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E-commerce eyes Chinese private aviation

12-05-2011 08:53 BJT

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With China's rapid economic development has emerged a new class of super-rich individuals. To cater to their needs and desires, a whole new market is thriving. For some it’s luxury goods, cars, expensive homesbut for others, even that isn’t enough to quell their need to spend. Aeroplanes and helicopters have now become the new playthings of China’s wealthy elite, and rather surprisingly, an entire e-commerce platform exists to serve them. But as David Keyton finds out, even the super-rich must follow China’s strict aviation rules.

With China's rapid economic development has emerged a new class of super-rich
individuals. To cater to their needs and desires, a whole new market is thriving.

Buying a plane has never been as easy as today. A few clicks, and the plane is yoursif you’re willing to pay the price.

Various types of aircraft are available online, and as most sellers are private clubs, China’s super-rich can then learn how to fly it.

Salespersons said: "Prices start as low as 250-thousand to 300-thousand yuan, we have many private customers."

The market for private planes is growing, but its development is hinders by strict regulations concerning the use of Chinese airspace. Private users are often only allowed to fly in a limited area, and approval to venture further is difficult to obtain.

Liu Kaihong, general manager of Deer Air Company Ltd. said: "Any flying object needs to get a certification from the authorities. There are many thresholds."

Would-be flyers need to apply to several different local and national departments to get a license. Then, one week before taking off, they must submit their flight-path for approval by the local air-traffic-control.

But this could soon change. As the market grows, the government is implementing trial programs for low-altitude flights nationwide.

The country’s latest five-year economic plan also places heavy emphasis on developing private aviation through the construction of a large number of airports.

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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