New aircraft targets Airbus-Boeing duopoly
By Lu Haoting (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-05 10:20

China plans to develop a 130- to 200-seat commercial aircraft, the world's most popular type of jet, to break the market duopoly of Boeing and Airbus, a senior Chinese aircraft designer said.

The aircraft will be designed and assembled in Shanghai, but will source parts and components globally, which is a model adopted by Boeing and Airbus, said Wu Guanghui, chief designer of the program and deputy general manager of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), on the first day of the Zhuhai Air Show.

"We will choose international suppliers through bidding. But priority will go to foreign suppliers that design and manufacturer products with domestic companies in China," he said.

China has used the same model for the ARJ21 program and 19 foreign suppliers provide parts and components to the regional jet.

COMAC plans to set up overseas subsidiaries in Europe, the United States, Hong Kong and Russia to market the airplane internationally, said Jin Zhuanglong, the company's general manager.

Zhang Qingwei, COMAC's board chairman, said the company would consider international cooperation with Airbus, Boeing or Russian companies, but the level of cooperation has yet to be discussed.

China's own large commercial aircraft will be put on the market during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2015-20), Miao Wei, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said. COMAC will complete the concept design and research on key technologies by 2010 and start production by 2014, Miao said.

The world would need 20,000 single-aisle aircrafts in this category in the next two decades, while China would require 1,400 such jets.

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