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Businessmen snap up 22 private jets
By Shao Xiaoyi (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-31 07:06

HANGZHOU: The people of Wenzhou have a reputation for being high-flyers in the business world, but with a recent order of 22 private aircraft, they have started to take the tag literally.

The lofty order came during an exhibition in Yueqing in East China's booming Zhejiang Province, and totalled at least 133 million yuan (US$16.4 million). Yueqing is a city administered by Wenzhou.

The order included four "Cessna 172s," four A2C seaplanes, two "Robinson R22" helicopters, and two "Robinson R44 Ravens." The most luxurious purchase was a Dassault business jet costing 60 million yuan (US$7.4 million), according to Xu Weijie, chairman of the board of Yueqing Flying Club, organizer of the exhibition.

Seven famous plane production companies from home and abroad gathered at the exhibition, which aimed to show different types of planes and also the cost of running them, said Xu. To Xu's surprise, Wenzhou's entrepreneurs paid little attention to the expense, and were more concerned about how quickly they get their new planes into the air.

"With the aim of fostering a good company image, showing the great power of Chinese enterprises, and improving my business efficiency, I decided to buy an aircraft," said Tu ChangZhong, board chairman of Wenzhou Yikai Group, who ordered a Robinson helicopter.

"It is worthwhile spending millions of yuan on a business jet to save time and energy, and also owning a plane convinces your business partners that you are reliable."

Currently, there are nine private jets owned by four entrepreneurs on the Chinese mainland.

(China Daily 12/31/2005 page2)

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