China's first private aircraft dealer open for business

Updated: 2007-07-25 09:11

BEIJING - China's first showroom selling aircraft to private customers has opened in an eastern city, Beijing Morning Post reported Tuesday, in the latest sign of soaring incomes as the country's economy booms.

Two executive jets wait on the tarmac of Beijing Capital airport in 2000.
Two executive jets wait on the tarmac of Beijing Capital airport in 2000. [AFP]
The Tianducheng General Aviation Marketing and Service Centre opened its doors on Monday in the city of Hangzhou to reveal a range of helicopters and small private and agricultural-use airplanes, the report said.

The store has been jointly set up by an aviation technology company from the northern city of Xian and a Zhejiang business group.

Among the store's merchandise is a two-seater helicopter selling for the equivalent of 160,000 dollars, the newspaper said, without specifying whether the aircraft being sold were foreign or domestic made.

The number of private owners of aircraft is now "less than 100" nationwide, the newspaper said, but the aircraft dealer in Zhejiang province plans to capitalise on expected growing private sales as personal incomes continue to skyrocket.

Although millions of rural residents survive on the equivalent of a few dollars a day, the combined wealth of China's 400 richest people in 2006 jumped 51 percent to 110 billion dollars, Forbes magazine said last November.

The number of dollar billionaires also increased to 15 from just three in 2004.

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