The Wall Street Journal recently had a video segment about the booming private jet market in Asia and just what goes into a multi-million dollar luxury private jet for an Asian taipan. The video segment began with a tour of an exclusive Bombadier Global 6,000 that can seat up to 19 passengers for a quick jaunt from Hong Kong to London in a single hop at 50,000 feet (or 15,240 meters) and 590 mph (or 950 kmh). The aircraft itself is 48 feet or 14.6 meters long and contains a kitchen, dining room, bedroom, leather toilet and a full bar plus plenty of Swiss leather along with Italian marble and most important of all: A state of the art visual system to help land in the hazy skies of China. The cost of the aircraft: A mere $45 million plus another $20 million to customize the interior – no doubt pocket change for many an Asian taipan.
The video segment then had an interview with a Bombadier representative who pointed out that their customers tend to be everyone from oil traders to stock traders to CEOs. However, he also noted a few peculiarities about the Asian luxury private jet market, namely that:
- Husband and wife purchases are actually common as the Chairman’s wife may have a big say about the interior – which can include everything from round tables for family style meals to karaoke bars with some thought being put in about an aircraft interior’s feng shui.
- Everyone is price sensitive but there is still a preference for new aircraft with Asian customers usually wanting theirs right NOW.
- There are an estimated 600 private jets in Asia with 150 to 200 private jets in China alone along with double digit growth rates.
The Bombadier representative also pointed out that their preference is to use leather coming from cows living at high altitudes (e.g. Switzerland) where there are no mosquitos or barbed wire to do any damage to it – an interesting factoid to bring up at your next cocktail party.
Otherwise, the reporter asked about rumors that having a private jet means you can jump the queue on the runway and fly out of China ahead of commercial airlines. And although the Bombadier representative would not confirm or deny such rumors, it would definitely be an added benefit for private jet ownership if its true!