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China tariffs on U.S. business jets no clear boost to rivals - aviation execs

Reuters  |  SHANGHAI 

By Brenda Goh

(Reuters) - China's planned tariffs on U.S. business jets may do little to buoy rivals despite concerns the moves could create an unequal playing field in the fast-growing market, executives said in on Monday.

earlier this month announced retaliatory tariffs against key U.S. imports, among which is a proposed 25 percent tariff on U.S. with an "empty weight" of between 15,000 kilograms and 45,000 kilograms.

The growing trade spat between and creates a potential threat to U.S. plane makers including Co and Gulfstream, which could see prices of some planes rise. European rivals, however, said it wasn't so clear-cut.

"You have many other parameters that lead to a sale. Price is one of them, but not the only one," said Carlos Brana, senior vice president of civil at Dassault

The category impacted by the potential tariffs would include General Dynamics Corp's popular and G650s and the larger Business Jet 1 that competes against models from European rival SE.

"Our view is that trade war benefits nobody," said David Velupillai, at Corporate Jets at a press conference on Monday ahead of the Asian Business Conference & Exhibition in

Thanks to demand from China's newly minted billionaires and globally minded state-owned enterprises, the growth of its business jet fleet has outpaced that of other countries in the region, making it a key target market for private jet makers.

At the end of 2017, there were 1,179 jets in the region, up 2.1 percent from a year earlier, according to a report published by consultancy on Monday. The largest market is China, which has 339 planes.

Canada's Bombardier Inc, Gulfstream and Textron Inc's Cessna are currently the top three manufacturers in the region, respectively holding a 26 percent, 25 percent and 19 percent share of the fleet, the report added.

Gulfstream's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Scott Neal, told the company had already raised its concerns about the potential tariffs with industry organisations but that it would be premature to talk about any impact.

declined to comment on the issue when asked about it at a media briefing, referring to a statement earlier this month in which it said nothing drastic had happened yet.

Khader Mattar, Bombardier's vice president of sales for the Middle East, Africa, and China, told there was no sign the proposed tariffs was impacting sentiment for the Canadian manufacturer's business

"But we will keep monitoring the situation and we will act accordingly," he said.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Jourdan and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 16:13 IST