China will account for the sale of 805 executive jets over the next decade, with traditional top-end business jets accounting for over 50% of the demand and 78% of the total shipment value, according to the latest forecast for the region from Brazilian airframer Embraer.

China's fleet of executive jets has experienced an average annual expansion of 27% between 2008 and 2012, says Embraer, fuelled by a 26% growth in the country's wealthy elite during the same period.

China is slowly building its aviation infrastructure to support the growing fleet and satisfy an appetite for executive aircraft from customers seeking point-to-point travel outside the scheduled limitations of airlines.

The number of fixed-base operations in China is expected to almost double over the forecast period from five to nine

Since 2004, when Embraer delivered its first business jet - a Legacy 600 - into the region, the airframer has clocked-up orders for 38 jets from Chinese customers, along with options for a further five aircraft.

In anticipation of the growing demand, Embraer has established an assembly base for the super-midsize Legacy 600 and large cabin 650 in China with joint ventre partner AVIC.

The first aircraft assembled by Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry (HEAI) - a Legacy 650 - took to the skies on its maiden flight on 26 August.

All the Rolls-Royce AE 3007/A1P-powered Legacy 650s produced by HEAI are destined for the Chinese market.

Source: Flight International