Frugality may be the watchword under Xi Jinping’s regime, but apparently some of the country’s real estate moguls are hoping that the new guidelines don’t apply to their private aircraft.
And there don’t appear to be any Cessnas in sight for developers and investors such as Dalian Wanda, Evergrande, and Fosun, with even penny stock players owning corporate jets that go for more than $50 million.
Here’s a quick list of the biggest luxury air yachts for China’s property barons and baronesses.
Airbus A319 – Evergrande Real Estate/Xu Jiayin
Perhaps the biggest ticket in private air transportation for China’s real estate set goes to Evergrande Real Estate boss Xu Jiayin, who flies around in this shortened version of the popular A320. Evergrande took delivery of the corporate jet in 2010, and second hand versions of the plane sell for upwards of $45 million.
Xu famously took the plane, which can seat up to 124 passengers in a commercial version, to Australia and New Zealand last year for some low profile scouting of investment opportunities late last year. Shortly thereafter Australia’s government singled out the southern Chinese property magnate for having illegally acquired a $30 million Sydney mansion.
Gulfstream G550 – Wang Jianlin and Chan Laiwa
Dalian Wanda’s Wang Jianlin, who made a big splash in 2013 by purchasing the UK’s Sunseeker yacht company, also seems to have expensive taste in aeroplanes. The head of China’s biggest real estate developer by market cap is able to scout out his acquisitions of overseas movie theatres, development sites and football teams in style in his BMW/Rolls-Royce-powered Gulfstream G550.
Chan Laiwa, who chairs developer Fu Wah International Group and is one of China’s richest women, also jets around in her own G550.
The 13 metre-long luxury jet comes with its own shower and seats up to 19 passengers, but one would expect no less in an aircraft that sells for an average of $55 million.
Gulfstream G450 – Xu Jiayin
Although the $39 million Gulfstream 450 is slightly less luxe than Wang Jianlin’s plane, since Xu Jiayin already has Evergrande’s Airbus, perhaps he uses the 16-seat, Rolls-Royce powered plane for shorter hops in the region.
Xu, who has lately been branching out into everything from baby formula to private hospitals, apparently even lets some of his employees use the G450, with former Guangzhou Evergrande football coach Marcello Lippi getting to use the private jet for trips while he was still with the club, and the company even leasing G550s to fly players to their next destinations.
Bombardier Global 6000 – Yang Zhihui
His company may have struggled to implement its business plan for launching new casinos on Korea’s Jeju Island, but the head of Hong Kong-listed Landing International made sure that the company keeps enough cash on hand to acquire a $53 million Bombardier Global 6000 jet.
Landing International Development Ltd, which went public in Hong Kong via a backdoor listing, has struggled to implement its planned Korean Casinos and since seen its stock fall to HK$0.10 per share. Still the Anhui-based real estate company manages to lease the 14-metre long jet from chairman Yang Zhihui for HK$75 million ($9.7 million) per month for use of the plane reimbursement for expenses.
Dassault Falcon 7X – Guo Guangchang
Perhaps showing the investment firm’s taste for European assets, China’s biggest private investment firm, Fosun, flies chairman Guo Guangchang and other corporate execs around in a $50 million Dassault Falcon 7X.
With Lisbon, San Francisco, Sao Paolo and Sydney all showing up on Fosun’s investment itinerary these days, the investment team at Fosun can make good use of the French luxury jet’s three Pratt & Whitney engines to get them to their next meeting on time.
Mainland Jets Still Can’t Keep Pace with Hong Kong
But just in case you start thinking that China’s real estate kingpins are getting extravagant with these airplanes, keep in mind that the mainland’s billionaires still pale in comparison to their Hong Kong counterparts.
Joseph Lau, who heads developer Chinese Estates was one of the first customers to order a private Boeing 787 Dreamliner when the next generation airliner went on sale in 2007.
Hopefully, Lau who according to Forbes has amassed a personal fortune of $10.9 billion, won’t ever be forced to land his $153 million carbon-fiber aircraft in Macau, where the Hong Kong resident has an outstanding conviction for bribery related to a casino deal in the gambling haven.