April 16, 2013
Bombardier and Gulfstream are among the few manufacturers that have succeeded in overcoming mainland Chinese customers’ strong disinclination to buy secondhand business aircraft. But that success is rare and involves like-new aircraft.
A few users — not many — have been willing to buy a used Bombardier aircraft from the manufacturer itself with a manufacturer’s warranty, says Bob Horner, senior vice president for sales. Gulfstream, too, has sold two used aircraft to Chinese buyers, says Roger Sperry, senior vice president for international sales.
The companies’ success in selling only a small number of used aircraft, under conditions as close as possible to those of a new aircraft, exemplifies a key characteristic of the Chinese market. Because new business jets are more prestigious — and are more trusted for safety by users who are not too familiar with aircraft operation — the country is likely for many years to account for more than its fair share of new sales. But China is likely to be an exporter of used business aircraft.