China Opens World’s First ‘Airplane Supermarket’

On the heels of a report that shows Chinese tourists spend more money than anyone else comes news that the world’s first “airplane supermarket” has opened in Beijing.

Typically, private aircraft are purchased through private deals, at local airports or online. Opening a brick-and-mortar aircraft store akin to a car dealership should be a boon to private aircraft ownership in China, which is a relatively novel concept. Private pilots are a rarity in the country because of strict military control of Chinese airspace. However, China’s newly minted millionaires are frequently happy to pay fines of upwards of $17,000 for violating the regulations. And soon, the government will ease restrictions on certain types of low-level flights.

Affluent Beijing businessmen can now swing by their local aircraft emporium on their way home to pick up a Pipistrel 4-seater or a Eurocopter helo. Prospective customers can take airplanes out for a test fly in a specially designated zone surrounding the store. While recreational flying is a pricy hobby, according to a manager at the new store getting rid of their stock is “as easy as selling cabbages.”

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]