General Aviation Market Intelligence

China GA Manufacturers – China GA Report 2020

China GA Manufacturers – China GA Report 2020

While China’s General Aviation (GA) market has significant potential, the industry began much later compared to more developed markets. As such, in terms of manufacturing, China has relied on imported aircraft. However, as the market develops China is now investing in the development of local manufacturers.

As of June 2020, 32 domestic GA aircraft manufacturers obtained a China Production License (PC). Among those, the number of manufacturers producing self-developed models accounted for 56%. The number of manufacturers directly introducing or acquiring aircraft models accounted for 44%. Although there are more self-developed models in terms of quantity, with the exception of AVIC’s “Y” series and some individual models, most of these aircraft fall into the very light sports category, which are not suitable for traditional GA operations. The sports aviation market has not been fully opened, so the market share is low. Joint ventures with foreign manufacturers or directly acquiring related companies and technologies continue to be the main way for the development of domestically-made aircraft. In 2011, AVIC acquired Cirrus, the world’s second-largest GA aircraft manufacturer. It also acquired Continental Engine, which produces piston engines. Currently, AVIC of Zhuhai produces Cirrus SR20 series models. Zhejiang Wanfeng Group completed the acquisition of Diamond Aircraft of Austria and Canada in 2016 and 2017, and the current DA40 model has also been put into production and delivered. Zair acquired Czech Skyleader Aircraft and the German Xtreme Sports Aircraft in 2017 and 2018.

Notably, the amphibious aircraft AG600, known as one of the “Three Musketeers” – a trio of large aircraft developed domestically, completed its first maiden flight. This marked a new era for China’s aircraft manufacturers.

In terms of geographic location, GA manufacturers are mainly concentrated in northern, eastern coastal and central cities in China. The northeastern coastal province of Liaoning, notable for its industrial sectors, is home to 5 GA manufacturers. Jiangsu, a province north of Shanghai, and Hubei in Central China are home to 3 manufacturers. These two provinces are favored by manufacturers for their favorable policies and economic foundation.