Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC) said Tuesday it has struck deals to build 100 of its self-developed C919 jumbo jets for sale to Air China and five other domestic and overseas airline companies.
The agreements were reached between COMAC and Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, CDB Leasing and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) on the sidelines of Airshow China 2010, which began Tuesday in Zhuhai city in southern China's Guangdong province.
The orders come two and a half years after China established COMAC, the nation's first passenger jet-manufacturing company, which is hoping to take market share away from the Boeing-Airbus duopoly.
Though the price the airlines will pay for the aircraft was not revealed, Zhang Qingwei, chairman of COMAC, said the orders lay a solid foundation for further development of the C919 jumbo jet.
Zhang said a draft design for the single-aisle C919 is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, with test flights due in 2014.
He said the C919 will be ready to be delivered in 2016, after the COMAC's aircraft receives airworthiness certification.
At Airshow China 2010, COMAC displayed a full-size 168-seat mock-up of the 17-meter-long, 5.6-meter-high, 3.96-meter-wide jet.
COMAC has said it will develop both 168-seat and 156-seat models of the jet, with more models to be developed in the future.
COMAC has registered capital of 19 billion yuan ($2.7 billion). The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission invested 6 billion yuan into the company to become its single biggest shareholder.
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