““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
China Minsheng Leasing Inks Agreement for Gulfstreams
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.