The super-wealthy in China are no longer satisfied with a roadster or playing golf. Desirous of more entertainment and convenient transport, multi-millionaires now look at private jets as their new toys, according to an article on CNN website on Dec 5.
The newly released Hurun Rich List 2010 says that there are 1,363 individuals in China with personal wealth of $150 million. The number is second only to the United States, where buyers prefer used planes, whereas their Chinese counterparts favor brand new jets.
The article pointed out that "there are problems for the nouveau riche with sky-high ambitions in China." Clients can wait as long as three years before they can claim ownership. Of course, an additional payment of a million or two saves customers the trouble of waiting: In the very next month after placing the order, they can enjoy their charter flight services.
It went on to say, however, that restrictions and complicated procedures have hampered the flexible flying of private jets in China. The lower air space is not yet open for private flights. Before a private aircraft can take off, it has to report its flight plan to air traffic controllers for legal approval, which usually takes a day or two. As a result, private flights can hardly serve emergency departures.
It seems that owning a jet is one thing, flying it is another. According to Candy Chung, who helps Asian super-rich get their own aircraft, aviation in China lags 30 or 40 years behind the United States.