Asian tycoons demand mahjong tables, karaoke and gold on their private jets


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Asia is expected to create more billionaire wealth than the U.S. within a decade and there is no better way to show off all that new money than by buying private jets.

But no run-of-the-mill private jets will do. Asian tycoons want totally tricked-out flying machines, some costing as much as $70 million even before customization.

Moguls wanting to “fly right” are expected to initiate a buying spree for personal and business jets that will triple the luxury aircraft fleet in Greater China by 2024, and luxury aircraft manufacturers are eagerly getting ready.

According to a recent Bloomberg article, corporate jet owners typically come from the real estate, casino and commodities industries and tend to be younger (and flashier) than other global owners, spending about 40 percent more on their fleet.

Eschewing traditional interiors, this “Dude, pimp my flight” aesthetic focuses on features like Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems, karaoke screens, disco lights, mahjong tables, and floor-to-ceiling bling like Swarovski jewels embedded in the ceiling to mimic twinkling stars and monogrammed silk carpets. Hermes dining ware, Chanel-patterned upholstery and interiors featuring Fendi, Versace and Giorgio Armani brand materials are ever-popular, as is gold everything.

“There is a preciousness with Asian clients that appreciates handmade things and, of course, branded things,” said Howard Guy, chief executive officer of consultancy Design Q. “Artistry and craftsmanship are something that keeps coming up.”