China’s booming economy is minting billionaires, and the new rich are developing a growing appetite for spending their money on private jets and yachts. China is becoming the place where the companies catering to luxury jets and mega-yachts have to be now, working for the future. We have earlier seen that Horizon Yachts commissioned superyacht Lady Gaga for a Chinese owner and another Chinese couple commission a one-off trimaran, making it apparent that Chinese billionaires are turning out to be the main players in the luxury market around the world.
In the recent times, China’s private jet market has seen a significant growth; a south China’s private jet dealer, Zhuhai Cirrus General Aviation Co. Ltd has sold 14 aircrafts in just four days of business. The impressive sales have re-affirmed the growing appetite of China’s billionaires for private air travel despite of strict government regulation in the aviation sector. The private jet models that were sold recently include, a U.S. made lightweight Cirrus SR22s and SR20s at a price of $$791,000 and $480,000 respectively. The dealer is China’s first fixed base operator that provides all aeronautical services like hangaring, fueling and maintenance. Promoted under the slogan ‘Flying is a lifestyle’, the company has set a target to build 40 fixed-base stores across China, particularly in north-eastern region.
Due to strict regulations and lengthy approval procedures, country’s private jet owners have not really been able to live the flying lifestyle. Moreover, it remains inconvenient for these exclusive rich owners to park and repair their new toys as the aviation sector is still at an infant stage. However, to boost the aviation sector, the government authorities have so far promised to open the tightly controlled low-altitude airspace below 1,000 meters, for trial basis in limited regions and cities.
On the other hand, China’s maritime market is also all set to play a significant role in the future business plans of many European boat builders and international yacht brands. Though, yachting in china is still in its infancy, reason being the 43% import duties and strict regulations on the Chinese coastal waters, but it’s been estimated that the market has considerable potential for growth than anywhere else in the world, considering the rapidly increasing prosperity and rising number of wealthy Chinese people. It’s been reported that two years ago, there were a total of 102 private yachts in China, and the number is believed to have risen significantly since then.
Further, an Illinois based company; the Forest Lake impressively sold about 55 boats to China last year. Whereas, the market leader in this class, Brunswick expects this year’s sales growth to match last year’s 25 percent. Considering China’s potential for larger boats, the company is also planning to launch its 10 feet long Hatteras and Meridian yachts. Brunswick even displayed its 47 foot cruiser, the Meridian 441 at the Hainan fair that sells in China for $1.5 million.
The four-day Hainan Rendez-Vous fair bought together all the major luxury brands catering various segments like Maserati and Martell Cognac, with international yachting brands and business-jet makers like Ferrati Group, Azimut, Lurssen and Feadship. In addition, at a luxury lifestyle show held in Sanya, China, all kinds of luxury goods from Ferrari to Rolls Royce to mega-yachts attracted new class of super rich Chinese people.