Take-off in Zhuhai for first private aircraft shop
China's first fixed-base operator of private aviation-related sales and services opened for business in Zhuhai , Guangdong, at the weekend.
Zhuhai Cirrus Fixed Base Operator (FBO) operates the new store, which sells planes and offers services such as refuelling, hangaring and aircraft maintenance.
Last year, the company sold 14 private aircraft and it is expecting to sell about 17 this year with the opening of the new store, according to marketing director Chen Fei .
The store mainly sells two kinds of aircraft - the Cirrus S22 and Cirrus S20, with the prices set at below 5 million yuan (HK$6.1 million) and 3 million yuan, respectively.
The 14 planes sold last year went primarily to private business owners in the Pearl River Delta region and in northeastern mainland regions such as Dalian in Liaoning province, Chen said.
'They are mostly young and capable businessmen and they bought them for personal use,' he said. Zhang Xingyu , the operations and project manager for Cirrus FBO, said the company had received orders for more than 30 private planes since its inception in 2010.
He said the new store would target 'middle-class' consumers, whom he defines as those with personal wealth of at least 10 million yuan. According to the Hurun Wealth Report 2011, there are about 960,000 mainlanders in this demographic.
Cirrus FBO plans to open 40 similar stores in other cities including Shenyang and Dandong in Liaoning; Jilin in Jilin province; and Daqing in Heilongjiang . Zhang said buyers would need to spend about 300,000 yuan on maintenance and storage every year, with each flight costing several thousand yuan.
Chen said there were about 1,000 private planes on the mainland.
Additional reporting by Sally Wang