Q: Why are you participating in the China Jet Expo?
A: Because this Chinese market is growing rapidly. Right now is the perfect time in China to buy airplanes from the US because the prices have never been lower. I think in three years aviation will start to take off here.
Q: What difficulties do you face in entering the Chinese market?
A: People believe that the limitaions are too much. Importing an aircraft takes too long and the taxes are too high.
Q: So why do you think buyers in China will be interested in purchasing previously-owned planes?
A: You can get them now instead of later. There’s a waiting period for new aircraft of two to five years. In the US, we can sell an airplane in three months. If you want it in China, it will take six months. What makes us different is we actually physically have the airplane in stock. Most of our competition in China is charter services.
Q: Why business jets?
A: The Chinese businessman is becoming an international businessman. Nowadays, Chinese business people are using [private jets] as business tools; they are buying companies in other countries and they need a reliable way to go there. Or people who own coal mines in Datong, but live in Zhejiang; they want to go to Datong to visit their mines for two hours and then go back. It’s really more of a business tool than a pleasure tool. You get off a Gulfstream 5 and you’re so well-rested you immediately want to do business.
Q: How do you get request permission to fly private aircraft in the US?
A: You turn on the engine and tell [the authorities] that you’re going to fly. It takes 15 minutes. There is instrument flying and visual flying. If you’re just going to fly for fun, like island hopping, you only need to tell them you’re taking off. If you’re going to fly with the instruments, you need to submit a flight plan.