Hong Kong, China (CNN)– Two years ago Candy Chung barely knew that airplanes had two wings, engines and took her on frequent trips from Asia to Europe. Now, she runs a boutique operation that helps new Asian millionaires get their own jet.
Her income per airplane may total US$300,000 to US$1 million. “Sometimes you make more, sometimes you make less,” she said.
With the explosion of fortunes in China comes a lift in private aircraft sales. In a country that’s second to the U.S. in the number of millionaires — with 1,363 people worth US$150 million and 189 billionaires, according to the Hurun List — there are ample opportunities to find clients, Chung said.
In developed markets, customers go for pre-owned models but not in this part of the world. “In China everyone wants a brand new airplane,” Chung said. For companies that manage private jets, business from rich mainlanders is thriving.
“Five years ago in Hong Kong there were less than ten business jets; today you have 40,” said Björn Näf, CEO of Metrojet in Hong Kong. “Four years ago, Metrojet had four aircraft [under management]; today we have 26.”