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Bizjet makers display wares despite tough China market

While the Chinese market for business jets remains subdued, Bombardier, Gulfstream and HondaJet were all keen to display their products at Airshow China.

Gulfstream brought in its demonstrator G650ER, alongside a recently-delivered, medevac-equipped G550 operated by Beijing Red Cross Emergency Medical Center.

Bombardier brought demontrators of its Global 6000 and Challenger 650, while local operator Apex Air showed off a Challenger 850.

At the smaller end of the scale was the HondaJet, which displayed its demonstrator on the static line.

The notable presence of the three corporate jet manufacturers came amid what some see as a challenging market in China. Austerity drives in recent years have hurt business jet demand.

Noticeable by its absence was AVIC’s planned CBJ-800 business jet. The aviation conglomerate showed a model of the proposed business jet at the 2016 Airshow China, which envisioned it having a range of 8,050km and a maximum payload of 2.2t.

There was no sign of it at this year’s edition of the show, likely indicating that the project has been shelved. Instead, the only small jet that was part of its lineup was a scale model of the Cirrus Vision SF50 very-light jet in its display hall.

Despite the challenges in the business jet maket, Honeywell Aerospace’s president Asia-Pacific Steven Lein tells FlightGlobal that business aviation in China is “under-represented”, but expects that will change over the longer-term.

“We’ve confident that the market fundamentals for business aviation in the region are strong, we just see some short-term questions and blips over the global economy,” he says.

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