Beijing Relaxes Private Flight Plan Applications

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Photo by flcker user shazari under the creative commons licenseSept. 7 – China has relaxed applications for private flight plans from six days to just three hours, a move that will likely lead to a boom in the private jet travel business.

As reported in the South China Morning Post, the decision means it is now possible for a Chinese registered Airbus A318 elite or Gulfstream 200 to file a flight plan with the mainland aviation authorities three to six hours prior to take off as opposed to the three to six day lead time previously required. The three to six day requirement will still apply for foreign aircraft.

Greater China may now be poised to take lead in a market dominated by the Middle East and previously suppressed in the country because of political and military reasons. Airbus is also set to establish an outfitting center in the mainland to allow Chinese customers to choose their preferred cabin decorations.

Jeffrey Lowe, a director of sales and marketing at BAA Jet Management, a Hong Kong-based company that manages corporate jets in the region, told the South China Morning Post that it is becoming less expensive to fly domestically registered jets. According to Lowe, flight plans previously cost US$4,400 to file but the fee will now be waived for domestically registered crafts. The Chinese government will also implement lower navigating and parking fees for domestic registered aircraft.

Beijing is encouraging the ownership and use of private jets by cutting duties and taxes on the purchase from 23 percent to 6 percent in 2010.

Correction: September 10, 2009
An earlier version of this article failed to identify the source of the original report on flight plan applications and the cost of flight plans. The story is based on reporting that originally appeared in the South China Morning Post.