China Minsheng Leasing Inks Agreement for Gulfstreams

Thursday, July 14, 2011 - 2:30am

Gulfstream Aerospace has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for midsize and large-cabin Gulfstreams with China's
Minsheng Financial Leasing. Though neither company would confirm the number of aircraft involved, many reports state that the MoU covers up to 50 Gulfstreams-an unspecified mix of G250s, G450s, G550s and G650s - worth a potential $2.6 billion. The aircraft leasing firm was formed in April 2008 by China Minsheng Banking and Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone Investment. As of the end of last year, it had ordered 17 business jets, reportedly including ones from Cessna, Dassault Falcon and Hawker Beechcraft. It has already taken delivery of at least one aircraft - a Gulfstream G450. Minsheng has registered capital of RMB 2.3 billion ($480 million). According to the Firestone Management Group, 116 business jets were registered in China (including Hong Kong and Macau) as of last January. Minsheng president Zhang Bo told a conference in London earlier this year that he expects this number to reach 170 by year-end.

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““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”

-—actor and comedian Ricky Gervais