Flying high: the new era of Chinese jetsetters

24 September 2019

It’s an almost universal trend that we see stretch from the middle east to the USA, Europe and LatAm countries like Brazil: owning a superyacht is the ultimate luxury for the world’s super wealthy. China, however, bucks the trend, with only few Chinese owning superyachts, despite the rise in (U)HNWIs in the country. Why?

There are Chinese superyacht owners, but they’re few and far between. Investments aside, we’re typically not seeing China’s (U)HNWI’s buying superyachts. Instead there’s an increasing appetite for high-end private jets,’ explains ZEDRA’s Head of Marine and Aviation, Andrew Wilson.

So why is interest in jets surpassing superyachts in China? ‘The type of Chinese individual who can afford a superyacht generally has an incredibly fierce work ethic, making every second of time precious. Amongst those that can afford such luxuries perhaps they consider they’re going to receive more value from their hard-earned cash by investing in a jet that will have a practical use and save them valuable time as they travel for business, rather than a yacht that is primarily used for downtime,’ says Hong Kong Managing Director, John Ashwood.

China is producing more millionaires and billionaires than ever before and while there’s some uncertainty over the current trade talks with the US, many Chinese are looking to seize the plentiful opportunities in the greater Asian region, which requires more travel. ‘Access to a personal jet cuts out time spent at airports waiting for commercial flights and also offers the benefit of being able to take businessmen or women directly to a smaller but more local airport, thereby cutting overall travel time. It’s easy therefore to see why jets are increasingly considered more of a necessity than a luxury, which is also driving the trend towards private jet ownership in China,’ says Andrew.

Regulations in China have also changed in recent years, paving the way for more private jets as until a few years ago the Chinese had problems flying over mainland China as airspace for private flights was restricted. ‘These restrictions have now been lifted, meaning it’s easier to fly over China in a private jet, which has been a key driver in the trend for more Chinese snapping up private jets,’ concludes Andrew.

For more information, please contact John Ashwood or Andrew Wilson.

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