China set to manufacture planes to compete with Airbus and Boeing
China is about to take off into the aviation industry by producing its own commercial aircraft that will compete with current giants Boeing and Airbus.
For seven years now, the world’s most populated nation of 1.3 billion people has been working on developing the C919 jetliner and the craft is beginning to roll off the production line. The International Business Times reports that the new departure is part of the government’s initiative to move China away from factory labour to modern high-margin technologies for the next generation. According to Mavis Toh, the Asia air transport editor of Flightglobal magazine it’s all part of a plan to be known as “a major player” in airplane manufacturing.
The Chinese-produced plane carries 168 passengers and will go head-to-head with the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320. There should be no problem selling the product internally as all of the country’s major airlines are state-owned.
Boeing has estimated that China will need up to 6,000 planes over the next two decades at a cost of US$780 billion. One of the biggest components of the C919 jetliner will be supplied by a state-owned Chinese military contractor and GE Aviation Systems.
COMAC is producing the C919 jetliners and has had over 500 orders from mostly Chinese carriers to date. It is expected to be operational commercially within four years.