work with Donghai Airlines to finalize the details of the agreement. The order will be posted on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website once all contingencies are cleared.
"We are honored by Donghai Airline's reaffirmation of the 737 MAX, and we look forward to welcoming Donghai as our new 787 customer," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner. "These new airplanes will provide Donghai Airlines with the high efficiency, operating economics and passenger comfort for their business growth domestically and internationally."
The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.
The 787-9 Dreamliner can fly 290 passengers up to 14,140 kilometers in a typical two-class configuration. The airplane will deliver unmatched fuel efficiency to Donghai airlines, enabling the carrier to expand the range and quantity of services on long-haul market.
Donghai Airlines started freighter operations in 2006. The carrier expanded to offer passenger services in 2014. Donghai Airlines currently has a fleet of 11 Boeing 737-800s serving for more than 10 cities across China. With extended air route network, the Shenzhen-based carrier is making great efforts to build a modern medium-scale airline with high quality.
China Express Airlines has just completed a reconfiguration of 12 of its Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft that includes the addition of 5 additional passenger seats. This brings the seat count these aircraft to 89, allowing China Express to transport more passengers on its popular routes to and from Chongqing, Guiyang, Hohhot, and other cities. By boosting aircraft capacity, the airline expects to sell more tickets resulting in estimated revenue increases of 10 million yuan annually. Earlier this month, China Express Airlines applied to the CAAC for permission to begin operating international cargo and passenger services. Pending approval, China Express will use its existing fleet of 23 CRJ900s and orders for 15 more of the type to expand its network beyond China.
TOULOUSE - Following a visit by Sichuan Airlines and Provincial officials to the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France, Sichuan Airlines announced their order of another 15 Airbus A320 aircraft on June 3rd. The order, valued at 9 billion yuan, will continue the airline’s expansion of its Airbus fleet, which currently includes 108 A320 and A330 series aircraft. In addition to the recent order of 15 aircraft, the airline has another 25 planes on order at present. The airline seeks to approximately double its fleet size over the next ten years. This news comes on the heels of Sichuan Airlines’ application to the United States Department of Transportation to begin services between Los Angeles and both Jinwan and Hangzhou in September. If approved, both of these services would continue on to the carrier’s Chengdu hub. Los Angeles would be the second North American destination for Sichuan Airlines, after Vancouver.
TIANJIN – The first Airbus A330 widebody jet for Tianjin Airlines was delivered at Binhai International Airport recently, paving the way for the carrier’s international route network expansion. The aircraft is configured with 260 seats and will ply the airline’s first long-haul routes to Moscow and London. The carrier has ambitious plans for expansion in both its domestic and international operations with three more A330s scheduled to enter the fleet this year alongside 12 new narrowbody aircraft, growing its fleet to over 100 aircraft. Over the next five years, there are plans to add 10 Airbus A330s and expand operations to America and Australia. Tianjin Airlines is also considering acquiring new Airbus A350 aircraft to enable it to operate ultra-longhaul routes in the future. This international expansion comes on the heels of the airline’s impressive route network expansion that took place this March in which Tianjin Airlines began operating 42 new domestic routes from its bases in Hohot, Urumqi, Sanya, and others.
KUNMING – As the Yunnan-based carrier celebrated two years of successful operation, Ruili Airlines announced its signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to purchase six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The commitment has a value of US$1.6 billion at list prices and represents the first widebody order for the airline. The Dreamliner would complement Ruili Airlines’ narrowbody fleet and allow them to operate long-haul services to destinations as far as America and Europe while providing the latest and most advanced technology in passenger comfort. This news comes only a week after Ruili accepted delivery of two new Boeing 737-800s to expand their fleet to nine. The carrier has further plans for significant growth including orders for 60 new Boeing 737MAX aircraft in addition to the Dreamliners. The carrier stated it intends to operate 80 aircraft by 2025.
TIANJIN – Okay Airways has announced that the First Quarter of 2016 was the company’s most profitable since being founded in 2004. The first private sector airline in China, Okay has been continuously profitable for the past five years. The airline said its profits were boosted by full flights during the Spring Festival. Additionally, shareholders were pleased to learn that the airline had completed its IATA Operational Safety Audit and is now an official member of the International Air Transport Association. The airline, which currently operates passenger and cargo flights using Boeing 737 and MA60 aircraft, has significant plans for growth including orders for 26 new Boeing 737 NG and MAX aircraft which will nearly double the size of its fleet.
SHENZHEN – SF Express released plans detailing their intention to construct a new cargo airport in Yanji, Hubei, approximately 75km east of Wuhan. The airline stated that a dedicated freight hub in Yanji would allow them to efficiently route packages between cities across China due to the airport’s central location. The airport would also help reduce shipment delays by allowing SF to avoid airports crowded by passenger aircraft, which are given priority during inclement weather and traffic controls. SF representatives likened the plan to FedEx’s use of Memphis as a hub for that carrier’s operations in the United States. The airport is just one of the rapidly-growing cargo airline’s many plans for expanding its operations, complementing their outstanding aircraft orders. The freight airport would allow SF to achieve high utilization the 100 aircraft it plans to own by 2020.SHENZHEN – SF Express released plans detailing their intention to construct a new cargo airport in Yanji, Hubei, approximately 75km east of Wuhan. The airline stated that a dedicated freight hub in Yanji would allow them to efficiently route packages between cities across China due to the airport’s central location. The airport would also help reduce shipment delays by allowing SF to avoid airports crowded by passenger aircraft, which are given priority during inclement weather and traffic controls. SF representatives likened the plan to FedEx’s use of Memphis as a hub for that carrier’s operations in the United States. The airport is just one of the rapidly-growing cargo airline’s many plans for expanding its operations, complementing their outstanding aircraft orders. The freight airport would allow SF to achieve high utilization the 100 aircraft it plans to own by 2020.
Skymark Airlines Inc. exited bankruptcy administration and forecast its first operating profit in three years after reducing its fleet, cutting routes and getting new funding.
The carrier expects to report 1.5 billion yen ($13 million) in operating profit and sales of 70 billion yen for the year ending March 31, Skymark said in a statement Monday.
Skymark also said it’s targeting an “early relisting” of its shares after filing for bankruptcy protection last year. Private equity firm Integral Corp. took a 50.1 percent stake in the company as part of its turnaround, while ANA Holdings Inc. owns 16.5 percent and is supporting the airline in areas including aircraft maintenance and code-sharing.
“We wanted to make a plan that could withstand long-term changes in our operating environment,” Masahiko Ichie, president of Skymark, told reporters in Tokyo Monday.
For the year starting April 1, 2018, the airline is forecasting operating profit of more than 7 billion yen and sales exceeding 80 billion yen.
Development Bank of Japan Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. own the remaining shares in Skymark.
The carrier began service in 1998 after the government deregulated the domestic market to boost competition. Since then, other airlines including AirDo Co. and Star Flyer Inc. have entered the market.
Skymark filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2015 with liabilities of about 300 billion yen after running short of cash to pay for Airbus Group SE A380 superjumbos it had ordered.
“Things were going very well when Skymark ordered Airbus A380s,” Ichie said. “Then the economy changed, exchange rates moved and fuel prices went up.”
SINGAPORE, Feb. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing [NYSE:BA] and Okay Airways today announced a commitment for 12 737s, including eight MAX 8s, three 737 MAX 9s and one Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range) airplane.
The agreement, valued at $1.3 billion at current list prices, is subject to the approval of the Chinese government and will be posted to Boeing's Orders & Deliveries website once all contingencies are cleared.
"We greatly value the ties we have built over the years with Boeing," said Wang Shusheng, Chairman, Okay Airways. "The Boeing Next-Generation 737 has been the mainstay of our fleet since we started operations. The introduction of additional 737s, including the new 737 MAX, will further modernize our fleet and ensure we operate the most efficient fleet well into the future."
This commitment will mark the first 737 MAX 9 order by a Chinese airline and bolsters Okay Airways' 737 MAX portfolio to 17 airplanes. Included as part of the agreement, Okay Airways have rights to exercise options for eight additional 737 MAX 8 airplanes.
"We are honored to welcome Okay Airways as our newest 737 MAX 9 customer," said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The reaffirmation of additional 737-900ERs and 737 MAX 8s is a testament to the success that Okay Airways has established with the 737 family. We look forward to extending our partnership with Okay for decades to come."
Okay Airways, the first privately owned airline in China, is headquartered in Beijing with its main hub at Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN). The airline's fleet includes 14 737-800s, three 737-900ERs and one Boeing 737-300 Freighter, which serves more than 100 domestic and international routes.
The 737 MAX family builds on the success of the Next-Generation 737 offering the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market with 20 percent lower fuel use and emissions than the first Next-Generation 737s. The 737 MAX family has 3,072 orders from 62 customers worldwide.
SF Airlines has signed cooperation framework agreements with EVA Airand its maintenance arm Evergreen Aviation Technologies (EGAT).
In a statement, the Taiwanese carrier says it has inked a freighter cooperation agreement with the Shenzhen-based cargo carrier. Under the deal, the two parties will collaborate further on planning cargo routes and cargo space exchange.
SF Airlines launched services from Taipei to Shenzhen and Ningbo last December. Eva Air currently operates cargo services from Taipei to Shanghai and Chongqing. On 6 June, it will also start a twice weekly Taipei-Shenzhen cargo service.
The Chinese carrier has also signed an agreement with EGAT for various functions including line maintenance, emergency maintenance support, engine overhauls, aircraft modifications and component repair services on its fleet of 19 Boeing 757 and 737 Freighters.
Source: AFP | June 4, 2015, Thursday
SHENZHEN Airlines will buy 46 Boeing 737 planes in a deal worth US$4.3 billion at list prices, its parent company Air China said in a statement yesterday.
China is already Asia’s biggest aircraft buyer, as a growing middle class takes to the skies in ever-increasing numbers.
The airline will take delivery of the planes from 2016 to 2020, said the statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, where Air China is listed.
The airline owns over 100 passenger and cargo aircraft including Boeing 747s and 737s, as well as Airbus A320s and A319s.
By Michelangelo Ji, WCARN.com | May 22, 2015
Shenzhen Airlines (ZH)'s flight attendants have been awarded the most beautiful, coming first in this year's "World's Top Ten Most Beautiful Airline Flight Attendants" list published by the World Air Stewardess Association (WASA) in mid-May.
To be the most beautiful stewardess, the key features should include beauty, fashion taste, good service, and enthusiasm and so on. The evaluation criteria, GN Most Beautiful Air Stewardess Index System, include internal beauty and external beauty, comprehensive impression and smile service indexes, totaling 42 criteria.
Shenzhen Airlines has the most gorgeous and beautiful air hostesses in the world. The flight attendants of this airline are cooperative and represent the company in a better way. Hu Lanmei and Guan Yiwen were named as the Top 10 Most Beautiful Airline Flight Attendants. Moreover, ZH also ranked in the Top 10 Airlines with Smile Service.
Besides their thoughtful care for passengers, Shenzhen Girls also offer their help to the needs, spreading their kindness in all kinds of volunteering activities.
By Kate Sun, WCARN.com | May 20, 2015
China Eastern Airlines (MU) is listed on the seventh of world's most popular airlines in 2015, according to the latest report of World Airline Rankings released last week. This activity was jointly sponsored by the World Air Stewardess Association (WASA) and the Aviation Committee of World City Cooperation Organization.
To be the most popular airlines, the key features should include good service, comfortable cabin, high flight safety, excellent business performance, great reputation among passengers and so on. The evaluation criteria, GN Most Popular Airlines Index System, involve service, cabin environment and business performance indexes, totaling 56 criteria.
Under such stringent criteria, China Eastern won the seventh place in the list of "World's Most Popular Airlines" followed by Korean Air (KE) and All Nippon Airways (NH). China Eastern "Lingyan" flight attendants attended the ceremony and received the award.
China Eastern's "Lingyan" flight attendants have always been invited and attended since the first ceremony where they manifest their excellent images and elegant demeanors, greatly enhancing the fame and reputation of China Eastern. Participation of world stewardess festival each year allows China Eastern flight attendants to build and shape the beauties of image, soul and deeds to make the world know themselves and the airlines and further let Chinese stewardess go to the world.
By Rejoice Xu, WCARN.com | Mar. 06, 2015
Beijing Development and Reform Commission Beijing Development and Reform Commission will invest 3 million yuan for studying policies on the construction and improvement of the internationalized functions and supporting facilities of the new Beijing airport.
Beijing's new airport is expected to start construction in the second half of this year, which will be located in Daxing in southeast part of Beijing. The new airport is scheduled to go into formal operation in 2019 and has attracted an investment of 80 billion yuan (US$13 billion).
The new airport will have 7 runways and help ease pressure on Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). It is designed to handle an annual passenger volume of 45 million in 2020, 72 million in 2025 and 100 million in the longer term, according to an earlier report.
Okay Airways (BK) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. To commemorate 10 years' operation since its maiden flight on March 11, 2005, the Tianjin-based regional carrier has painted six of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft and Modern Ark 60 (MA 60) regional jet with a special livery.
The special decor of the fuselage features a graphical representation of the airport runways, abstract patterns of the Earth and auspicious clouds, forming the image of "OK", which symbolizes a bright and beautiful future for the Tianjin-based carrier - flying around the world.
The six aircraft includes three 737-800s from the airline's Tianjin, Changsha and Xi'an bases and three MA60s from its based in Harbin, Yantai and Alxa League.
Okay Airways, the first privately owned airline in China, is headquartered in Beijing with its main hub at Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN). Its jetliner fleet includes 13 MA60s, 13 Boeing 737-800s, one 747-900ER and one 737-300 Freighter, which serves more than 100 domestic and international routes. It is also the largest operator of home-made passenger aircraft with a fleet size of 13 MA60 aircraft.
Intense competition could lead to local govt debt: experts
As four airlines monopolize first-tier cities, more carriers, backed by local governments, are leading another wave of setting up airlines across the nation.
On Monday, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), the airline regulatory agency, announced Jiangxi Airlines is being developed.
With a registered capital of 2 billion yuan ($319 million), the company will be based in Nanchang, capital of East China's Jiangxi Province, and cater to both the domestic and international markets.
It's the latest airline to be established, following GX Airlines, which began service on February 13 from Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, to Haikou, Hainan Province.
According to the website of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, GX Airlines will use five ERJ190s, and 10 ERJ190s are expected by the end of this year.
More routes from Nanning to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries are expected.
The entry of GX Airlines will introduce Guangxi to ASEAN countries, and benefit the "One Belt, One Road" initiative, the website said.
Figures from CAAC show that, by the end of November 2014, a total of 51 firms are now involved in the air transportation business in the Chinese mainland, and in 2014 alone, six airlines began operations.
"The investment in airlines shows the local governments' enthusiasm, as it could prop up the local economy, as the return on investment is 8 yuan for every 1 yuan invested," Zhu Wenchuan, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, told the Global Times on Thursday, adding there is growing demand for airlines especially in second- and third-tier cities.
Li Xiaojin, a professor at the Civil Aviation University of China, agrees, saying that investors could also enjoy tax and land benefits, and also benefit from local government subsidies.
The HNA Group has teamed up with local governments for more airlines, including Tianjin Airlines, West Air in Chongqing Municipality, Lucky Air in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, Urumqi Air in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and Fuzhou Airlines in East China's Fujian Province, as well as GX Airlines.
The group is awaiting an airline approval in Guangxi's Guilin.
However, experts warn that competition will get intense as more local governments enter the airline business.
Local carriers could face pressure from an insufficient number of passengers, and it will also place a burden on the finances of the local government, and worsen local government debt, Zhu said.
China Business Journal reported there are still three carriers in the pipeline, including two cargo carriers in Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang Province, as well as a carrier in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
The report also said more applications are coming in to service provinces like Anhui and Guizhou.
Business aviation is in its early stages in China, but is expected to grow quickly in the coming years. There is currently a lack of infrastructure, but the government is set to tackle this problem and ease regulations.
A passenger gets into a private plane at an airport in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province on September 14. Photo: IC
China's super-rich may be able to enjoy more convenient and exclusive travel in the near future, as the country's business aviation sector is expected to grow quickly in the next few years, despite moves by the government to restrain extravagance, experts said.
The country currently has around 20 domestic business aviation operators, such as Asia United Business Aviation, which is partly owned by Shenzhen Airlines, and Hainan Airlines' Deer Jet.
The sector is gradually opening up to foreign companies too. NetJets Business Aviation Ltd - a joint venture between Warren Buffett-backed NetJets Inc and Chinese firms Hony Capital and Fung Investments - received approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in September to provide private aircraft charter services in China.
The joint venture now has two aircraft in China and has started to accept orders, company executives told the Global Times Wednesday. Besides chartering services, NetJets is also hoping to secure a certificate in the first quarter of 2015 to manage aircraft for third parties, as a growing number of rich people in China have shown interest in having their own aircraft.
NetJets already has 50 years of experience in private business aviation. Though the Chinese market is still "tiny" compared with mature markets such as the US and Europe, it is the most promising one for NetJets, its chairman and CEO Jordan Hansell told the Global Times on Wednesday.
General aviation, which refers to all civil aviation other than for scheduled commercial airlines, is still relatively underdeveloped in China. It's an area that also includes private jets, agricultural aviation and flights used for public services.
In mature markets like the US and Europe, about 60 percent to 70 percent of general aviation is related to entertainment or business, such as flying clubs and plane chartering services, Gao Yuanyang, director of the general aviation industry research center at Beihang University, told the Global Times Thursday.
But in China, such services are still in their early stages, accounting for less than 10 percent of the sector, Gao said.
Limited infrastructure and restrictions on airspace are major factors that could hinder the development of NetJets in China, said Hansell. He noted that China has the potential to become NetJets' largest market, but a lot more infrastructure will be required, along with regulatory improvements and government support for the sector.
China now only has some 200 airports for general aviation, while the US has over 15,000, according to media reports.
China also lacks management expertise in business aviation, and there are not enough pilots and mechanics, experts said.
But the central government has been stepping up efforts to boost general aviation in China and open up the sector.
In October, Premier Li Keqiang said that local governments will have more autonomy in approving the construction of general aviation airports.
"China will see a peak of general aviation airport construction in the next decade and aviation infrastructure will be improved in five years," Gao said.
Media reports have said that the governments of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are all planning to build airports for private jets.
Also, the airspace in China is set to become less tightly regulated. According to an industry guideline in 2010, the government plans to open low-altitude airspace of under 1,000 meters throughout the country in 2015.
Although corporate jets fly at a much higher altitude, the policy has generally been seen as a boost for the industry.
Hansell said that rather than the chartering business, the company's main business in China will be managing aircraft for clients, as an increasing number of super-rich people now want to buy their own planes and they will need professional management services.
China now has around 400 aircraft in the business aviation sector and the country buys 80 to 100 business aircraft each year, according to a forecast made in a report by China Business Aviation Group in April.
Also, China has considerable purchasing power - over 6,000 people have assets of over $200 million, the report said.
"As well as individuals, companies will also want to buy their own jets," Gao noted.
NetJets is also considering bringing its fractional ownership model to China, in which an aircraft is owned by up to 16 individuals, according to Hansell. He noted that this model could offer more efficient use of the aircraft.
However, the company has not yet received approval to operate this business model in China, he said.
"China's general aviation is expected to see participation from more foreign investors in the future. But as domestic companies still lag far behind foreign rivals, the government will take it slow in opening the industry," Li Keshi, operating director at industry portal tyhk.com.cn, told the Global Times Wednesday.
NetJets' entrance into China comes at a time when the country's economy is cooling, with economists predicting that GDP growth could slow to 7.3 percent this year, and to 7 percent in 2015.
The slowdown, along with the government's move to restrain extravagance, has eaten into luxury consumption in China.
Robert Molsbergen, president of NetJets' executive jet management unit, told Bloomberg in October that Chinese officials do a lot of flying in China, but now they no longer use private jets because of the government's anti-extravagance campaign.
However, Eric Wong, vice chairman of NetJets' operation in China, said that it is a misunderstanding to regard private aviation as an extravagance. In mature markets, private aviation is an important efficiency tool, he said.
"I think in the foreseeable future, there will be more use of business aviation by young entrepreneurs in particular," Wong said.
He also noted that growth of China's private sector will be a driving force for the company and more business will come from western China as many industries are moving westward.
Beihang University's Gao also noted that officials only account for a very small part of the business aviation sector in China, so the anti-extravagance campaign will have little impact on the sector.（Liang Fei）
Recently, Shenzhen Airlines started launching its first delivery aircraft operation in Nanchang Changbei International Airport marking the beginning of Nanchang-Haikou flight route. Within one year, Shenzhen Airlines has expanded its original 3 flights per week schedule to nearly 80 flights per week at the peak period, which indicates a 7 fold increase average flights this year compared to the same period last year. Shenzhen Airlines now jumps to the top airlines in its transporting capacity in Nanchang Airport. Shenzhen Airlines have signed a cooperative agreement with Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province and Xihu District of Nanchang in August 2008 and October 2009 respectively. Both parties determined on a pragmatic and in-depth cooperation focusing at development of tourism aviation and related aspects. Shenzhen Airlines stated its next move will be actively preparing Jiangxi Branch. Based on the existing routes, they will continue to increase their delivery capacity to 3 aircrafts at Nanchang next year. New routes from Nanchang to Dalian, Shenyang, Harbin, Taiyuan, Chengdu, Kunming, Lanzhou, Wuxi and other cities will open for operation as well as more frequent flights will be added to the existing routes making Shenzhen Airlines’ connecting cities from Nanchang to become 20.