Chinese manufacturer COMAC wins orders for 330 aircraft

Follow us on social media and always stay updated

Chinese planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) said it had secured 330 orders for its homegrown C919 narrowbody and ARJ21 regional jets, and raised its 20-year aircraft demand forecast at the country’s biggest air show.

China Development Bank Leasing, ICBC Leasing, CMB Financial Leasing, BOCOM Leasing, CCB Financial Leasing, SPDB Financial Leasing and Jiangsu Financial Leasing on Tuesday signed orders for a combined 300 C919s and 30 ARJ21s at Airshow China in the southern city of Zhuhai, COMAC said in a statement on Wednesday.

C919 to make its first public appearance at China air show.

As with previous announcements, it was not immediately clear how many were firm orders or expressions of interest, and no delivery dates were provided.

Before the latest deals, there had been 815 orders for the C919 from 28 customers, according to COMAC’s website. But China Eastern Airlines is the only customer that has announced a firm delivery schedule. It expects to receive its first plane in December and another four next year.

The C919 is China’s rival to the popular Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX narrowbody jet families, as the country looks to become more self-sufficient amid growing tensions with the West.

COMAC said on Tuesday that China would need 9,284 new aircraft over the next 20 years to meet market demand, 200 more than in its forecast last year, Reuters reported.

China certifies ATR 42-600.

The Chinese plane maker’s forecast is higher than Boeing’s, which predicted last month that China would require 8,485 new planes in the next 20 years.

COMAC and Boeing on Wednesday said they would expand cooperation in the COMAC-Boeing Sustainable Aviation Technology Centre, which was established in 2012 to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, according to Boeing’s social media account on Weibo.

The deal comes as Boeing remains determined to maintain a strong presence in China, even though it no longer factors the country into its financial forecasts because the country will not accept deliveries of new MAX planes.

“Not having China matters a lot to us. We want them,” Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun told investors last week. “We are not turning our back on them in any way, shape or form and won’t.”