Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has just given jetsetting an entirely new spin — as aeroplanes are now up for sale on its Taobao marketplace.
The sale process is auction-style, and one of the six planes being auctioned — the J160C aircraft manufactured by Australian company Jabiru — had a starting bid of just CNY1 (or barely an American quarter). As of now, its price tag has risen to CNY1.01 million ($165,000).
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The most expensive plane listed has an opening bid of CNY16.8 million ($2.75 million).
The auction will end on September 16. Besides the CNY1 Jabiru plane though, which has received a total of 23 bids, none of the other planes have gotten any interest.
This may be because Taobao isn’t making it easy for any Tom, Dick and Harry to place a bid. A report by Xinhua notes that there are some hurdles to cross: most notably that includes a deposit of CNY50,000 ($8,170) for each plane, although the Jabiru 160C requires a more modest CNY2,000 ($327).
Furthermore, the pilot who will be controlling the plane needs to show proof in the form of a license (though the buyer does not necessarily need to be the pilot) and a certificate of airworthiness from China’s Civil Aviation Administration. This is similar to a road-worthiness license for cars. The owners of the jets being sold also need to present three certificates before the deal can pass: nationality, certificate of airworthiness and radio licenses — as well as a flight recorder.
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