• Embraer's Ambassador and Famous Customer Jackie Chan

Embraer's Ambassador and Famous Customer Jackie Chan (Photo : Getty Images)

Embraer Executive Jets (EEJ), a Brazilian business jet manufacturer, is expecting continued growth in the country's executive aviation market as the country's billionaires, who are its potential customers, increase in number.

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Guan Dongyuan, president of Embraer China, said that the company increased its delivery volume worldwide to 225 aircraft last year, 117 of these were executive jets and 108 were commercial/regional jets.

"The total of 225 aircraft for these two markets represents the highest volume of deliveries in the last six year. In China, Embraer delivered one Legacy 500 and two Phenom 300s. Embraer sees the Chinese market as full of potential and predicts that the Chinese executive aviation market will continue growing at a stable pace in the coming years," Guan told AINonline.com.

The Legacy 500 was delivered to a customer in Tianjin, while the two Phenom 300s were ordered by Colorful Yunnan General Aviation, Guan said.

According to Guan, China's aviation market, especially business aviation, has a huge potential for growth, "considering the economic volume, the great consumption of power, the HNWI (high net worth individual) numbers, among others."

Guan pointed two major problems that prevent the rapid growth of the market in China. One of them is the lack of infrastructure and the other is the shortage of aviation professionals such as pilots, engineers, crew and managers.

For some years, the Brazilian company has been making small regional aircraft in the country but its executive jets, such as the Phenom 100 and 300 and the Legacy 450 and 500, are manufactured in Brazil, and more recently in Melbourne and Florida.

"Based on the current import duty and VAT position in China, it will be more economical and efficient to manufacture in Brazil or the U.S. However, we attach great importance to the Chinese market and Chinese customers. [So] in the future Embraer will continue to seek the best solution to serve its customers and supply them with the products and services they really need," Guan explained.

Growth factors

Guan said that their company places great importance on the Chinese market. He said that five Chinese cities are ranked as regional hubs for global billionaires, compared to only four in the U.S.

"The appearance of more high net worth individuals--333 super rich individuals whose personal assets total over 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion)--brings more consumption power and dynamics to the executive aviation market," he said.

He added that the development of executive aviation in China lags far behind as the country's economic volume does not match the fleet size, reflecting the great potential of the market.

In addition, Embraer enjoys reliable financial support from its cooperation with local and international banks as well as lessors and other financial providers, which help obtain finances in China and overseas markets.

Guan also believed that government support also contributes to their continued business in the country.

Government role

"The government encourages the development of general aviation and has issued several favorable policies for the development of the industry. According to 'Guidelines on the Development of the General Aviation Industry,' issued by the State Council, by 2020 there will be in total over 500 general aviation airports," he said.

"The situation of infrastructure construction will be greatly improved," he added. "Furthermore, on March 3, the CAAC issued a document which says the approval procedures of general aviation aircraft import will be canceled. This will further stimulate the development of executive aviation."

According to the State Council, 50 more commercial airports will be built by 2020 and the total number for general aviation is expected to reach 500 by that year.