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High Fliers Fly High in Chinese Sky

6 November 2006
 

With a little over 100,000 yuans (12,500 usd, or 16,666 aud), you can own a private jet. How does that sound?

At China’s Aircraft Expo in Zhuhai, a large number of private jets go on display, with price tags from as cheap as 100,000 yuans to as expensive as 20 million yuans.

The cheapest one is the single-seat mini jet that flies up to 140 kilometres per hour. But if you have 2 million yuans to burn, you may like to get a Little Eagle 500 (小鹰-500), which can accommodate four to five passengers with the maximum flight speed up to 1,640 kilometres per hour. Being able to take off and land from wherever you please – highway, road, street and airport runway – it is ideal for flight training, business travel, agriculture and forest and flying doctor services, as well as aviation photography and sports.

Designed and manufactured by Chinese engineers, Little Eagle 500 is 70 to 80 percent cheaper than those produced in the overseas markets. So far, the producer has already signed about 150 contracts to provide the jets to companies for business purposes as well as individuals for private usages.

Some Chinese experts predict that China’s private aviation market will take off faster than expected and quickly grow into a 1 trillion yuans business.

7000 Extra Pilots Urgently Needed, Says China

According to China’s Civil Aviation Bureau, by year 2010, China will need extra 7,000 pilots for its huge air transport fleet that will consist of 1250 flights in five years. At 2005, it is reported that there were only about 12000 pilots in China. It seems the pilot training business will be the first to boom and air transport flight instructors will be hotly sought after before anyone else.

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