A 30-year-old collector from Sichuan province recently purchased a retired Boeing 737-300 for a measly 3 million yuan, though the price tag went all the way up to 8 million yuan when shipping and reassembly fees were included. Still, what an absolute bargain!
While 3 million yuan ($447,761) can buy a collector a whole range of items, antiques simply didn’t cut it for this guy.
The collector surnamed Ning has been obsessed with aircraft since childhood. He first tried to find a decommissioned Boeing 737 in China. Unfortunately for him, once a plane is decommissioned in China it is technically state property and the process of actually buying it from the government is extremely long and arduous, reported Chengdu Economic Daily. Bloody bureaucracy.
However, Ning then discovered that it was pretty simple to get his hands on this kind of aircraft in places like France and the US. As a side note, if any Clinton supporters are in the market for a cheap plane, Ning knows a guy.
At the time of decommissioning, the plane was relieved of its aviation system and engines, so unfortunately Ning couldn’t just fly it back to China, so he entrusted an aviation company based in Beijing that specializes in import and export to negotiate the logistical nightmare. The aircraft itself will eventually sit at an aviation culture park, right outside of the China Civil Aviation Flight University.
In the end, Ning spent an extra 5 million yuan on shipping and renovation, part of this money was spent on the installation of a flight simulator. It still isn’t as cool as Wuhan’s very own airplane-themed restaurant. However, considering that a new Boeing 737-300 can set you back $51 million to $72 million. Ning landed a pretty sweet deal.
By Seamus Gibson
[Images via Chengdu Economic Daily]