A report published by aviation consulting firm Asian Sky Group (ASG) says that the number of business jets in the Asia Pacific grew 15% to 647 aircraft in 2014, but that 2015 will be a tough year for the region’s biggest market, China.

The report, an advanced copy of which was supplied to Flightglobal, says that 2014 was an especially good year for Gulfstream, with the American manufacturer delivering 30 new jets into the Asia Pacific.

The most popular additions in the region were the Gulfstream G550 and G450, the Bombardier Global 6000, and the Dassault Falcon 7X.

Pre-owned aircraft had a bad 2014, however, with sales activity down about 50% from a year earlier.

The report focuses on Greater China, North Asia, and Southeast Asia, but excludes Australia, New Zealand, and India.

Overall, Gulfstream, with a 30% market share, and Bombardier, with 26%, remain the dominant players in the region as measured by number of airframes. Still, other manufacturers saw their number of airframes based in the region grow.

ASG adds that the USA’s “N” registration remains the most popular for aircraft operating in the Asia Pacific, representing 24% of the region’s business jets.

As for Greater China, which represents 40% of the region’s private jets, ASG indicates that growth was good in 2014, but had slowed from previous years.

Boeing and Embraer, which have among the smallest market shares in Greater China, were the only manufacturers that saw more of their aircraft enter the market in 2014 than in 2013. As for deliveries of new aircraft, however, Gulfstream, Bombardier, Cessna, and Boeing all delivered more new aircraft into Greater China in 2014 than in 2013.

“Of note is also the small 2014 net growth in the Light and Very Light size categories,” says ASG. “This is directly attributable to the opening up of the lower airspace across China which is in turn encouraged growth in the flight training sector. The only category which has seen a declining growth year on year 2012 through 2014 is the Medium size category.”

ASG sounds a note of warning about 2015 in Greater China. It points to a 30 aircraft overhang in the market of business jets ordered by local lessors, but which have yet to find customers.

“A major influence on new aircraft deliveries by OEMs in 2015 will be the existing backlog with the Chinese leasing companies,” says ASG.

“Between the five main Chinese business jet leasing companies, there exists roughly 30 new aircraft either delivered and unsold or due to be delivered in 2015 hanging over the market. These new aircraft will in particular present significant market challenges to Gulfstream and Bombardier throughout the year as both these OEMs and leasing companies compete for the same base of dwindling potential buyers.”

The ASG report will be released at the ABACE show in Shanghai.

Source: FlightGlobal.com