Business jet manufacturers from six countries are banking on 16 aircraft exhibited at Hong Kong's three-day biennial air show to lure buyers in the Greater China market - seen as the growth engine for corporate jets in the coming decades. Greater China was expected to account for the purchase of 300 business jets - those with up to 149 seats - over the next 10 years, David Dixon, a regional vice-president for Bombardier, said at the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress yesterday. That number could grow to 2,100 jets in the next 20 years, he said. At present, there are fewer than 90 20- to 149-seat aircraft in the Greater China market. Sixteen corporate jets were displayed on the tarmac at the Business Aviation Centre at Chek Lap Kok yesterday. They ranged from the petit Italian-made Avanti II, a US$7 million seven-seat private jet, to the sizable A318 Elite, which can accommodate three double-beds and carries a price of US$63 million. 'The mainland is embracing business aircraft, realising that it is bringing business and investment into the country,' Dixon said. The time it took to get a permit for a business jet flight had recently been reduced to a few hours, compared with the previous week-long application process, he said. Bombardier, the world's third-largest business jet manufacturer, accounts for 25 per cent of the market share in the Asia-Pacific. It predicted long-range business jets such as Global Express XRS will emerge as the most popular aircraft in the region. India is another fast-growing market for business jets. Bombardier predicted the nation will take delivery of 250 new business jets in the next 10 years, helping to triple their numbers in Asia-Pacific to 1,400 by 2018. Asia and the Greater China market have proven to be more resilient to the global economic downturn. Some manufacturers have received orders from the region this year at a time when the market in the United States and Europe is almost dormant. Cessna, a US producer of business jets and other aircraft, announced an order for three Citation Sovereigns from the Civil Aviation Administration of China on Monday. The three Citations, which can operate at the highest altitudes a business jet can handle, will be used as flight inspection aircraft for all airports on the mainland, in Hong Kong and Macau. The order came after one from Korean Air for two training aircraft and an order of five Citations from a Singapore flying college this year.