By Yang Jian | 2012-9-3 | ONLINE EDITION
Traffic of business jets at Shanghai's two airports increased 43 percent in the first eight months amid growing demand, the city's business aviation base announced today.
A total of 2,700 business jets took off and landed at Pudong and Hongqiao international airports in the first eight months, 24 percent more than the same period of 2011, said George Lu, deputy general manager of the Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center at the Hongqiao airport.
"More Chinese are buying business jets as the mainland market has entered a rapid growth period just as that of the civil aviation market in the country 10 yeas ago," Lu told a press conference today.
Dassault Falcon, a French business jet manufacturer, today launched its maintenance business in Shanghai. All Dassault planes can now be serviced and repaired in Shanghai, instead of Singapore as before.
It is the third business jet maker to set up a maintenance center in Shanghai following Hawker Beechcraft and Bombardier, Lu said.
A basic maintenance in the Shanghai business aviation service center costs about US$150,000, said Kathy Liu, Dassault Falcon director of customer service for Asia Pacific.
"China's private enterprises have become major buyers of business jets as all the 20 Dassault business jets on the mainland are owned by private enterprises," Liu said. A high-end Dassault jet costs about US$53 million.
Shanghai plans to build its second business aviation base at the Pudong International Airport to meet the growing market, the Shanghai Airport Authority said.
Shanghai's airports handled 3,400 private jets last year, 33 percent of the total on the mainland, and the number is expected to top 4,000 this year.