Chan's Embraer Legacy 650 jet, with his name and the Chinese character for "dragon" on its tail, is on display at this week's event as the Brazilian manufacturer competes with General Dynamics's Gulfstream and Bombardier in capturing Chinese sales projected to grow 15 percent a year.
China's business-jet fleet may increase to 2,470 planes by 2030 from 150 in 2010, according to Montreal-based Bombardier, as the nation liberalizes airspace regulations and rising wealth spurs demand. The world's fastest-expanding major economy had about 1.11 million millionaire households in 2010, according to Boston Consulting Group.
"China's business aviation has witnessed explosive growth since 2009 as the super-rich look beyond cars and yachts to jets, and as financial institutions flock to the market," said Jenny Lau, chief executive officer at Hong Kong-based Sino Jet Management, which will manage Chan's plane. "In the next three to five years, the Chinese market will be the main story, with all the big plane makers focusing on it."
Minsheng Financial Leasing, the leasing arm of Hong Kong-listed China Minsheng Banking, ordered three Lineage 1000 ultra-large executive jets, Embraer said Tuesday at the air show. The plane maker also said it won orders for 12 E195 commercial jets from Brazil's Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras.
Bombardier sees "great potential" in China, where it has a market share of 30 percent in registered and certified business jets, Christophe Degoumois, vice president for business aircraft sales, said at the show. Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang flies a Bombardier jet to performances, Degoumois said.
Textron's Cessna Aircraft Co., the world's biggest builder of business jets by deliveries, expanded its China sales staff in the past year and expects to complete a service facility with sister company Bell Helicopter in Singapore in the second quarter, it said at the air show.