Air power

Updated: 2011-01-07 11:01

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily European Weekly)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

Air power

COMAC looks set to pose stiff challenge to Boeing, Airbus in commercial aircraft manufacturing sector

The global aviation industry is expected to see increasing competition in the next few years as China gets ready to challenge the supremacy of global commercial aircraft giants like Airbus SAS and Boeing Co with its homegrown airliners. Though the nation has been making the right strides in the past few years, analysts are still skeptical on whether Chinese firms will be able to make timely deliveries of big aircraft.

The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) has made a significant breakthrough in the global commercial aircraft market by winning orders for 100 single-aisle C919 passenger jets from domestic and international customers.

The prototype of the 150-seater aircraft was displayed at the Zhuhai Air show in November and company officials expressed confidence that the C919 trial flights will start in 2014, followed by the first delivery in 2016.

Related readings:
Air power On the rise
Air power Where the sky's the limit

COMAC has so far secured 340 orders for its 70- to 110-seat regional aircraft, the ARJ21, with 100 of these coming in last month. The company plans to deliver the first ARJ21-700 jet in 2011. The aircraft has a flight range of 3,700 kilometers and can traverse altitudes of over 11,900 meters.

China currently accounts for 22 percent of Airbus' 2010 orders and 15 percent of Boeing's orders. COMAC wants to spur the aviation industry by effectively competing with the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737.

Much of COMAC's ambitions also stem from the government's plan to transform China as an aviation major capable of making jumbo jets, regional planes, business jets, propeller planes and helicopters all at home. That in turn is expected to have a positive impact on a host of allied industries related to the aviation industry.

An airplane consists of thousands of parts and a majority of them require sophisticated technologies. This will benefit the development of industrial segments like material sciences and electronic technologies.

Airplane manufacturing offers huge returns especially in gross domestic product terms, much larger than making a car, says Armand Cao, an analyst with Frost & Sullivan in Shanghai.

"By making large commercial airliners, China wants to send out a signal that it is not a manufacturer of cheap or copycat products, but rather a maker of high-end and innovative goods."

   Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page  

Paper's Digest

Posh parade

Luxury carmakers are gearing up for rich pickings in China.

Preview of the coming issue
Driving ambition
Sea Change

Chinadaily US Edition PDF


Hu visits the US

President Hu Jintao is set for a state visit to the United States from Jan 18 to 21.

Royal ring

British royal engagement ring spurs demand for chinese replicas.

Stars on horizon

The 'longlist' for Literary Prize raises strong hopes about future of East Asian writers of English books.

On the rise
General Practice
Reading Pleasure