China's rich are opting for second-hand private jets or rentals instead of new planes. Ryan Brooks reports.
For the world business elite, it's the ultimate status symbol. But in China, brand new private jets are losing their lustre - as the country's mega-rich increasingly shun flashy signs of wealth. For planemakers, that means a shift in focus. Leading brands are now trying to sell more second-hand planes or offer rentals instead. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRENDA GOH, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "Now Chinese buyers are more mature, they want value for money. The market had double-digit growth in China until about 2012, 2013, when an anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping made owning a private just seem a bit ostentatious. This year, dealers here say they're seeing some signs of recovery - chartering companies and fleet management companies say they're being kept busy, but at the same time Asia Sky Group predicts that the greater China fleet will only grow by 1 percent this year." That would be the weakest growth in a decade... But on the bright side, plane makers say that while Beijing's been cracking down on excess- -it seems to also be taking steps to boost their business. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRENDA GOH, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "One of the things that executives say is lack of infrastructure. The government is promising now to build 500 new airports by 2020." Insiders say they still see opportunity in China. There are currently just under 500 private jets in the country - compared to 12,000 in the United States. And there's still an army of wealthy execs out there who like the idea of flying private. Industry insiders say they're confident the market will swing back... because however flashy a private jet may be - when it comes to making business efficient - it's the only way to travel.