Post-script to the recent Shanghai bizjets show….Until recently, there appeared to be no end to the China-buyer appetite for ultra-long-range jets. The OEM’s (notably Gulfstream) are still trickling their 2015 and onwards G650, Global 6000 and Falcon 7X/8X back-orders into China. However, this “silk runway” is beginning to look more like a “silk runway over-run” and for those who aren’t familiar, this term is aviation-speak for the area at the end of a runway that abruptly arrests aircraft momentum.

Falcon 8X sleeping quarters for the ultra-long-range trips.

Aviatrade is acutely aware of the effects of the current ‘dragon-boat-racing‘ economy’s dictate with regard to anti-corruption legislation. Unfortunately, this ongoing purge has ensnared many current high-end jet owners….Anbang Insurance (a prior Aviatrade consulting client) is just one, very public, example of the ‘collateral damage’ incurred by these very high-profile and seemingly (until recently) untouchable bizjet owners.

Not only are the OEM order books apparently looking a little thinner in China, there are now jets available for sale (mostly off-market) that were only recently introduced into the country, sometimes only a few months ago. One example; a Gulfstream G650 (now an ER), sold into China last year, was recently hastily removed from China for overseas “caretaking” pending a sale. Note to potential buyers…checking for liens against title could be tricky.

A Gulfstream G650 cabin awaiting dinner guests.

That said, there is still demand from within China for newly delivered (non-China, post-delivery sales) ultra-long-range bizjets that need to find a new owner, quickly. These bizjets seem to find their way into Chinese hands via a somewhat circuitous route (much akin to the Silk Road :)) involving numerous middlemen. This middleman aspect obviously bumps the price to the end-user by inserting sometimes multi-million dollar ‘commissions’ into the equation….(a cost of doing business “over there”, unfortunately). There seems to be no end to the “special relationships” or “friends of the chairman” who can facilitate these transactions.

Traditional Silk Road transportation, before bizjets arrived.

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